Delegates: Ms. Clémentine Rixhon (19 years), Mr. Matthieu Lohr (24 years)
8. Ms. Rixhon (Luxembourg), speaking as a youth delegate, said that young people had been compelled to stand up for their future in the face of global events, such as rising populism and the vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. While young people largely rejected the future proposed by extremists, some could find answers to their frustrations in radical ideologies that corrupted religions and cultures. Luxembourg and other States members of the European Union had too long believed that those issues did not apply to them. However, the majority of recent terrorist attacks within the European Union had not been committed by foreign nationals or refugees, but rather by young marginalized Europeans who had been neglected by society. Youth under the age of 30 represented half of the world population. The international community must therefore empower them through intergenerational dialogue, which would require a multilateral response.
9. Mr. Lohr (Luxembourg), speaking as a youth delegate, said that, while the United Nations and other international organizations recognized the transformative impact of youth in society, some States had not yet done so. Despite making up half of the global population, young people were too often marginalized, and two thirds of States did not consult youth on poverty reduction strategies or national development plans. States must therefore challenge their way of thinking and encourage youth participation in order to further development, peace and conflict prevention. It was essential for young people to enjoy a political space in which they could participate and express themselves. Those who felt marginalized or excluded from society were targeted by terrorist groups and often found refuge in radical ideologies that offered a sense of social inclusion. Nearly half of the population of Luxembourg was made up of foreign nationals who coexisted in harmony, enriched the culture and contributed to the economy. The international community must face the challenges of multiculturalism and pluralistic societies in a similar spirit and translate ideas into action.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/72/SR.4