Statement at the 10th Annual ECOSOC Youth Forum by Mr. Asmundur Einar Dadason, Minister of Social Affairs and Children
The 10th Annual Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum
MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE - ACHIEVING THE SDGs WITH AND FOR YOUTH
WEDNESDAY 7 APRIL 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Intervention of Mr. Asmundur Einar Dadason, Minister of Social Affairs and Children, Iceland.
Secretary General, fellow Ministers, and youth activists. It is a great honour to take part in this event today.
As we move towards a post COVID era, children, and young people, specifically those most vulnerable, need to be at the heart of our policies. However, they also need to be our partners for positive change as we build back better. This has always been important, but never as important as it is today. We need to change the perspective of those in power, people like myself, making them understand that the experiences and opinions of children are of enormous value and that they are the key to achieving equality and the 2030 agenda.
As we discuss the learnings of the past year and the challenges that the COVID-19 has posed, it is also important to recognize the enormous sacrifices that children and young people all around the world have made to help contain this pandemic. We need to recognize it and the important life events they have sacrificed. For this I would like to convey my gratitude to children and young people all around the world.
As we all know, children and young people have been impacted by the pandemic in a myriad of ways. The most vulnerable and marginalized youth have in many ways been disproportionately affected. These disruptions have also had domino effects on mental health and wellbeing of young people and exacerbated socio-economic challenges including domestic abuse. With this in mind, the focus of the COVID action packages in Iceland has been clear from the start, to make sure that the children are protected, specifically those most vulnerable: children with disabilities or experiencing abuse, children of foreign origin, with metal health problems, LGBTQ youth.
To discuss the specific challenges of one of these groups in a national and international context, I would like to hand the floor over to an inspiring youth activist from Iceland, Jökull Ingi Þorvaldsson.