Discorso pronunciato dai Delegati Italiani della Gioventu’ alle Nazioni Unite al meeting dell’Assemblea Generale – Terza Commissione sullo Sviluppo Sociale —
Mr. Chair, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Italy aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union and would like to add the following remarks in its national capacity.
As the Youth Delegates of Italy to the UN, we are honored to speak on behalf of 15 million Italian youths. We would like to thank SIOI – UNA of Italy, the Italian MFA and the Permanent Mission in New York, the National Agency on Youth and “Educative”, together with our Universities “L’Orientale” of Naples and “Alma Mater” of Bologna, for providing us with this opportunity.
The young people of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. To ensure a positive transition from one generation to the next, greater inclusiveness has to start now.
Inclusiveness meaning young people tackling not only youth-related issues, but also addressing any obstacles that prevent us from building a more sustainable and equal world.
While Italy has an aging population, it is committed to the inclusion and empowerment of youth, as attested to by its recent establishment of the Youth Delegate Programme. A growing number of countries have joined this Program. Governments recognize the unique value of young people and are eager to expand their involvement in national and international institutions. Italy stresses the need to promote the Youth Delegate Program in Countries that have not yet established it.. Youth Delegates epitomize inclusion as a direct link between a nation’s youth and other sectors of the population, as well as a bridge between young men and women from different cultural and social backgrounds.
Today, sadly, there is still unfair discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, religious belief and more, also among young people. So, the first question we asked ourselves as Youth Delegates was simple: once we have acknowledged that discrimination is real, how can we help Italian and international youth to fight it?
The first place to look at is the 2030 Agenda, which is a driver of social development. From poverty reduction to access to health, from quality education to the enjoyment of socio-economic opportunities, especially starting from those who are left behind: the Sustainable Development Goals are indeed the core pillars of the Italian Development Cooperation. By acknowledging the centrality of human beings, both as individuals and as members of a community, the fundamental objectives of the Italian Development Cooperation are:
a) eradicating poverty, narrowing inequalities, improving the living conditions of people, and promoting sustainable development;
b) defending and upholding human rights, the dignity of the individual, gender equality, equal opportunities and the principles of democracy under the Rule of Law;
c) preventing conflicts, supporting peacebuilding and reconciliation processes, as well as post-conflict stabilization and the consolidation and reinforcement of democratic institutions.
A core-area of Italy’s commitment in social development is also promoting the human rights of persons with disabilities, especially mental and intellectual ones, which we consider a defining moment to carry out truly inclusive policies which bridge the arenas of human rights and social development.
Inclusion means, first and foremost, fighting discrimination and that has to start from education. Italy brings to the foreground evidences that a country where schools and universities promote cooperation, integration and teamwork is likely to be a nation where cultural and social differences are only seen as means of enrichment, and it is in spirit that we have put forward our candidacy to the Human Rights Council for the term 2019-21.
To frame it in the wider current UN debate, in our view youth policies represent the best link between the Peace and Security Agenda and the Agenda 2030, in coherence with the view on Sustaining Peace by SG Guterres. In this spirit, we have been supporting the Office of the Special Envoy on Youth, and we recently allocated half a million US dollars to DESA for the development of a new project.
Encouraging youthful social entrepreneurship would greatly foster such a link, helping young people to guarantee a more stable and sustainable future, to the benefit of the society as a whole.
Allow us to conclude by stating that ultimately, it is not just up to the youth to get closer to institutions, but also to the institutions to get closer to youth..
We thank you.