United Nations, Third Committee Informal Debate of Youth Delegates

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New York: Office of the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy of Youth organized Third Committee Informal Debate of UN Youth Delegates on October 21, 2020. The UN Youth Forum was addressed by the following dignitaries from the United Nations Secretariat.

H.E. Volkan Bozkır, President of the UN General Assembly; H.E. Katalin Bogyay, Chair of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly; H.E. Olof Skoog, Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation; and Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth.

43 youth delegates from six continents participated in the debate.

Here is the concept note of the UN Youth Delegates Forum that was circulated for the purpose.

“The UN Youth Strategy: Youth 2030, launched in 2018 by the Secretary General, is the UN’s commitment to working for and with young people. The strategy aims to facilitate increased impact and expanded action to address the needs, build the agency and advance the human rights of young people in all their diversity around the world. Under the leadership of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Youth2030 is an umbrella framework which guides the work of the entire UN system across three key UN pillars peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development - in all contexts. Enhanced and meaningful participation of young people is a priority throughout.”

“The informal debate will be an opportunity for UN Youth Delegates to provide an input to the work of the Third Committee and outline their priorities on human rights and social development issues at national and regional level. Youth Delegates are encouraged to share ideas, examples of good practices and concrete recommendations on ways to further the objectives of Youth2030.”

Here is the text of the intervention of Ali Ziyad, Kashmiri Youth Delegate, based in the United States.

Full Text.

Madam Chair,

At the outset, I would like to thank the organizers for giving me the opportunity to address the Third Committee as a youth delegate.

The world today is home to the largest generation of young people in history. As guardians of the future, we not only want to positively contribute to our own societies but also aspire for a peaceful world envisioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Realizing our aspirations depends on realizing our rights. A world in which the human rights of every young person are realized; that ensures every young person is empowered to achieve his full potential.

Madam Chair,

Despite our potential, 25% of young people today continue to be directly or indirectly affected by violence and armed conflict.

I too come from such a background.

As a youth delegate from Jammu and Kashmir, my own region has been reeling under illegal Indian occupation for the last seven decades.

By obfuscation and deceit, India has denied the right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Succeeding generations of Kashmiri youth and children have suffered at the hands of Indian brutality.

In the wake of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 05 August last year, these atrocities have redoubled.  During the last fourteen months, India has illegally detained 13000 Kashmiri youth, tortured many of them, summarily executed young boys, put down protests violently, including the use of pellet guns against peaceful protestors and imposed collective punishment by demolishing homes and burning entire neighborhood and villages.

Even recently, the brutality of Indian occupation was on full display when in a fake encounter it killed 3 young people, one of whom was only18 years old. The Indian army had initially termed the three individuals as “terrorists" but later reluctantly, and for the first time in 33 years, acknowledged the occurrence of a fake encounter. 

This was only possible due to increased scrutiny from international media and civil society. However, not a single Indian soldier has been prosecuted for these crimes.

Madam Chair,

As the voice of Kashmiri youth, I implore the international community to come forward and play its effective role.

The first and foremost goal for all Kashmiris, including its youth, is the peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council which have promised the people of Jammu and Kashmir their right of self-determination.

In the meantime, mechanisms must be put in place to check the impunity of the Indian government and stop the settler colonial policies which are creating further political, economic and territorial marginalization of the Kashmiris and it’s youth.

I thank you.

Ali Ziyad,

Kashmiri Youth Delegate, USA

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