Wanted: fresh views and participation

UNYANET Representatives at Palais des Nations, Geneva, in May 2013

UNYANET Representatives at Palais des Nations, Geneva, in May 2013

Having followed various meetings on the field of disarmament at the UN in Geneva during the spring 2013, I was surprised by the amount of times that the youth and especially the need for fresh views at the UN were mentioned. The issue actually came up in more informal occasions but still within the official discussions of for example the Meeting of National Directors on Mine Action and a seminar on Military Spending organized by the International Peace Bureau. And even if I call the speakers vaguely by ”one speaker” or ”someone”, these people were influential personalities within Geneva disarmament context, which makes it even more impressive: These people take a moment from their super busy schedule to promote the inclusion of youth!

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Remember the Time: About the Youth and Decision-making

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

At some point in our lives, we have all been young. The future still looked uncertain and the fear of not achieving our goals dominated our mind. Just remember those moments even if adolescence may now be just a golden memory somewhere in the past.

Young people are facing a lot of challenges when taking their first steps in working life. But it’s not only the problem of finding a job: young people are also prone to work longer hours without a proper compensation or adequate information about their rights on the collective labor agreement. Remember your first job. Whether it was at the local fast-food restaurant or a job that actually correlated fully with your education and competences, it was an important step in becoming independent. Still, fighting for your rights might have been difficult. By guaranteeing the realization of fundamental labor rights, and by offering possibilities for proper education and jobs, we can affect many levels of society including the aspects of social security. One could consider Arab spring as an example of the situation where these expectations weren’t met, which then led to an uprising of the unsatisfied youth who felt their voice wasn’t heard.

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