Delegate: Ms. van Beest
71. Ms. van Beest (Netherlands), speaking as a youth representative, said that she had met many inspiring young people in various countries but had felt disheartened when looking into the situation of young people around the world. Young people’s rights were being denied on a vast scale worldwide, yet young people were fully entitled to their rights — it was not a matter of generosity.
72. Though every child had the right to go to school, many young people, girls in particular, had no access to education. Girls accounted for two thirds of children out of school. Equal access to education would give young women an equal chance in the labour market and the confidence to stand up for themselves.
73. On the issue of sexual and reproductive rights, young people lacked access to information and to safe and reliable contraceptives. Lack of access had an impact on maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, infant mortality and gender equality.
74. In the field of politics, in many countries young people and women were denied the right to voice their opinion and to vote and run for office. Even where women did have that right, they remained greatly underrepresented in decision-making bodies.
75. She called upon all countries to ensure equal access for young people to education, sexual and reproductive rights and equal voting rights. She also called upon the Committee to adopt the Supplement to the World Programme of Action for Youth and to adopt a resolution that includes time-bound targets. Further, she invited the Committee to make a concerted effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, especially with regard to gender equality and an improved situation for young people worldwide.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/62/SR.2