Nordic Council highlights young people’s participation in political debate at meeting of European speakers

28.09.23 | News
Jorodd Asphjell talar på Europarådets konferens för talmän i Dublin 2023

Jorodd Asphjell talar på Europarådets konferens för talmän i Dublin 2023

Elin Hansen/
Young people should be involved in decision-making and political debate to give them a sense of ownership of the democratic system and of their own future. This was the main message from the Nordic Council when President of the Nordic Council, Jorodd Asphjell, participated in the Council of Europe’s conference for speakers in Dublin on 28 and 29 September.

The conference, which is held every other year, was attended by speakers from all 46 member countries of the Council of Europe, as well as many partner, observer, and neighbouring countries. The agenda included topics such as the consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the role of national parliaments in the reconstruction of Ukraine, the challenges of representative democracy in turbulent times, as well as gender equality and diversity in democratic representation in parliaments.

Important to involve young people

During the session, President of the Nordic Council Jorodd Asphjell delivered a speech on gender equality and representation, focusing on the positive experiences that the Nordic Council has had in involving young people in decision-making through the Nordic Youth Council.

“In the Nordic Region, we take pride in our long tradition of involving young people in the decision-making process. The Nordic Youth Council plays an active role in our work They have the right to participate and speak at all meetings and demonstrate a huge level of engagement in all the debates and meetings they participate in, which is very positive for Nordic co-operation,” said Asphjell.

The rule of law, democracy, and human rights.

Asphjell also mentioned the work of the Nordic Council on the rule of law, democracy, and human rights, highlighting that the number of authoritarian states in the world has increased in recent years. He pointed out that the Nordic Council, both within its own member states and alongside other democratic nations worldwide, is committed to working to reverse this trend.

In addition to Jorodd Asphjell, Secretary General of the Nordic Council, Kristina Háfoss, also participated in the conference and took part in a meeting of the parliamentary secretary-generals from all member countries, where current issues were discussed.

The Council of Europe is an international organisation founded in 1949, aimed at promoting values such as democracy, human rights, and the development of societies based on the rule of law. The Council of Europe is not part of the organisation of the European Union.