Included, Empowered & Equal!
Ich bin zurück in New York City!
Diesmal beim ECOSOC Youth Forum unter dem Motto “Empowered, Included & Equal!“
Für zwei Tage steht hier der Dialog rund um die Wünsche, Forderungen und Vorstellungen von jungen Menschen für unsere Welt im Vordergrund.
Über 1000 junge Menschen, Jugenddelegierte, AktivistInnen sowohl wie MinisterInnen und High-Level representatives nutzen diese Plattform um die bedeutenden Beiträge junger Menschen zu den SDGs zu diskutieren und auf das nächste Level zu bringen.
Das ECOSOC-Jugendforum ist eine fantastische Gelegenheit für Jugendliche, ihre Visionen mitzuteilen und ihre wesentlichen Beiträge zur Weiterentwicklung der Agenda 2030 für nachhaltige Entwicklung, der Aktionsagenda von Addis Abeba und des Pariser Klimaabkommens voranzutreiben.
Im Rahmen des Jugendforums, habe ich gemeinsam mit Bundesministerin für Frauen, Familie und Jugend – Juliane Bogner-Strauß ein Statement für Österreich gehalten. “Don’t be realistic, don’t ask for patience, be bold, take action, take responsibility and empower us!”
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear Youth delegates
In our democratic societies participation is an incredibly important value. Wherever citizens have the impression of being directly involved in shaping their surroundings and leaving their specific mark in society, we see positive results. The forms of participation and citizens’ engagement vary with time. For me as the Austrian Minister responsible for youth policy it is an important task to support the creation of forms of youth participation which are meaningful and interesting for young people.
Last year the new EU Youth Strategy for 2019-2027 was introduced during Austria’s presidency of the Council of the European Union. The starting point was a structured dialogue process in which over 50.000 young Europeans expressed the priority topics they want the EU to focus on, including:
(1) Education and skills,
(2) protection of the environment and the fight against climate change,
(3) employment, and other social questions.
In this dialogue process, the European youth further identified and developed 11 European Youth Goals similar to the SDGs, where they focus on social and environmental dimensions, the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance, the rule of law and freedom and security.
In the EU, we have committed to engaging young people by fostering their participation in civic and democratic life through the EU Youth Dialogue process and European Youth Programmes such as Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps.
We have committed to connecting young people, to promoting their voluntary engagement, learning mobility, solidarity, and intercultural understanding.
We have committed to empowering young people through quality, innovation and the recognition of youth work.
Now, more than ever, it is time for us not only to listen to young people, but to let them actively shape policies that affect them and the future world they want to live in. Engage. Connect. Empower. Nothing about them without them.
I will now hand over the floor to Austria’s UN Youth Delegate.
As a young person myself and speaking on behalf of over 3 million young Austrians, I can say that we are thankful and proud of the improvements achieved with and for young people. But at the same time, we are disappointed.
Disappointed, that while the „Fridays for Future“ demonstrations feature the largest gatherings of young people and the largest demonstrations and protests for one common cause the world has ever seen, politicians remain largely inactive. Some decision makers are trying to achieve change, yet tell us to be patient and to focus on what is realistic.
If in your system change and immediate action are not realistic, then it is time to change the system itself.
On behalf of young people, I’m asking you today. Don’t be realistic, don’t ask for patience, be bold, take action, take responsibility and empower us! Nothing about us without us.
Text: Natalie Haas