The UN Commission on Population and Development will last from 23 to 27 April. The theme of the Commission is Adolescents and Youth. For the first time ever, the UN Secretary-General participated at the Commission. In his speech, Ban Ki-moon underlined how vital it is to let young people get the information and the means they need to protect themselves sexually, because many young people is sexual active. Mr. Ban also pointed out the need for a particular focus on the situation for young girls. In addition he put forth the importance of taking youth and youth issues seriously. Ban Ki-moon again stated that he intends to appoint a Special Representative for Youth.
- Youth are the force of progress, said the UN Secretary-General.
Norway’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr. Morten Wetland, held Norway’s opening statement at the Commission. The Ambassador highlighted the significance of promoting and protecting human rights, also for young people. This includes their sexual and reproductive rights. Ambassador Wetland said that comprehensive sexuality education helps young people cope with their identity, their sexuality and their fundamental decisions in life. He also spoke about the dangers of forced marriages and early pregnancies, and underlined the importance of letting girls reach their full potential.
- 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, concluded the Ambassador.
At the end of this statement, Ambassador Wetland got a long and lasting applause in Conference Room 2. The entire statement can be read here.