We are trying our best to make Youth Delegates’ speeches as accessible as possible. In doing so, we use certain categories. With this webpage we want to briefly explain why we chose to use them.
Every State or delegation of a State can decide how they will name those, who give speeches in the context of the Youth Delegate Programme of the United Nations. The term “Youth Delegate” is only one possibility. Other terms such “Youth Representative” or phrases like “Speaking on behalf of the youth of country X” exist as well. We are using “Youth Delegate” not to decide on whether the ones labelled with the term are “only” delegates and not representatives. We use it because the United Nations is using it for its programme, the “UN Youth Delegate Programme”.
Besides that, not every Youth Delegate is giving a speech. That is why we decided to list not only Youth Delegates who delivered a speech, but also those who participated as Youth Delegates without formally addressing the UN General Assembly.
The terms “Global North” and “Global South” are contested and it is often difficult to identify clear lines of demarcation. More than that, they do not represent geographical realities. Rather, they serve the purpose to point out certain economic, political, social (and so on) divides. Having said that, we only use “Global North” and “Global South” to give interested researchers a first impression on the distribution of Youth Delegates around the globe.
“Gender” may be understood in a social and biological (“sex” is used often in this context) manner. We are aware that the term is contested and problematic. We decided to use not only “female” and “male” but also “non-binary”. With this, we argue that more than two genders being “female” and “male” exist. We also draw on the case law of the German Constitutional Court in doing so. Yet, it is noticeable that Youth Delegates, who are non-binary, cannot be identified on this website. This might be due to the fact that Youth Delegates are addressed in the official UN Documents with “Mr.”, “Ms.”, or an equivalent. Nevertheless, we want to use this silence to point out certain inequalities and issues of representation in the UN Youth Delegate Programme.
A speech given by one or more Youth Delegates from the same State in the same meeting, which has the same UN Doc, is presented on one page (as an example, see for Germany in 2015 here). Speeches given by Youth Delegates from the same State in different meetings, which have a different UN Doc, are presented on different pages (as an example, see for Mexico in 2015 here, here and here). This has also an influence on the statistics. The speech of the two German Youth Delegates from 2015 are counted as one speech from the Global North. The speeches of the Youth Delegates from Mexico in 2015 are counted as three speeches from the Global South.
We understand the use of categories as a process. We are happy to engage in a respectful and meaningful dialogue with anyone who wishes to contribute to the better clarification of the terms used on Youth Delegate Search. You can find the contact section here.