Delegate: Yuan Yao (20 years)
Ms. Yao (Switzerland) (spoke in French): We are celebrating today the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond. Although this Hall has never before welcomed so many representatives of youth, there are still not enough young people here. Too many of them must settle for watching from the sidelines as decisions are taken that will affect our common future.
The needs of youth have never before been defined so specifically, yet actions continue to fall short of expectations. We hope that an increasing number of States will focus on the need to act. That is why we ask all States to recognize young people and to include them in their decision-making processes. We ask for tolerance, and we ask that the World Programme of Action for Youth be implemented.
One of the issues addressed in the Programme of Action is health. Youth is vulnerable. Many young people live in insecurity and fear the future. According to the 2001 World Health Report, almost one out of four young people has behavioural problems. Causes of mental illness vary from one country to another and from one person to another. But one thing is universal: the need to have a useful occupation in the context of a solid social network. Social integration, access to education and training, as well as job security, are what enable young people to find their place in society. We need a healthy youth in order to build a healthy society.
Alone we cannot build such a social network, or find lasting solutions, but together we can do this. Together we can integrate young people into our societies and support their development. Together we can open up the labour market to them and give them prospects for the future. Together we can strengthen their communities and pave the way for them towards a promising future.
We would like to draw the attention of public opinion to the mental health of young people and to note that targeted measures must be taken in the areas of labour policies and the social integration of youth. We would like to see national prevention programmes as well as local and regional plans of action to reduce the incidence of mental problems among young people.
Finally, we would ask that youth be involved in processes established to resolve that problem. We want to participate. Young people are here today, and they are ready to shoulder their responsibilities in the building of our common future. We want to participate in the process of dialogue and in the actions taken, and we want to act together to implement ideas that have been jointly developed.
We want to be partners. To do so, we need your experience and your trust. We need your support. The United Nations will be strengthened by common action on our wishes. Thus we should work together so that our wishes today can become reality tomorrow. It is time to act. We all know what we have to do. Therefore, without waiting any longer, let us do it.
UN Doc.: A/60/PV.27