Delegate: Ms. Guro Fjellanger
Disclaimer: Obvious textual errors have been corrected. The authentic version can be found under “Original Records”.
23. Ms. FJELLANGER (Norway) said that, for many years, her delegation had included two youth representatives and accordingly had a particular interest in agenda item 90. The most important task of those representatives was to share their knowledge and impressions of the work of the United Nations with young people in Norway and to inform them, through the media and their respective organisations, about the unique role which the United Nations played in world society. That the United Nations enjoyed such high standing in Norway was due partly to such direct contacts with it. The second task of the youth representatives in the delegation was to present the perspective of the young generation on the issues under consideration and to advocate a stronger youth involvement in nearly all areas of society. [*8*]
24. Youth should be given an opportunity to participate in a meaningful way in political activities at the international level. Separate international conferences for youth could be useful but were not an alternative to direct participation in already established political structures. She therefore hoped that more countries from all regions would in the future include youth representatives in their delegations.
25. If racism and racial discrimination were to be eradicated and solidarity and understanding among peoples promoted, it was important that youth should have the opportunity of international contacts and participation. Participation had been one of the main issues of the International Youth Year, which had involved youth more actively in a broad range of political questions. Political issues such as education, employment, health and housing affected youth in a particularly direct manner and she believed that youth should be more actively involved in solving such problems. That young people had the will and courage to transform their care and concern into action had been proved through such arrangements as Band Aid and Live Aid.
26. Drug abuse and illicit trafficking represented a dangerous threat not only to the young generation but also to the sovereignty and security of States. Information and education were the most important tools to combat drug abuse and it was important that, at both the national and and international levels, youth should participate in the struggle to combat the demand for drugs. Information and education were also the most important tools to control and prevent the spread of AIDS, which was killing a large share of the population aged between 20 and 40 years.
27. The interrelated issues of environment and sustainable development, which had been highlighted by the World Commission on Environment and Development, had come to the top of the global political agenda and would have to be dealt with as a matter of urgency at all levels – national, regional and international – not least within the United Nations system. In its report “Our Common Future”, the World Commission had laid particular emphasis on the participation of youth in promoting the message of sustainable development. The report of the Secretary-General had also stressed the importance of the active participation of youth in following up that report. The majority of the population of the third world were young people and there could be no effective follow-up without their involvement. The emphasis placed by the World Commission on the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to meeting environmental and developmental challenges was very much in line with the concepts and attitudes of young people.
28. The main task of the United Nations was to stimulate, co-ordinate and provide policy guidance for environmental action throughout the world. One small step by way of example would be for the United Nations to eliminate from its cafeteria the packaging and drinking cups which were a threat to the ozone layer. A reduction of documentation would also help to conserve forests, as would the use of recycled paper. [*9*]
29. The importance of education in the field of human rights must also be stressed; the young generation must be informed about the rights of individuals and the obligations of States under established human rights instruments.
30. Disabled youth experienced special problems and were in a particularly disadvantageous position; much could be done to alleviate their problems, however. In implementing activities under the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, special efforts should be made to secure the participation of the young people and the social integration of the young disabled from an early age.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/43/SR.16