Esteemed Minister Müller,
We are here today as members of the task force, which was founded to create a BMZ Youth Council, as well as youth from projects in Palastine, Lebanon, Peru, Guatemala, Lesotho, Rwanda, Sambia, Madagaskar and Indonesia.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak.
7.6 billion people live on this planet, 2.3 billion of us are children, in states of the global south 70 percent are children and youth. Dear guests, please look around - how many children do you see talking about politics?
What would happen if youth were included in every major decision-making process, especially in those that impact young people directly? Would children’s rights be respected? Would we have free education for every child? Would policies aimed at combating global issues, such as climate change and migration, be implemented? Would gender equality be achieved? Would corruption and injustice be defeated? We don’t know yet, because we can’t know. Even today, 30 years after the convention of the rights of the child was signed, the youth is not well represented and youth participation is still far from being institutionalized.
Therefore we appreciate BMZ’s efforts for youth participation. By encouraging us to create a youth council in a governmental ministry, the ministry sets a prime example nationally and internationally. Although a lot of work still lays ahead, we truly hope that other ministries and institutions will follow this example.
As the ministry’s Youth Council, we demand to be an integral part of the ministry with the right to take part in decision-making processes and the right to express our opinion. We further demand a continuous cooperation with youth activists in the ministry’s partner states. This includes that the BMZ strives to promote and facilitates youth participation in these states.
Demanding children`s rights means demanding generation justice. Hence: stick to the paris agreement, protect our mother earth. We will stay longer on this planet than you do. Think about the present generation who suffers from climate change. Think in the future, but act now!
We have the right to decide on our future. We claim our right. Youth participation is beneficial for both sides and should seen as an opportunity. Since children from different countries have different needs, we must be asked what we want, because we know it best.
Taking a look into the close future, the BMZ should establish a special initivative for Children Rights, including a stronger budget and program explicitly on children's rights and participation.
The future is now. Let's make it happen!
Ariane Uwase, (Ruanda)
Basil Hijaz, (Palästinensische Gebiete)
Dorothee Rilling, (Deutschland)
Henry Valderrama Baez, (Peru)
Génériqua Benitsiampasina, (Madagaskar)
Gilardy Totozandry Tianarivelo, (Madagaskar)
Isabel Rutkowski, (Deutschland)
Jonas Laur, (Deutschland)
Joshua Hofert, (Deutschland)
Lebohang Ts’oinyana, (Lesotho)
Lukas Dreesbach, (Deutschland)
Margarita Esperanza Córtez, (Guatemala)
Mercy Merge Rojas, (Peru)
Mishel Us León, (Guatemala)
Rania Jaddalah, (Palästinensische Gebiete)
Shirin Bahadir, (Deutschland)
Valérie Bertleff, (Deutschland)