Delegate: Ms. Nerland
76. Ms. Nerland (Norway), speaking as the youth representative of Norway, said that lack of access to clean water and safe sanitation was one of the greatest challenges facing the world and had an enormous impact on the lives of millions of children and young people. In negotiations within the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), certain States were requesting that water services should be liberalized and opened up to foreign corporations. However, there had been many examples of rising prices and reduced access to water in countries with privatized water systems. Water was not a commodity that could be easily replaced by another. The problem was not privatization as such. Unfortunately, business considerations often took precedence over the best interests of individuals, including children and young people. Any decision-making process concerning the use of water should include the population as a whole.
77. Young people should be allowed to make informed decisions about matters affecting their lives, in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Governments should take steps to ensure that their voice was heard at the local, regional and national levels.
78. Finally, Member States should be encouraged to support financially the “Opportunities Fund for Urban Youth-led Development”, established by the Governing [*12*] Council of the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlement Foundation (UN-Habitat).
UN Doc.: A/C.3/62/SR.3