Chair, distinguished delegates,
In times of unrest and war, being aware of the brutality that humans, nations, and their leaders are capable of, is more important than ever. We are honored to be representing the youth of Norway here, and we strive to represent youth globally.
Students are fighting for their freedom to think, human rights defenders are under attack, religious minorities are fleeing persecution and more people than ever are refugees. Throughout history, and today, women have lived with a real fear: that their safety and human rights will be the last priority amid persecution and conflict.
Globally women and girl’s bodies have been made into a battlefield in conflicts both now - and historically. Stories of sexual violence as a weapon has been told by many, from Syrian to Congolese women. And now similar stories are being told by Ukrainian women. The youth of Norway condemn the Russian soldiers use of sexual violence as a method of warfare in the sovereign state of Ukraine.
Young girls were supposed to dream of a future and go to school, yet many instead were violated in the cruelest of ways. Too many women and children in conflicts have to live with the consequences of the gruesome sexual violence they have been subjected to, long after the conflicts have been ended. War is an enemy of progress, and the fear of sexual violence prevents girls from participating in public life, It holds communities hostage.
Norway’s youth call upon the members of the United Nations to turn the words of security council resolution 1325 and other UN resolutions into action and to use them to hold the criminals of war accountable.
If you break women, you break society. Therefore, to create social development and a greater future: We must secure the rights of women and the future of girls.
To strive for true equality, the international community must not only see women as victims, but recognize women as valuable resources with unlimited potential; locally, nationally, and internationally.
The core of this is making sure that girls and women's education is being prioritized. Education is the key to the solution to the many challenges facing us.
On behalf of Norway, we urge the members of the United Nations to reflect upon how they think we will reach the sustainable development goals if half of the world's population is left out of the decision making.
Girls are not just victims; they are not merely recipients of charity. They are powerful agents of change and the key to sustainable development. When we invest in girls' education, we are making a wise and strategic investment in our collective future.
Instead of seeing girls as beneficiaries, let us see them as assets.
When we provide girls with quality education, we are not just giving them a chance; we are unlocking opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
We are creating future scientists, engineers, educators, and leaders who will drive progress and innovation. Many of them will drive the change in this very building.
Without them, the long list of SDGs, policies and resolutions created here will be left without action.
On behalf of Norwegian youth, we urge the distinguished member states of the United Nations to prioritize and invest in women’s safety and education, so that we can together ensure the rights of all women, a future for girls, and a brighter and more sustainable world for us all.