Delegate: Leontien Peeters (26 years)
30. Ms. Peeters (Netherlands), speaking as the youth representative, said that young people were losing faith in the United Nations system as a means of solving the world’s problems. Once a symbol of a peaceful and more equitable future, the United Nations was now perceived as a symbol of failure and hypocrisy. Lack of resolve on the part of Member States continued to compromise opportunities for young people’s development. Young people, for their part, wished to leave their mark on the world and take control of their own lives. In the absence of equal opportunities and meaningful participation in the work of Governments and international organizations, they were more likely [*6*] to become hooligans or violent activists rather than responsible citizens.
31.Young people all over the world had been setting up their own non-governmental organizations and political movements for years. Following the events of 11 September 2001, they had launched initiatives to promote intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.
32. The vast array of new initiatives since the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Youth showed that the international community recognized youth as an important force for economic and social development. However, that force was not being effectively harnessed owing to a lack of support, communication and understanding. The Programme of Action should be renamed the “World Programme of Action for, by and with Youth”, with young people playing an active part in its evaluation.
33. Member States should view the Millennium development goals as the bare minimum of what must be done to keep alive the vision of a peaceful, prosperous and more equitable future for young people everywhere. She called upon Governments: to increase investment in youth and youth participation; to take note of, support and communicate with youth organizations and political movements; to include a youth representative in their official delegations to the General Assembly; and to work together with young people to make the United Nations an organization not only of good intentions, but also of good results.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/57/SR.9
UN Doc.: A/C.3/57/SR.9, 7 October 2002, p. 5-6, Youth Delegate Search: https://youthdelegatesearch.org/netherlands-2002/, doi: 10.17176/20221018-195038-0.