General Assembly: Statement by the German Youth Delegates to the UN

Oct 8, 2012

(General Assembly: Statement as delivered by the German Youth Delegates to the UN)

Distinguished chair, honorable delegates,

honorable youth delegates, 

We have the honor to speak to you today as the official German Youth Delegates to the UN. Over the past months we traveled ten thousands of kilometers all over Germany to meet young people of various backgrounds and listened to their concerns and hopes.

Our discussions with them led to three main issues essential for the life of young people in Germany and the future of our one world: 

1.Firstly, the ecological problems we are facing, like environmental degradation, climate change, current patterns of resource consumption, to name but a few.

2.Secondly, equally important are social challenges like discrimination, racism and every form of inequality.

3.Thirdly, the lack of youth participation was raised by the young people nearly everywhere we went. 

Therefore, we strongly demand global youth rights which guarantee a genuine participation of young people in all parts of the political decision-making and an universal access to primary and higher education, which includes a lifelong learning concept and facilitates non-formal education. Moreover, we call for honest and strong commitments from all member states to fight the battle against climate change. 

To fulfill the objectives of the UN-Charter, we have to stop every form of discrimination. We strongly demand all member states to shape a global society which is equal, inclusive and open for everybody regardless of their nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. We also urge everyone to pay special attention to the most vulnerable, inter alia young refugees and young people in armed conflicts, and to increase all efforts to help them. 

Furthermore, we request in the interest of all young people a comprehensive implementation of the outcome of the Rio+20 conference with special attention to sustainable consumption, renewable energy and education for sustainable development. 

The idea of “sustainable development” becomes a meaningless term if there are no indicators for its implementation. Hence,  we call upon all member states to use the beyond 2015 process to strive for achieving the goals they agreed upon! 

Countries do not have the power to deal with the existing problems of globalization by themselves. They need partners, organized in a reliable and strong framework. A framework which has to be open, equal and fair for every country to solve all problems which can emerge from globalization and to take advantage of all opportunities which globalization entails. 

As Youth Delegates we deplore that only a small number of the 193 member states of the United Nations have implemented the "World Program of Action on Youth". We therefore call upon all member states to fully and effectively implement the WPAY and to further include Youth Delegates in their national delegations and to extend the program to other United Nations conferences as well. 

It was only a few months ago that seven young athletes lit the Olympic flame and the whole world was delighted about the motto of the Olympic games: "Inspire a generation" - and for a short period of time it seemed that the entire world understood that there is a key to the fight against many of the worlds´ crises: Trust in and involvement of the youth! 

We met a lot of young people - all inspired but at the same time disappointed because there are barely channels for them to share their inspirations and to contribute to society. 

Honorable chair, distinguished delegates,

There is no need to inspire a generation, we are inspired; there is no need to set a generation on fire, we are on fire. What we want is that young people are given a chance and appropriate channels of participation! 

We are here to represent all the young people who care, who are full of commitment and who want to change something and build a better future!  We are here to make it clear that we are not only the future – we are also the present - and we therefore claim our right to shape global society from now on! 

Young people want to actively solve problems in their surroundings – you can all learn from them!

© GermanyUN