United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Children & Youth

Youth Statement for CSD 13 High Level Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue
April 21, 2005
Fellow human beings,
We are sure that you have not forgotten youth as we are half of the
world population, but it seems that not everyone has heard our voices.
Basic services by themselves are not sustainable development. We
must learn from each other in order to implement sustainable solutions such
as composting toilets, rainwater harvesting, rope hand-pumps, or fog
harvesting, for example. We must change our unsustainable production and
consumption patterns to eradicate poverty and reduce our ecological
We have the right to live in a world where green jobs are available
and there are equitable and fair terms of trade that allow youth access to
education, services and freedom from child labor. Trade liberalization
without the removal of unfair subsidies and taxes that encourage
unsustainable technologies, increases inequalities and impedes sustainable
development for all.
Please raise your hand if you used water today. Thank you
We already agreed that we have the right to life when we ratified the
Declaration on the rights of the child. We were right. Don?t we agree that
we need water, sanitation and adequate human settlements to survive? A
rights based approach must be used and can provide equal access to these
needs while first recognizing the ecological right.
Great things can happen without money, but even greater things can
happen with money. International financial institutions and governments
must provide youth with job creation and housing subsidies programs. They
must ensure that youth entrepreneurs and organizations have access to
micro-credit programs, loans and grants. Governments must ensure that
financial programs are complemented by capacity building programs.
How do we change unsustainable lifestyles? Through investing in
youth. How do youth learn best? From other youth and formally in schools.
Governments must support peer to peer education and mentorship
programs through grassroots youth organizations and practical, sustainable
life-skills curricula in schools.
Youth organizations are innovative, resourceful, and are cost efficient
means of reaching communities. It is often said that youth are the future
but we are also here now.
Governments and other relevant actors must use a transparent and
participatory approach involving all youth and other stakeholders. This
must be done while ensuring good communication and coordination among
all actors so that the solutions implemented address that real needs of
We would like to present awards to the following countries for coming
through on their promise to have youth representatives on every delegation;
Germany, Sweden, UK, Netherlands, Canada, and Peru.
For the second year running we would like to commend Sweden for
sponsoring a youth representative from the developing world. We also thank
Germany and the Netherlands for their progressive mentorship program.
We challenge all governments to include youth on their official delegations
along with following Sweden?s lead in funding youth from the Global South.
For example, if everyone on a government delegation donated the cost of
their tie or scarf to funding youth from developing countries, 10 additional
youth would be here today, greatly enhancing our representation from the
Global South.
Last CSD we asked Jeffrey Sachs how youth can help in reaching the
MDGs, he replied ?you tell us?. Our report, Youth and the Millennium
Development Goals is our answer. This report draws on the experience of
youth organizations working around the world and provides practical
examples and real policy options for engaging youth in making the MDGs a
reality. Youth are a force that we challenge you to use.
Thank you