Delegate: Ms. Schijvenaars
29. Ms. SCHIJVENAARS (Netherlands) said that as a youth representative, she was one of the very few young people able to take an inside look at the decision-making process in the United Nations and participate that process. The inclusion of a youth representative in a national delegation was useful because it could enrich the deliberations of the General Assembly and lead to better understanding and integration of the needs and aspirations of youth and because youth representatives, from their own experience, could inform the young people of their countries about the actual work and proceedings of the United Nations.
30. Today’s adults had grown up a world that differed from that of the in present – a world which microelectronics, audio-visual material and related in communications techniques had not been so widely used, problems connected with poverty, urbanization and environmental degradation had not been as prevalent, and the risks involved in the use of nuclear power and the threat of nuclear war [*10*] had been less generally recognized and discussed. That sometimes made it difficult for the older generation to understand youth. Young people tried to find their own values and to develop and put into practice their own ideas about society. Like adults, they had the right to participate in the world on their own terms. Governments should adopt all the necessary measures, both legislatively and in practice, to ensure the full enjoyment of that right. That meant that adequate social and economic conditions had to be created to enable young people to become full-fledged members of society.
31. It was necessary to accelerate the efforts to reach a more just and equitable distribution of wealth in the world. A real and effective new international economic order was extremely important for young people, especially in the developing countries’ those in the industrialized countries should live up to their responsibility of co-operating and sharing with them. She therefore welcomed the fact that the specific European programme of measures and activities included a special paragraph containing suggestions to encourage young people and their organizations to support development activities in the developing countries.
32. While work was being done to elaborate a convention on the rights of the child, those rights continued to be violated. Her delegation hoped that the work on the convention would soon lead to a text which met the needs and aspirations of the children of the 1980s.
33. The present and future trends of increasing unemployment, under-enployment and technological development and change were more disastrous for women, especially young women, than for men, for they imperilled women’s chances to participate in society on an equal footing. Governments should promote attitudes and policies which would facilitate equality, and ensuring the welfare and advancement of women should be a matter of constant concern to them.
34. Young members of minorities and young migrant workers suffered as a result of their special position in society. They lived in a world of several different cultures and often had difficulty adapting to it. Special provisions had to be taken to assist them. More than equal access to education, housing and employment, vocational training was necessary, attention should also be given to measures enabling them to develop their own ways of expression, including the promotion of their knowledge of their mother tongue.
35. She valued the extensive and thorough communication taking place in the United Nations because meeting, talking and learning from one another’s views and background were basic prerequisites for achieving peace and mutual understanding. All of the representatives at the United Nations were adults, however, and the vast majority of young people would never participate in the debates or benefit from the United Nations in the way that she did. She therefore stressed the need to establish and promote the free flow of information and of people. Young people should be encouraged to exchange information and learn to understand one another’s background and thinking. A number of valuable suggestions to that end had been made in the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe and [*11*] inserted in the specific European programme. Her delegation viewed youth exchanges and educational programmes, especially between young people from East and West, as a step forward on the road to peace.
36. The Netherlands was preparing for the International Youth Year by introducing a platform for international youth work that would stimulate and co-ordinate the non-governmental input and by appointing a minister for the co-ordination of youth policy. The preparations would involve youth organizations to the largest extent possible and would contribute to improving the channels of communication and interaction between the governmental and non-governmental levels. Her country viewed those channels of communication as the most essential tool for the full and effective participation of young people in the development of society and the achievement of peace and held that Governments should fully implement the guidelines which the General Assembly had adopted for improving them.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/38/SR.19