May 23, 2024

Statement by Amb. Andreas Hadjichrysanthou at the 77th Session of the GA

youth25thjuly“Item 134. Report of the United Nations Youth Office”
New York, 25 July 2023

 

 

Mr. President,

At the outset, we express our appreciation to the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth and her team, for the invaluable work in fostering the position of Youth throughout the UN system.

My delegation fully subscribes to the Statement delivered by the European Union.  I would like to make some additional remarks in my national capacity.

Cyprus is a strong supporter of the full, effective, constructive, and inclusive participation of youth in decision-making structures. Youth have an indispensable role to play within the UN System.  In this regard, my delegation welcomes the report of the Secretary General on the United Nations Youth Office, and we thank for all the updates provided in relation to the establishment of the new UN Youth Office. We believe that the establishment of a UN Youth Office, based on General Assembly Resolution 76/306, should effectively integrate the current activities of the Office of the Envoy on Youth. The UN Youth Office should continue to lead high-level advocacy and serve as the anchor for the United Nations system coordination and accountability on youth matters, including peace and security, sustainable development, humanitarian action, and human rights. Cyprus continues to support the integration of the current activities of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in the new Youth Office and reiterates the importance of institutional memory related to  youth issues across the UN System.

 

Mr. President,

It is imperative to address young people’s priorities and challenges to realize their full potential in local, national, regional, and international level, having as our top priority the implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth and the 2030 Agenda. Youth forms the backbone of our societies, holding tremendous potential for positive action and innovative solution, and therefore, we need to recognise and empower youth in this regard.

We recognise the rich input youth bring, inter alia, as advocates, experts, activists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Hence, Cyprus is implementing programmes and specific actions on how to strengthen youth participation. One concrete example is the youth project “Youth Parliament of Cyprus”, an initiative by two youth NGOs that has been institutionalized by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus, providing a permanent space for youth of Cyprus to present their ideas and proposals to policy making and decision-making structures.

The launch of the Youth2030 agenda in 2018, as well as the dedicated track on “Our Common Agenda”, provide us with a great momentum for a meaningful youth engagement at all levels.  I take this opportunity to express once more our appreciation for Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, H.E. Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, for her participation in the event “Youth of Cyprus celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations”. This event, organized by the Cypriot Youth NGO “Cyprus Youth DiplomaCY” back in December 2020 – with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus – gave youth of Cyprus the opportunity to express directly, on the highest lever, their views on the UN they want. Events and initiatives of the civil society like the one just mentioned, are highlighting the importance of youth as meaningful and equal partners for a transformative future.

 

Mr. President,

Allow me to conclude by saying that we must mainstream youth voices, initiatives and actions across the work and outcomes of the UN System. There is not one issue that does not affect youth and on which youth do not have a contribution to make. Quoting the ex-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan addressing a youth audience: “You are never too young to lead, and we are never too old to learn”.

I thank you.