Delegate: Mr. Lunde
55. Mr. LUNDE (Norway), speaking on items 77 and 81, said that the young, far from being spared by the acute economic and social crisis currently affecting the world, constituted a particularly vulnerable group, in particular because of the inadequacy of the educational and training opportunities offered them and the rise in unemployment. Insecurity and fear of a future under the threat of nuclear war seemed to affect contemporary youth more deeply than the previous generation. Many young people felt themselves alien to their own society and sought to flee reality, as was evidenced by the increase in alcoholism and drug addiction among the young as well as by the unfortunate trends in juvenile delinquency. [*14*]
56. The proclamation of 1985 as International Youth Year bore witness that the international community had recognized the need to improve plans and measures aimed at increasing participation by the young in all of society’s activities. It was, however, unrealistic to think that the problems which the young encountered in most societies could be fully resolved in any international forum. It was at the national level that energetic measures needed to be taken without delay. International Youth Year could nevertheless play the part of an important catalyst by promoting exchanges of opinion and co-operation among countries.
57. For its part, his own Government had recently presented a report to Parliament entitled: “Youth: participation and responsibility”, which contained an analysis of the current situation of the young in Norway and concrete proposals concerning education, training, employment and housing in particular. In it, the Government recognized the need to engage in a dialogue with those young people who did not belong to any youth organization, who had only limited education and limited resources in general, and who represented more than half of Norway’s youth; the report also dealt with the particular problems encountered by young people from foreign countries living in Norway.
58. His delegation would support the recommendations agreed upon by the Advisory Committee for the International Youth Year, of which his country was a member, but it would not support all the recommendations with equal enthusiasm. Being aware of the need to achieve as wide a consensus as possible on the specific Programme of Measures and Activities to ensure the success of the Year, it was willing to make important concessions’ but it had to state that it was not convinced of the need for an international instrument concerning the rights and responsibilities of youth, which might contribute to isolating youth from the rest of society. Only with the greatest reluctance would it support proposals for creating a new body within the United Nations to deal with matters concerning youth. It considered rather that better use should be made of existing organs, in particular the Commission for Social Development, but readily admitted that the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs must be strengthened if people wished it to fulfil properly the functions for which it was responsible in connection with the International Youth Year.
59. He noted in conclusion that his delegation was not convinced that holding world or regional conferences was the best way of resolving the problems facing young people, but believed that in the first place it was important for Member States to take the proper measures at the national level. It was because his delegation recognized that the specific Programme of Measures and Activities gave each Member State the proper latitude to establish programmes in accordance with its own national priorities and objectives that it had always declared itself in favour of the Programme.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/37/SR.15