42nd Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 50th Session - Part 2

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26-Oct-1995 01:00:49
Vulnerability of youth to poverty, wars, unemployment stressed by speakers in General Assembly at 42nd meeting.

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The vulnerability of youth to poverty, wars and unemployment were stressed this afternoon in the General Assembly, as 15 speakers, including seven youth representatives, addressed the Assembly in its continued commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year.

When half of the young population lived beneath the poverty line, as in her country, it was not surprising that the young vacillated between hope and despair, the youth representative from Panama said. She added that unemployment among the young in her country had reached 21 per cent.

Referring to the migration of youth from rural to urban areas, the representative of Indonesia said that "many young people awake to discover that development may in fact pass them over, leaving behind a disillusioned and alienated generation". The Presidential Adviser on Youth Affairs of the Philippines called for greater attention towards the plight of young migrant workers, who were particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

The interest of the young needed to be incorporated into the social development efforts of developing countries, where the young were the main victims of poverty and conflict, the representative of the Republic of Korea stated.

The youth representative from the Netherlands said current wars disrupted the lives of young people and created flows of refugees. In refugee camps the lack of youth activities lead them to get involved in gangs and criminal activities.

The youth representative of Norway expressed her regret that no consensus had been reached on the draft world programme of action to the year 2000 and beyond. She hoped governments would use the draft as a guideline for further development of national policy.

Statements on the tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year were also made by the representatives of Turkey, Japan, and Romania. The Minister of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture of Barbados, and the Minister of Youth and Culture of the Bahamas also made statements, as well as youth representatives from Latvia, the United States, Denmark and Syria.

The plenary is expected to adopt the world programme of action for youth to the year 2000 and beyond during its current session. That draft contains practical guidelines for national and international action to improve the situation of young people.

Also this afternoon, the President of the General Assembly, Freitas do Amaral (Portugal), informed the plenary that a tentative programme of work and the schedule of plenary meetings for the rest of October and for November was available in document A/INF/50/Add.1. Also, the item entitled "The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina" would not be taken up on 31 October as scheduled, but would be considered at a date to be announced.

The Assembly also observed a minute of silence in tribute to the memory of Judge Andres Aguilar Mawdsley, a member of the International Court of Justice, who passed away on 24 October.

The General Assembly will meet again tomorrow, 27 October, to continue its discussion on the tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year.

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