THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014
During the 2014 World Conference on Youth in Colombo, Sri Lanka, we held a side event titled "How to Become a UN Youth Delegate?" co-hosted by UN Youth Delegates from Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Austria, Belgium, Indonesia and Norway. With approximately 25 countries out of 193 UN Member States participating in the UN Youth Delegate Programme, the event focused on how to boost those numbers and build interest among the youth leaders attending the conference.
The event started with a brief presentation by Elise Zerrath, former German UN Youth Delegate and current WFUNA Youth Delegate Programme Multiplier, who gave her insights on how the UN Youth Delegate Programme functions and reflected on the importance of increasing the number of Youth Delegates that participate with their country delegations at the General Assembly every year.
The panel discussion was moderated by WFUNA Youth Program Associate Pablo Angulo-Troconis and featured Ahmad Alhendawi, the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ravi Karkara, Global Advisor to the World Conference on Youth and Expert Adviser on Children and Youth for UN-Habitat and UNMC, Chapa Perera, Sri Lankan UN Youth Delegate and Ties Mouwen, Dutch Youth Representative on Climate and Sustainable Development to the United Nations.
Chapa Perera first spoke about her experience representing Sri Lanka as a UN Youth Delegate. Ahmed Alhendawi reflected on the importance of the UN Youth Delegate Programme for national governments. Ravi Karkara expressed how the UN Youth Delegate Programme is an official channel to give input on youth issues in the UN System. Ties Mouwen highlighted the difficulties UN Youth Delegates usually face.
After the panelists, UN Youth Delegates from Germany, Slovakia and the Netherlands took their spots to answer questions from the audience. Questions ranged from sources of funding to selection processes in each country and obstacles that youth might face when trying to establish a UN Youth Delegate Programme in their countries.
The event gathered around 130 participants. The event was also an opportunity for WFUNA to officially launch the WFUNA Youth Delegate Programme Multipliers, a group of current and former UN Youth Delegates tasked to multiply the Youth Delegate Programme around the world.