Michał i Mikołaj na forum ONZ

Madame Chairperson,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with immense honour and gratitude that I take this opportunity to address the Third Committee on behalf of the Polish youth.

I would like to express an appreciative stance towards advancing the global role of youth over the last years and recognise its significance in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Encouraging as these achievements may seem, they only mark the beginning of a journey towards forming a fully inclusive society.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When you think about youth participation in global affairs, take a moment to imagine a bridge.
This bridge is not just a simple construction, easy to build and maintain. It is a structure composed of four spans, or parts, which can be completed in four distinct steps.
The first span epitomises the right to voice concerns. Creating a platform to address youth issues contributes to youth participation, but it only represents a quarter of the process.

The second span means the right to be heard. Voicing youth concerns necessitate a reaction on the part of those in power. It is not only about allowing people to protest on the streets; it is also about including their concerns in public policies, which a culture of open-mindedness substantially facilitates.

The third span is the implementation of adequate legislation.
Most importantly of all, discrimination based on age should be eliminated. Only because someone has lived longer on the planet Earth does not mandate a right to decide in somebody else’s name.
Youth should be viewed not as a burden, but as a valuable asset, full of energy, creativity, and idealism. The qualities we possess directly correspond to those which policymakers frequently seem to lack; it is time to take advantage of these.

Furthermore, digitalisation of schools should be accorded priority in order to provide effective learning environments. Not only does it vastly accelerate the pace of learning, but it also allows to share ideas and come together in addressing issues of mutual interest.

Finally, the fourth span of the bridge is all about living up to the created norms. Instead of resting on its ever-fragile laurels, the United Nations should foster a transparent and truly cooperative approach towards youth affairs by acting in accordance with its own resolutions.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Once the bridge is built and accessible to all, true participation on a level playing field can commence.
The issue of empowering youth is not about claims for the privilege; it ought to be viewed as a platform for equitable treatment and mutual understanding. Only with these measures in place can the bridges we construct become sufficiently robust to endure the pressures of intergenerational relations.

Distinguished Delegates,

Ryszard Kapuściński, a fellow countryman, a global thinker and writer once said:
The world we are entering is a Planet of Great Opportunity – not an unconditional opportunity but one that is only open to those who take their responsibilities seriously. It is a world that has the potential to give a lot but also demands a lot, and where any attempt to take an easy shortcut is often a road to nowhere.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an outstanding opportunity to address the Third Committee of the General Assembly. It means to assume the role of a speaker while other youth delegates and government representatives listen. Thus, I consider it not only a privilege but first and foremost a responsibility and an imperative with which Kapuściński dealt in his works.

While preparing my statement, I came across many doubtful questions about what the UN actually achieved 70 years and half a trillion dollars later. I resisted the temptation to choose this bitter shortcut as a frame of reference for my remarks. Instead, I decided to share my enthusiasm. My choice sprang from the conviction that what is most needed here in the UN is moving forward.

Hence, whenever harsh criticism is levelled at the United Nations I encourage you to reflect on the nature of the young generation. This exceptional period of growing up calls for courage, creativity and willingness to question ready-made solutions. Young people by virtues of their idealism and passion are in the position to generate new ideas and bold solutions. It is youth that should be included whenever the change is needed or necessary.

The United Nations deserves to benefit from young people and we deserve to be taken into consideration. In return, the organisation may profit from a whole new group of ambassadors of its will, authentic and inspiring for the young generation. I am convinced that they are already here in this room.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To close my statement, I will use another quotation that I am certain no one has ever heard before. It is simply guidance coming from my parents:

Live amid the danger of always desiring to do what comes the hardest.

Thank you.

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