Delegate: Ms. Wójcik
93. Ms. Wójcik (Poland), speaking as a youth delegate, said that 2019 was the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and 2020 would see the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, two occasions that provided momentum for the international community to step up its efforts to protect and promote the rights of children and young people. [*14*]
94. Enduring inequalities, insufficient educational opportunities and limited scope for social expression continued to be of great concern to young people across Poland, where the focus on material aspects of economic growth had had an adverse impact on their quality of life, their enjoyment of human rights and their prospects for social advancement. A lack of adequate funding and information meant that schools in small towns and villages were less willing to join in international projects, and knowledge of educational opportunities did not reach aspiring students. Deficient public transportation between cities and rural areas further hindered access by rural youth to educational institutions. Local governance systems, Member States and civil society should strive to maximize the potential benefits of urbanization for rural economies and reduce inequalities within and among countries.
95. Integrating civic and human rights education and increased social involvement into modern education systems worldwide was necessary to prevent the radicalization of the views of young people, in particular among marginalized groups experiencing intersecting forms of discrimination and abuse. Given that young people would make up more than half of the global population by 2050, and despite the growing number of youth organizations and councils in regional and central government structures, it was essential for global leaders and policymakers to establish adequate legal and institutional guarantees to ensure that the voices of young people were not only heard but understood and taken into account in decision-making processes.
96. Since structural inequalities, insufficient educational opportunities and limited youth participation were global problems, more must be done to secure the rights and meet the needs of young people living in areas of armed conflict, including by engaging them in all phases of peacebuilding and resilience- building. Access to education and social opportunities was also crucial to achieving other Sustainable Development Goals. Young people were the future, and their rights and opinions needed to be acknowledged today.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/74/SR.2