We need young people in solving societal problems


In a world threatened by global issues, long-term and multi-generational thinking is needed to meet the challenges facing all of humanity. In order to create long term political solutions, one should always consider the effects that the decisions made will have on future generations.

No one knows everything about everything, and forgetting the perspective of the youth has far-reaching consequences for the future of humanity. By offering young people transparent and meaningful ways to participate in the political debate, our society could better contribute to the creation of long-term sustainable solutions. Consequently, Finland should include current and future young generations in the political discussion in order to promote solving global issues.

Youth organizations offer plenty of expertise and they should be included in decision-making also in matters other than exclusively concerning young people. Young age does not automatically correlate with the lack of expertise. Quite the opposite – due to, for example, social media and easy access to knowledge, young people have gained expertise outside of school lessons and thus, have become active global citizens.

At the moment, the youth lack clear channels to participate in foreign policy debate. Young people are socially conscious, and they want to be seen as competent citizens. Youth organizations have the power to bring together socially active young people, so they naturally serve as meaningful channels for the inclusion of young people in political decision-making. Hence cooperation with youth organizations is mutually fruitful.

Young people are genuinely interested in participating in politics, and therefore pseudo-involving young people should be stopped. Young people need to have trust that they are genuinely being heard. To ensure this, the youth should be offered safe spaces to make their voices heard. Proactive involvement of young people in political processes helps us address societal problems, as well as reduce social differentiation. This equation leads us to a path of social stability and well-being. 

*This blog is written by the board members of the UN Youth of Finland and the Finnish Association of International Affairs (FAIA) as a common statement on the importance of involving young people in political decision-making and societal problem-solving.

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