|Statement by H.E. Mr. ZHOU Changkui, Head of the Chinese Delegation to United Nations High-level Meeting on Youth|
(July 26, 2011, United Nations Headquarters)
I am honoured to participate in the United Nations High-level Meeting on Youth on behalf of the Chinese government. The Chinese government and youth organizations highly appreciate the organization of this important GA meeting in the International Year of Youth. The Chinese delegation would like to associate itself with the statement made by the delegation of Argentina on behalf of G77 and China.
Youth is the future and hope of nations, as well as an important force to promote social development and human progress. Especially in the context of today's deepening economic globalization and rapid development of science and technologies, to ensure the youth being both the participator and beneficiary of the harmonious world is of vital importance to the achievement of MDGs and building a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.
The Chinese government always attaches great importance to youth development and youth work. The government has been formulating and implementing youth policies from a long-term and strategic perspective, by improving youth related laws and relevant coordination mechanisms, fostering youth talents, and supporting youth organizations' development. In the last 16 years following the adoption of the World Programme of Action for Youth, the Chinese government has increased financial inputs in areas of education, employment, culture, health and etc., creating a more conducive environment for youth development. The overall quality of youth has been improved greatly, and the participation of Chinese youth in social development is unprecedentedly high.
All-China Youth Federation (ACYF) is responsible for coordinating and co-managing youth affairs. In the last years, guided by the four basic functions of organizing youth, guiding youth, serving youth, and protecting their legal rights, the ACYF has promoted the formulation and implementation of youth policy, and developed a series of programs catering to the characteristics of youth in the field of youth participation, employment and entrepreneurship, voluntary service, protecting youth rights, environmental protection, culture and sports, youth issues research, international youth exchanges, and etc. These programs provided not only a favorable condition for youth development, but also a broad stage for young people to participate in and contribute to the society.
The year starting from August 2010 is the second International Year of Youth proclaimed by the United Nations. Focusing on the theme of Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, ACYF has organized International Peace Day Celebration on the theme of Chinese Youth and Peaceful Development, Shanghai World Expo Youth Summit 2010, 2011 EU-China Year of Youth, 2011 Beijing Model United Nations, and etc. These dialogues and exchanges provided a platform for young people to enhance mutual understanding, and promote youth participation and development.
The International Year of Youth is another milestone in UN youth affairs. I would like to avail this opportunity to propose the following:
Firstly, let us support the United Nations to continuously play an important role in promoting youth development. As an important leadshepherd and advocator in youth development, the UN has greatly promoted the well-beings of the world youth as well as the betterment of youth policy. Nowadays, youth issues share more international commonness and youth are facing increasingly more global challenges. Youth development has become an integrated part of the global development agenda. The intrinsic links between youth development and MDGs are getting increasingly closer. We will support UN to continue to play a constructive role in promoting youth policy development of the Member States and international cooperation on youth affairs.
Secondly, let us promote youth participation and common development. As youth is an important political force, facilitating youth in political participation symbolizes equality and progress of a society. Participation is a way for young people to improve their status, exercise their rights and promote common development. Besides traditional political election and consultations, we should respond to new features of political awareness and ways of expression among young people, providing them more channels and options, such as virtual organizations and internet-based new media. Only through wider and better participation, can youth really be both a participator and beneficiary in the process of globalization and modernization.
Thirdly, let us encourage youth to create harmonious world through cultural dialogue. Diversity of cultures and civilizations is a fundamental characteristic of human society. Plurality of culture is the common heritage of human beings. The differences between civilizations and cultures are not causes for conflicts in the world, but important driving forces for advancement of human civilization. Dialogue between different civilizations is a vital way to realize mutual understanding, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. As the heirs of civilization, youth should not only absorb the spiritual essence of their nationalities and regions, but also contribute to dialogues among civilizations. As the pioneers of cultures, youth should contribute to the creation of a compatible, open and new youth culture, leading to a new era of cultural coexistence.
Mr. President, dear colleagues,
Youth participation is indispensable to the world development, and youth development depends on the peace and progress of the world. Let us join hands with our young people, in pursuit of peace, development and cooperation, making unremitting endeavors to build a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.
Thank you. Mr. President.