Delegate: Mr. Elian Yahye (18 years)
33. Mr. Yahye (Netherlands), speaking as a youth delegate, said that people who held fundamentally different views did not always co-exist peacefully, which could make Governments, leaders and institutions fear diversity. He had learned, however, that the problems faced by dynamic and diverse societies were the result not of diversity itself but of the failure by Governments and institutions to connect with the different groups that they served.
34. Governments and institutions that aimed to ensure the full participation of the younger generations thereby eliminated one of the most important root causes of extremism: the feeling of being left out. Young people would feel represented by governing bodies if policymakers actively consulted them when making decisions, many of which affected young people themselves. It was not enough to speak only with highly educated young people; those from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and rural areas must also be included. It was essential not only to explain decisions to young people but also to listen to them to discover how they were already working to prevent problems.
35. Young people in the Netherlands were changing their communities for the better. The Youth Supervision Team in Arnhem, for example, was a youth-led initiative involving young people from various backgrounds to keep the city centre safe. Violent incidents and vandalism had decreased substantially, not by fining young people or approaching them with hostility, but by connecting with them on a personal level.
36. It was time to live up to the commitments made in Security Council resolution 2250 (2015) on youth and peace and security. In 2017, he would speak with young people from all over his country about radicalization and violent extremism. The diversity of the Netherlands would provide different perspectives on the root causes of those problems and how to prevent them.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/72/SR.1