- As a young person it gives me such a kick to be talking about youth issues in front of all these adults, says Anette Remme.
She has settled down on the floor under the window next to one of the unoccupied conference rooms on the second floor of the North Lawn Building. She has just held her statement and finished talking to all the different delegates who came over to shake her hand and thank her for her speech. Remme is 25 years old. Normally she’s studying development studies at the University of Oslo, but currently she’s in New York as Norway’s youth delegate to the CPD. She has great expectations for the Commission.
Good agreed language
- Of course I want a super progressive outcome document of the CPD which focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights, on lesbians, homosexual, bisexual and transgender youth (LHBT) and so on… but very few countries would adhere to such a document. So what I’m really hoping for is that we get a resolution with a good, agreed language that focuses on rights, says Remme.
Focus on human rights
Remme believes that the human rights of young people should be at the centre of the debate this week. Norway's Permanent Representative, Ambassador Morten Wetland, also underlined this in his opening statement:
- We know that promotion and protection of human rights is not a product of – but a significant contributor to development. And that those countries that fail to recognize this pay the price themselves.
In her statement on Tuesday, Remme talked about Norwegian experiences with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She is mostly, but not entirely satisfied with Norway.
Issues in Norway
- Norway seems to have such a positive position here in the UN, talking about SRHR, taking a stand in the case of abortion and so on. But the picture painted of Norway as a model country isn’t entirely true. We’ve also got issues to work with, like our sexuality education, sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, discrimination of LHBT youth and so forth - and these issues need to be addressed, Remme explains.
Because of this, Remme feels the need to set the record straight and sees herself as well-positioned to present a balanced view of Norway at the UN and the actual situation in Norway. She’s here as part of the official Norwegian delegation, but also represents civil society in Norway. In her statement she therefore highlighted some of the challenges Norway has with youth and sexuality. The entire statement can be read here.
Satisfied with the Commission
So far Remme has a positive impression of CPD.
- There’s a lot of activity going on. I think it’s a nice arena for people from different parts of the world to meet, discuss and try to influence each other.
Now she only hopes that the rest of the Commission goes well, and that it will end in a sound outcome document.
- These are my hopes and expectations for the Commission, Remme concludes.