Delegate: Mr. Onderčo
54. Mr. Onderčo (Slovakia), speaking on behalf of the youth of his country, said that, unfortunately, for many young people around the world life was poor and harsh. Young people, particularly girls, were not given the role that they should have in society. Although the importance of their participation had been recognized in the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, they faced many difficulties when they tried to participate in society, owing, inter alia, to the perception that society had of them.
55. A case in point was that of the young people of his city, which was very traditional and conservative. The creation of a youth parliament in Prešov had enabled young people to participate in city management. It had proven that young people were not only willing to participate responsibly in decision-making, but were also able to do so.
56. The decision to allow the participation of young people not only helped to empower them politically, it also helped change the public perception of young people. As noted in the World Youth Report 2007, young people were in many cases the driving force in their countries’ development. [*7*]
57. The participation of young people was not limited to political organizations or organized movements. More and more young people were serving as volunteers in order to improve the situation of their countries.
58. It was regrettable that, despite the commitments undertaken, only 30 of the 193 Member States had sent youth delegates to the United Nations. It was in the interest of all to strengthen the participation of young people.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/63/SR.4