Delegate: Mr. Bolsius
22. Mr. BOLSIUS (Netherlands) said that in every society young and old should work together. However, in general the participation by the young in political, economic and cultural activities was negligible. Young people did not play a significant part in decision-making, in spite of the fact that the decisions taken often concerned them. The General Assembly had invited Governments to include a representative of youth in their delegations. He considered that youth had to be given the chance to involved in the organization not only of national societies, be but also of the international community, since the international society could achieve positive results only through the mutual co-operation of all countries. That that co-operation was still necessary was proved by the food situation in the world, and especially in Africa. He therefore applauded the activities of the United Nations Volunteers Programme in the field of youth and national development services.
23. International Youth Year had played and would continue to play an important catalytic role in the United Nations Volunteers Programme. A number of countries were already in the final stage of preparations for celebrating the Year. Youth organizations in the Netherlands had adopted a plan of action around the major themes: participation, development and peace. The proposals under each theme included the construction of youth facilities by unemployed young people, an anti-discrimination project and a visit to schools and youth organizations in the Netherlands by young people from the third world. For its part, the Government had earmarked a substantial amount of money for the implementation of that plan of action. It had presented a memorandum to Parliament on youth policy in such areas of immediate relevance as the education of young people, housing, employment and welfare, and special attention was being paid to groups of vulnerable young people, such as the unemployed, the deprived, minorities and drug addicts.
24. A major international problem was the abuse of alcohol and narcotics. A solution to those problems seemed hard to find. The proposals of the Netherlands Government widened the scope of welfare work to improve the physical and social circumstances of addicts. Those proposals would not in themselves solve the problem, but were intended to help find a solution. All those plans and proposals were aimed at improving the situation and the participation of youth in society. His Government considered that it would be a mistake to allow International Youth [*8*] Year to be a mere succession of festivals and international happenings. The theme of young people and their problems, concerns and interests, should be kept on the agenda beyond the end of International Youth Year.
25. International Youth Year should not be a pretext for organizing token events or creating structures for the sake of structures, it should be an opportunity to use the structures that already existed to strengthen their role and importance in the field of youth and to integrate youth questions into the work of the Organization. A few such questions should be singled out and specific projects drawn up around which to organize project groups. The Secretariat, other United Nations bodies and the specialized agencies would co-operate with youth organizations under the auspices of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council and, if possible, the Commission for Social Development. A thematical and project-oriented approach was the best guarantee that follow-up work would be effective, since the need for the participation of youth and youth organizations was obvious.
26. The Netherlands attached great importance to the results of the Expert Group Meeting on Channels of Communication, held at Vienna in January 1984. The main channel of communication at the international level, the meeting of non-governmental youth organizations, was developinq into a broad platform for youth organizations, with a structure that could more flexibly respond to the demands of a thematical and project-oriented co-operation. His delegation hoped that in 1985 more than four youth representatives would be present, to contribute their way of thinking and to collaborate in tacklinq common problems.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/39/SR.16