Statements by German Youth Delegates and Ambassador Christoph Heusgen in the Third Committee of the General Assembly, October 7, 2020

08.10.2020 - Speech

Honorable Chair, Distinguished Delegates, Fellow Youth Delegates,

As UN Youth Delegates, we speak in our own capacity on behalf of 8.5 million young people and youth-led organizations from all over Germany. 

We would like to highlight three key messages, which we encourage member states to consider:

1. The UN must deliver on establishing peace and it must include young people in this process. 

2. The UN must end gender inequalities, sexism, and protect human rights of young people.

The Commitment to strong international cooperation, especially in the implementation of the Agenda 2030.

Allow us to briefly address the current pandemic first. When it comes to issues of education, mental health, work, security and their human rights, youth are especially affected by the pandemic. 

It is your responsibility to draw major conclusion to mitigate structural inequalities and discrimination in our society, in an anti-racist, youth-inclusive and, intersectional feminist way. 


Coming to our initial three points: 

The UN must deliver on establishing peace. It is impossible to speak of peaceful societies without the meaningful inclusion of young people – especially their political inclusion.

Yet, the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security agenda lacks significant development. Start by redefining your understanding of security: place human security before state security. And then ask yourselves: Do you provide sufficiently opportunities for young people to share their unique experiences of conflict and peace?  Do you finance youth-led initiatives to promote social cohesion and protect young peace activists? You have proven thus far that you have not done so. 

As long as you refuse to promote and empower youth as such, stop calling young people “agents of change”. Instead, provide young peace builders opportunities to channel their ambitions and ideas into policy-making, so they can realize their full potential as agents of change.

The vision of a young woman can transform the world, as long as she’s allowed to make her vision a reality. We chose a woman as an example by intention, simply because we are still fighting gender inequality and patriarchy.

You actively need to redistribute power, and you must end sexism, which I regularly experience in my efforts as a youth delegate and young female activist.

We need global Solutions for global problems, the full realization of all human rights, cooperation for peaceful settlement of conflicts, a humane approach to migration and forced displacements, radical solutions to save our planet and its people from the climate catastrophe ahead, and building trust in public global institutions.

Third, the Commitment needs to implement the SDGs: What needs to be done next could not be more obvious: You’ve got 17 goals to fulfill. What makes it so difficult? As young people, we regret that the SDG indicators, which show insufficient progress, do not incite more ambitious national action. 

Covid-19 has taught us one very simple lesson: failing to address structural and systemic inequity as national agenda further harms the most vulnerable in society during times of crisis. We need you to make Agenda 2030 a reality. We need you to ensure that human rights are protected. We need you to stop climate change. The time to act is now and we wish you had started yesterday.

Sometimes, young people ask us why progress is so slow. We always try to explain the complexities of the UN and international cooperation - and young people in fact, understand these complex institutions. But first and foremost we understand the necessity of them. The work within multilateral fora, the work in this committee, as complicated as it is, and as disappointed as we are about slow progress, couldn’t be more important. 

We henceforth call upon the member states to improve funding and support for the UN. Young people have high expectations in this body.

Thank you.

Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen on behalf of Germany in the Third Committee of the General Assembly, October 7

Check Against Delivery

We just listened to the German youth delegates. They come to us with very concrete expectations, and when you ask youth around the world, they have the same message. They ask us to include them in political processes, to fight against inequalities, particularly gender inequality. They ask us to fight against racism. They ask us to stop the global threat of climate change. The German Government fully shares these expectations. We need to work together toward achieving Agenda 2030. The Third Committee must not let those young people down.

Germany will always fight for human rights. Yesterday, we highlighted the rights of the Uighurs in China. We have on our mind the fate of the Rohingya, the victims of the Syrian regime and massive violations of human rights in Iran. There are other cases. We must not let down these victims. This is what we expect from the work of the Third Committee. Germany also aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.

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