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ECOSOC Youth Forum 2021

Statements by Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein and Norwegian Youth Delegate at the 2021 ECOSOC Youth Forum 'Achieving the SDGs with and for youth', 8 April 2021.

Statement by Minister Ulstein

Ministers and youth delegates,

Covid-19 has fuelled geopolitical friction. And young people are disproportionately affected by conflict and crisis. Thus, it should be obvious that youth are given a crucial role in preventing conflict and building sustainable peace.

For Norway, it is of great importance to highlight the vulnerability of youth in crisis situations and to contribute to their protection. We work to achieve this through our position as an elected member of the Security Council, and as chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.

We need to foster meaningful dialogue and partnerships between young people and other stakeholders. Therefore, it is key for Norway to facilitate for an active civil society and close dialogue with youth-led organizations. I for my part, found it very useful when I met with Norwegian youth organisations in our common preparations for this very forum.

The pandemic has shown that we need the leadership of youth more than ever. I am thus more than pleased to share my speaking time with one of Norway’s youth delegates to this forum, Sandra Skiaker from the Norwegian Children and Youth Council.

Madame Chair, if you please allow me to pass on the word: Sandra, the floor is yours.

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Statement by Youth Delegate Sandra Skiaker

Madame chair, ministers, and youth delegates,

My name is Sandra, and I am talking to you as a youth delegate from Norway.

First, I want to address the importance of including youth in the work with SDG 16 - Peace, justice and inclusive institutions. Youth are the ones who will assume the responsibility of the agreements that are being signed. Therefore we need to keep working on meaningful youth participation, and accommodate for youth to organize. This work should be done by continuing the important work on Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security.

Secondly, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than just a health crisis. The pandemic has forced more than 1.6 billion youth out of school; many will never return. The pandemic also inflicts a heavy toll on young workers, ending their employment and impairing their career prospects.

Lastly, COVID-19 pandemic is linked to the three planetary crises of our own making: the climate crisis, the nature crisis and the pollution and waste crisis.

We encourage decision makers to scale up your NDCs while also focusing climate finance on adaptation. The recovery from COVID-19 has to be sustainable, green and equitable to the needs of the younger generations, in order to ensure a sustainable future without insecurity and conflict.

Thank you.