Delegate: Ms. Rom
13. Ms. Rom (Switzerland), speaking as the youth representative of Switzerland, said that realizing the potential of youth in a global economy meant guaranteeing their rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in particular three of those rights. First, everyone had the right to a decent standard ofliving, yet nearly half the young people in the world subsisted on less than two dollars a day, and not all of them lived in developing countries. In Switzerland, for instance, almost half of all social assistance recipients were children and young people. Fighting youth poverty was not only a moral duty but was in the best interest of societies, since it would contribute to social and political stability. Governments must acknowledge the problem of youth poverty, collect data on it and take action to ensure that young people enjoyed their right to a decent standard of living; they should work for that purpose in collaboration with young people themselves, who wished to be equal partners in the development of their societies.
14. Second, all young people had the right to education, which was essential if they were to become successful members of society. However, in some parts of the world girls and young women were frequently denied an education, and in many European countries Roma children of both sexes lacked equal access to the education system. Third, young people should enjoy the right to social protection. In developing countries, an estimated 85 per cent of young people were employed in the informal sector, where they were highly vulnerable to exploitation and dangerous working conditions. Microinsurance schemes could provide social protection, helping young people to [*4*] break out of the vicious cycle of poverty and vulnerability.
15. Laws guaranteeing young people’s rights to a decent standard of living, education and social protection must be enacted, including legislation compelling non-State actors such as international corporations and financial institutions to fulfil their social responsibilities. A special effort must be made to eliminate all forms of discrimination against girls and young women and other vulnerable or marginalized groups. The World Programme of Action for Youth was an instrument for realizing the rights of young people; however, it did not cover all the major areas of importance today. She therefore called on Member States to adopt the proposed supplement to the World Programme (A/C.3/62/L.4).
UN Doc.: A/C.3/62/SR.3