UN Youth & Norway
Independent Films, Politics
Hundreds of young people converged on the United Nations (UN) today (25 July) as the General Assembly kicked off a high-level meeting devoted to tackling the challenges facing youth and exploring their potential to bring about change in their societies and in the world at large.
The meeting, which took place at the UN headquarters in New York, opened with a moment of silence observing the tragic events that took place in Norway on Friday (22 July).
Addressing the General Assembly, Norway’s delegate Gjermund Sæther said the attacks “were the deadliest in Norway since the Second World War” adding that “killed were party of Norway’s political future.”
According to the Norwegian Government, over 60 died at Utoya after a lone gunman opened fire last week on participants in a youth camp connected to the ruling Labour Party.
That attack followed a large bomb blast in central Oslo, close to key Government buildings, killing several others.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the “atrocity stands in stark opposition to the theme of this meeting, which is dialogue and mutual understanding.”
The two-day meeting, which is focusing on the theme of “Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding,” is among events to mark the International Year of Youth, which comes to a close on International Youth Day on 12 August.
Attending the meeting were Supermodel Alek Wek and Youth Champion for the International Year of Youth Actress Monique Coleman.
Following a press conference later today, Wek, who was born in South Sudan, said that if issues relating to young people are not addressed, where are we going to be tomorrow?”
Wek fled South Sudan during the civil war and started living in London as a refugee when she was 12 years old.
Speaking after Wek, Actress Monique Coleman, who was appointed the UN Youth Champion in November last year, said the tragic events like the attack on the youth camp in Norway in one moment extinguished the possibility of bridging the gap between young people and policy makers.
Coleman is best known for her roles in the "High School Musical" movies and on "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." Most recently, she launched an online talk show to empower youth, "Gimme MO."
Youth delegates present at the meeting also expressed shock and devastation at the events in Norway. One delegate from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said that this is a wake up call that “we should do some real work more to make sure that all young people are really being involved in different actions so they are part of all the policies” including security.
The meeting is expected to conclude tomorrow with the adoption of an outcome document that calls for strategies to give young people everywhere a real chance to find decent work and urge countries to take effective measures to protect young people from terrorism, among other elements.
Year of Production: 2011
Length: 1 min
Country: United Nations
UN Youth & Norway by DiplomaticallyIncorrect is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License.
- Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV)
- Susan Sacirbey (UNTV)