The two Youth Delegates Petter Hojem and Ingrid Grov Mannsverk followed the first meetings of the Third Committee on the 63rd General Assembly.
Petter Hojem held Norway’s speech, and talked about the right to education:
"Children and young people living in areas of conflict are a particularly vulnerable and unprotected group. For many, life is chaotic. In this situation, education can provide a framework of security and stability. Moreover, education is a basic human right."
"However, in periods of conflict, public services like schools are closed down, young people are recruited to armies or militias, and many are forced to flee from their homes. The humanitarian response to such situations has usually been limited to providing food, medicine and shelter for refugees and internally displaced people. Over the last few years, there has been a growing understanding that education also has to be an integral part of humanitarian responses to conflict. Still, governments are reluctant to spend humanitarian aid on education, and education programmes therefore tend to be under-funded or non-existent."
The Youth Delegate ended his speech with some recommendations:
- We urge all member states to fulfil their commitments as set out in the UN Millennium Development Goals and UNESCO’s Education for All.
- We urge all member states to increase the funding dedicated to education for children and young people in conflict situations.
- Education programmes for young people in conflict should meet global minimum standards.
- Young people in conflict should be offered vocational training.
- Girls must enjoy the same opportunities as boys in all areas of education.
- We urge all member states to include young people as participants in post-conflict political and economic processes.
Only through education can those who are excluded from power be empowered, those submerged in poverty be lifted, and those oppressed by brute force or excluded from knowledge be set free.
Poverty, oppression, illiteracy, and discrimination are our enemies and education is our prime weapon.