Delegate: Mr. Nøttåsen
Disclaimer: Obvious textual errors have been corrected. The authentic version can be found under “Original Records”.
28. Mr. NØTTÅSEN (Norway) said that his role as Norwegian youth representative was to give the perspective of young people on the issues under consideration, as well as to inform youth and youth organisations in Norway about the results [*8*] emanating from the General Assembly and the important part that the United Nations system played in world society.
29. Young people should be given an opportunity to participate in a meaningful way in political activities at the international level. However, care should be taken to avoid establishing structures and bodies for youth that would only duplicate the work undertaken currently in United Nations bodies. Separate international conferences for youth could be useful, but they were not an alternative for participation in the already-established international political structure. He believed that other United Nations bodies besides the General Assembly could benefit from having youth representatives present at their meetings.
30. The theme of participation had been particularly stressed by Norwegian youth during the International Youth Year, which had engaged youth more actively in a broad range of political questions. It was still too early to say whether the International Youth Year had had a lasting impact on improving the living conditions of youth, increasing their participation and influence and giving them more responsibility, but it was a source of satisfaction that the situation had been given more attention. The International Youth Year had not only been of benefit to youth but had also benefited the United Nations, in the sense that the Organization had gained more support from youth. The guidelines for further planning and suitable follow-up in the field of youth would be a useful instrument in continuing the work begun during the International Youth Year.
31. The strong interest of youth in certain policy areas such as education, employment, health, housing and youth culture was self-evident, because those issues affected youth directly. Experience had also shown that youth were interested in such questions as world peace, the establishment of a new international economic order and the protection of the environment. In Norway, as in other countries, youth had long been deeply involved in all kinds of environmental questions. His delegation therefore welcomed the Secretary-General’s Statement made prior to the presentation of the report of the World Commission on Environmental Development, in which he had drawn attention to the opportunity of involving youth in the debate and follow-up of the Commission’s report. Since the major part of the population of the third world was young, youth could not be overlooked if there was to be proper follow-up to the report. Young people were less bound by traditional, segmented perspectives on global affairs than adults, and could play a major part in raising awareness of the need for a comprehensive, integrated approach to meeting environmental and developmental challenges, as the World Commission had recommended.
32. His delegation endorsed the views expressed by the youth representatives from the Netherlands and Denmark on questions such as youth exchanges, housing and employment. Disabled youth were in a particularly disadvantaged position, but much could be done to alleviate their special problems. It should be recognised that full integration of those who were disabled from childhood would lead to a better society for all, both socially and physically. Special efforts should be made to secure the participation of young people in the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/42/SR.21