Delegate: Ms. Huitfeldt
18. Ms. Huitfeldt (Norway), speaking in her capacity as youth representative, noted that the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System, a biennial event, gave non-governmental youth organizations the opportunity to discuss with organizations of the United Nations system the implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond. The next Youth Forum, which would be held in Braga, Portugal, in August 1998, would focus on the participation of youth in human development and their cooperation with special working groups on employment, health and education, as well as on youth policy, youth participation and youth rights issues. Those issues were a good basis for promoting discussion on the implementation of the World Programme, and should be on the agenda of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, which would be held a few days after the Braga Forum. In order to make that Forum as effective as possible, young people from all over the world should be enabled to participate. Adequate financing was therefore necessary.
19. In 1990, the number of young people in the world aged between 15 and 24 had reached 1 billion. They should therefore be represented in the decision-making bodies of their respective countries, whether industrialized or developing, and should take part in politics at large in order to take control over their own lives.
20. Too many youth institutions were dominated by adults. It was important that young people’s voices should be heard independently.
21. Young people all over the world were keenly interested in the protection of the environment. Environmental issues were an important part of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, which viewed youth as a vital resource. Through education on environmental issues, young people wished to contribute actively to the implementation of Agenda 21.
22. The international community had safeguarded the rights of the child in the Convention on the Rights of the Child; it should also focus on the rights of youth, particularly those of [*4*] young women, and enable them to benefit from access to proper health care and education, have the opportunity to plan their families and be assured of respect for their personal integrity.
23. Like Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland, Norway allowed youth representatives to take part in the work of the General Assembly in order to increase their involvement in the international community and their contribution to the resolution of global issues.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/52/SR.4