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Statement delivered by Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr. Flemming Møller Mortensen and the Danish UN Youth delegate at the ECOSOC Youth Forum 20201 on 7 April

07.04.2021  19:19

Minister for Development Cooperation - Flemming Møller Mortensen

Thank you.

Youth is a key priority for DK in our development policy. We promote development not just for but by and with young people.

Young people are more than beneficiaries. They are equal partners and leaders of change.

To us meaningful youth participation is not nice to, but need to.

We will have a strong focus on youth in our new development strategy. And to turn that strategy into reality, I will be launching an international youth panel, where 14 young people from Denmark and development countries will advise me on strategies, projects and programs.

Denmark has also expanded our UN youth delegate program from 6 to 8 delegates.

And we have a global youth advisor to ensure a continuous focus on mainstreaming youth in our work.

The key principle of youth inclusion also extends to the 2030 agenda. Young people play an essential role in achieving the SDGs. As member states we have the responsibility to ensure that they are listened to and included in the processes.

Because it is so important to hear directly from young people themselves, I will now pass on the remaining time to Danish Youth Delegate, Malene Bentsen Laursen.

Thank you.

Danish UN Youth Delegate – Malene Bentsen Laursen

Thank you.

Throughout the past year, one question has continued to reappear: what society do we want after the pandemic?

Human Rights must be upheld, the Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved, and the Paris Climate Accord must be respected. In these three documents we have already – together – defined the future we want and the change needed.

During this pandemic while so much has changed, one thing has not: Change is led by young people - across the world, young people have continued to fight for their rights, and their governments have denied them these rights.

This is one reason why the meaningful inclusion of young people at the UN and at member state level must continue to improve. The UN Youth Strategy “Youth 2030” sets out as its first priority to “amplify youth voices for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world”.

This is even more important during the recovery of covid-19. It is the responsibility of member states to include us - especially when it comes to decision-making, policy implementation and the sustainability of our future.

The young people of the world count on the UN to continue to include us, so our presence does not end with this meeting, but is prioritized so our voices will gain true influence.

Thank you.