Delegate: Mr. Arteaga Tenorio
Mr. Arteaga Tenorio (Mexico) (interpretation from Spanish): First of all, we would like to express our support for the statement made by the representative of Ecuador on behalf of the Rio Group. We believe that it is very important that the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations has coincided with the tenth anniversary of International Youth Year, since this is a particularly appropriate time to reflect on the contradictions and problems confronting youth at the end of the millennium and to seek different ways to meet the challenges shared by the international community in this field.
The expectations of the new generations of youth have been affected drastically by changes at the end of the century. The traditional problems that have been facing young people over the past two decades, such as unemployment, the need for education and vocational training, drug abuse, delinquency or the heartbreaking effects of hunger and poverty, have all increased. To these growing trends can be added the emergence of so-called problems of modern life, including large-scale migrations mainly of young people, the emergence and growth of AIDS and environmental devastation, which make it clear that we are living in a fragile world with limited resources.
Similarly, the messages of violence reaching the youth of today have increased considerably as compared to the messages young people received only 10 or 15 years ago. This, combined with the effects of marginalization and low expectations, contributes to the emergence of increasingly violent societies. Thus, mainly in large urban areas, new generations are losing the ability to be shocked at the problems affecting community life. This is what some critics have come to call the value crisis of generation X.
This all underlines the crucial importance of the United Nations appeal to Governments to introduce youth policies with an integral and forward-looking approach. We believe that the priority areas of the draft World Programme of Action include viable possibilities in the search for solutions to the problems to which the Programme refers.
We would like to make a few comments on the way it is implemented and mention the importance of considering the following strategies. First, the constant promotion of the participation of youth as a group, with shared responsibility, in the design, implementation and assessment of national programmes that will generate alternative strategies for youth development. Second, the strengthening of institutional coordination of the competent entities in each Government from within, in order to provide for coordination in target regions or groups in respect of integral and complementary programmes. Third, guarantees that youth-oriented actions will continue by incorporating the principal concepts of the Programme in the proper legal and regulatory framework. Fourth, the development of a strong communications policy in the electronic and printed media, so that in addition to informing and providing guidance on alternative solutions to the problems, dialogue with young people and participation by them will be broadly based. Fifth, the promotion of research on an ongoing basis so that the provisions of the Programme in different spheres of action can be gradually adapted and respond to changes in the regions, age groups, or the nature of the specific problems.
In Mexico, there are three specialized programmes dealing with youth. In addition, the Government targets youth in all programmes in the public administration. In this way, policies in education, employment, health, justice, training, culture or recreation have a direct impact on the young population.
Since the present administration took over, youth policy has been strengthened. Thus, in the Legislature, there has been support for the establishment of youth [*7*] committees in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate respectively, as well as in the Assembly of Representatives of the Federal District and seven local congresses.
As regards the draft World Programme of Action for Youth Towards the Year 2000 and Beyond, the Government of Mexico will be studying and discussing its contents in the youth committees in both the legislature and the executive.
Finally, I would like to point out that we are aware that the attainment of the integral development of youth depends on the same factors that define the economic, political and social lives of nations. The problems of new generations are only a reflection of the problems of society at large but seen from a medium-term and long-term perspective. This means that we must think about the world, not in terms of something we have inherited from our parents, but as something on loan for our children.
UN Doc.: A/50/PV.44