Delegate: Laila Naraghi
30. Ms. Naraghi (Sweden), speaking as the youth representative of Sweden, said that while the United Nations system was sometimes perceived to be all about words, those words translated into important commitments, which in turn must be translated into action. The many examples of injustice, war, poverty and dictatorship in the world were often the result of countries’ failure to respect common international agreements. For instance, despite article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many people, including young people and youth organizations, did not have the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Despite the efforts of the international community, other people were still living under foreign occupation and thousands of young people were forced to live in refugee camps. Despite the commitments made in Cairo in 1994, many young women were still victims of unsafe abortions and female genital mutilation. It was unacceptable that such commitments were arbitrarily broken and everyone must strive to respect them and translate them into action.
31. Young people were particularly vulnerable in all countries, especially in societies experiencing conflict or oppression but also in those living in peace and welfare. The World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond was therefore of great importance. For it to achieve results, cooperation, especially cooperation with youth in civil society, was essential. Young people must be seen not only as a target group but also as important players in their own right. Such cooperation could take the form of consultations with youth-led initiatives and democratic youth structures and the participation of young people’s non-governmental organizations in implementing national and local youth policies. Youth participation at the United Nations should also be [*7*] increased, in line with the commitments made in General Assembly resolution 60/2 on policies and programmes involving youth. She urged all Member States to ensure that their delegations to the sixtysecond session of the General Assembly included a youth delegate.
32. Youth policy should be twofold, involving the power to decide and the right to welfare. Young people had the same human rights as other human beings. They should be involved in the development of reliable indicators to measure the action taken to turn the World Programme of Action for Youth into reality. That was a matter of dignity, credibility and efficiency.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/61/SR.3