Delegates: Mr. Karanikolas, Ms. Hebling
104. Mr. Karanikolas (Germany), speaking as a youth delegate, said that the great value of youth lay in its diversity. However, the United Nations was at a crossroads regarding youth participation; Member States were allowing migrants to drown in the sea, and people were being persecuted for their religion, belief, ethnic background or sexual orientation. Over the years, youth delegates from Germany had made many demands, all of which had gone unfulfilled. The generations present in the room were the first that could end extreme poverty, and they were perhaps the last that could stop climate change, but rather than doing those things, Member States were losing themselves in egoism and nationalism. He feared that young people would lose their trust in the United Nations. He called on Member States to show solidarity by stopping the fighting and ending all forms of neo- and post- colonialism. They must help one another and take immediate steps to end extreme poverty and create real gender equality. He also called for solidarity between generations, so that individuals could use their potential to change the world and include members of society in all their diversity.
105. Ms. Hebling (Germany), youth delegate, said that many of the young people she had consulted in workshops had never heard of the United Nations and had been overwhelmed by the opportunity to contribute at the international level. Collecting ideas from young people had given her a new perspective. Rather than describing young people’s demands as unrealistic, a more critical, creative and challenging view on the goals should be taken. Solutions were more successful when young people were involved; she encouraged everyone to act more like young people and leave room for new perspectives.
106. Protection of the environment had been mentioned in every single workshop with young people. The main demands of young people in that regard were protection of life on land and under water, the exclusive use of renewable energy resources, a ban on plastics and the taxation of greenhouse gas emissions. The drastic impact of human activity on the environment was mobilizing the younger generation and inducing feelings of anxiety and anger. They were losing their trust in decision-makers, especially when they were not included in the process, even though they would be most affected by the decisions taken. Education played a key role in climate action. It was the key to change and brought everyone to the table, ensuring inclusion and equality. Young people were key contributors to the drive to create a future worth living in, and action had to be taken soon to bring about the change needed.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/74/SR.1