WFUNA’s 3rd Global Youth Forum, held in parallel with the 42nd Plenary Assembly, convened from 19 to 21 October in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Youth Delegates belonging to United Nations Association Youth Sections/Chapters from all around the globe gathered to discuss how we can engage and mobilize the WFUNA Youth Network towards achieving peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. During the Global Youth Forum, the upcoming WFUNA Youth Advisory Council for the 2018-2021 term is elected. The Forum provides a space to share best practices and networking opportunities for a stronger WFUNA Youth Network and to build the capacity of the Youth Network.
Youth leaders shared the work and best practices of their respective UNA’s and UNYA’s. Through sharing their experiences, participants became keen on networking and collaborating with other UNA’s and UNYA’s to expand upon initiatives related to a UNA and SDG 16. Youth delegates participated in a workshop conducted by Luciana Mermet, Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Dominican Republic. She provided input on how youth perspectives are integrated in UNDP’s programs and also specifically discussed the work of UNDP in Dominican Republic and the strategies and projects implemented by UNDP at the local level, which contribute the achievement of the SDGs. Nanayaa Kumi, Chief of Outreach at Human Resources at the United Nations, had a conversation with the youth regarding employment at the UN, giving helpful advice on applying to the UN and related agencies. Margaret Williams, Senior Peace and Security Officer at WFUNA, conducted a workshop on mobilizing the WFUNA Youth Network towards achieving Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. The Global Youth Forum concluded with two interactive workshops, which gave the opportunity to actively get involved with the work of WFUNA’s Youth Network. One of the objectives was to structure first steps of a social media campaign around SDG 16. The campaign the youth created focused on promoting activism and participation of youth through UNA’s, WFUNA’s Youth Network, and WFUNA. The other goal was to explore new possibilities for a closer collaboration between the UNA’s various work on youth and the WFUNA Youth Network.
Over the weekend, the new WFUNA Youth Advisory Council members were elected. The Youth Advisory Council elected nine representatives from five regions to serve for the next three years. The members are as following: Reon Van der Merwe from UNA South Africa and Sakhile Ndingninfwayo from UNA Zimbabwe representing Africa, Fahmida Faiza from UNA Bangladesh and Eshaan Menon from UNA Malaysia representing Asia, Angela Scicchitano from UNA Italy and Inessa Pambukhchyan from UNA Armenia representing Europe, Adil Skalli from UNA Canada and Claudia Taboada from UNA Dominican Republic representing the Americas, and Jessica Herne from UNA Australia.