55th Session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD55), 1-10 February 2017
Priority Theme: “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”.
Mr. Chris Eigeland
Chris Eigeland is the Youth Delegate from Australia to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. A serial entrepreneur and international lawyer, Chris has founded two international enterprises, each addressing a unique social challenge. He is the co-founder of GO1 – a technology company producing an award winning online learning solution with over 150,000 users globally ranging from teachers in South America to the Australian government that was named in the top 100 Disruptive companies of 2016. Chris is also the co-founder of The Schoolbag, a not-for-profit that has distributed tens of thousands of primary education supply kits to Haiti, South Africa and Vietnam. Finally, he has been a Director of Global Voices, a not-for-profit providing pathways for young Australians to contribute to international diplomacy, and Griffith University in Australia. Chris’ passion and experience is well recognised, most recently through his invitation to be an International Associate at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, working on Human Rights jurisprudence. Recognized as a ‘Global Shaper’ by the World Economic Forum, Chris is an ambassador for the international leadership network One Young World, and is a contributor at forums such as the G20 on innovation and global challenges. In 2014, Chris was named Australian Young Innovator of the Year, and has previously been acknowledged as a Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Scholar.
Ms. Alexandra Mircheva
Alexandra Mircheva, aged 22, is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from Bulgaria to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Sofia University and for the past 6 years, she has been actively involved in with youth work and with non-governmental organizations. She was a member of the Board of the National Youth Council in Bulgaria for two terms, advocating for the needs of more than 110,000 young people and actively participating in evidence-based youth policy development. Alexandra is a passionate youth worker and trainer at the local, national and regional levels. She is also the co-founder of a youth-led NGO implementing projects and initiatives empowering young people, youth leaders and youth workers to participate and create positive social change. In her work, Alexandra is driven by the belief that every young person can realize their full potential through quality and inclusive formal and non-formal education, participation in the decision-making processes and proactive attitudes for personal and professional development.
Ms. Iva Tsolova
Iva Tsolova, is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from Bulgaria to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Iva is a team member of the Listen Up Foundation, which aims to provide innovative equal access services to people who are deaf or hard of hearing in Bulgaria. She is the founder of Berlle Creative Studio and co-founder of the social advertising agency, Lemur. Iva is a senior student in European studies at the University of National and World Economy. In 2015, she participated in the Summer Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) run by the America for Bulgaria Foundation. Additionally, Iva has experience in teaching English to Syrian refugees at the Voenna Rampa camp. She was vice president of the international organization AIESEC and is an active member of the Association of the Bulgarian leaders and entrepreneurs. Iva has recently been recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Bulgaria for 2016 in the Humanitarian and Volunteerism Leadership category.
Ms. Zuzana Vuova
Zuzana Vuova is the Youth Delegate from the Czech Republic to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Zuzana studied at Pomona College and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Prior to becoming a youth delegate, Zuzana had worked at the European Parliament in Brussels. Among Zuzana’s priorities as a Youth Delegate are improved access to quality education, gender equality, and fight against discrimination. As the result of her enthusiasm for youth issues, she was invited to speak at youth conferences in Turkey, South Korea, Poland and Slovakia. In 2015, she was voted the President of the 26th International Youth Forum in Seoul, where she led 80 delegates from nearly 30 countries. Besides running her advocacy platform, she also quite literally runs for children’s rights and was a member of the UNICEF team at the 2015 London Royal Parks half-marathon. Zuzana is also an accomplished debater and was recognized as the “Outstanding Delegate” at the National Model UN in New York and “Best Public Speaker” at the 25th Youth Forum in Seoul and awarded the “Honorable Mention” accolade at the West Coast Model EU in Seattle. She also served as the Deputy Secretary General for the Youth Model UN society at LSE. Zuzana speaks Czech, Vietnamese, English, Spanish and French.
Ms. Ilmi Salminen
Ms. Tatia Dolidze
Tatia Dolidze is the United Nations Youth Delegate from Georgia to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree (with honours) in International Relations from Tbilisi State University, Georgia, Master’s Degree (Cum Laude) in European Studies from Maastricht University, the Netherlands and is currently a PhD candidate in European Politics at the Institute for European Studies in Georgia. Additionally, at different times of her academic studies, Tatia has been enrolled at Vilnius University, Lithuania, Masaryk University, Czech Republic and University of Siena, Italy. She is an alumna of Erasmus Mundus, Open Society Foundation, Academic Swiss Caucasus Network and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Borsa MAE). Her post-graduate working experience includes a Professor’s assistantship at a Master’s course at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic (2015-2016), employment as a research assistant at the EU Foreign Policy unit of the CEPS think-tank in Brussels (2014-1015), and a traineeship at the European Parliament (2013-2014). Since 2013, Tatia contributes to the analytical platform Beyond the EU as a political analyst and as an editor. She has also completed internship and volunteering experiences at AIESEC local committee in Turin, Italy as an environmental educator (2011), at the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and HR department at the Ministry of Finance of Georgia as a trainee (2011) and at the European Youth Parliament as a Georgian National Committee member (2009-2013).
Mr. Eric Klausch
Eric Klausch is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from Germany to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Eric grew up in the German countryside, went to highschool in Brazil and worked in Berlin (at blu:boks Berlin) with kids from poor social backgrounds during his social service. He is currently studying for a Bachelor’s in Individual Studies at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, with a focus on Human Resource Management. Since 2013, he has been a founder and leader of Power On, an initiative that organizes summer camps for children. He and his fellow youth delegate, Katharina Buch, are focusing their efforts on youth empowerment. They call for more possibilities where young people learn to deal with responsibility and they want to encourage young people to stand up for their rights.
Ms. Katharina Buch
Katharina Buch, aged 23, is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from Germany to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. She is currently based in Berlin, where she studies Public Management. As the spokesperson of the NAJU (Youth Association for the Protection of Nature), she is working for young people eager to change their communities, environment and the world. Before being elected as the spokesperson, she was a member of the steering committee, and also previously completed a voluntary year at the headquarters. Additionally, Katharina has been the spokesperson of her study course and was a youth ambassador for ONE. She interned at the German NGO network against human trafficking and the German welfare association “Der Paritätische” and works as a student assistant at the extracurricular studies office at her university.
Mr. Ricardo Jose Donado
Ricardo Jose Donado, aged 17, is the United Nations Youth Delegate from Honduras to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. He is a senior in high school and former member of the Honduran national swim team. For the past four years Ricardo, has travelled to the most rural areas of his country to work as a medical translator with organizations that focus on bringing eye, dental, and medical care to people that live below the poverty line.
Mr. András Volom
András Volom is the Youth Delegate from Hungary to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. András, the first youth delegate from his country, is a student of International Relations at the War Studies Department of King’s College London. An outspoken advocate of youth empowerment and global cooperation, András has worked on and managed initiatives aimed at enhancing young people’s capacity to take part in decision-making and influence the course of the future. At present, he leads the founding of a youth-led NGO, Holnap, which will provide a platform and guidance for change makers (aged 17-24) in launching projects to strengthen sustainability. Simultaneously, he acts as the president of two university societies and is a prominent figure in the Hungarian student cooperation in the United Kingdom. Last October, he participated in the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum as an independent representative and peer-facilitator. From 2012 to 2014, he helped the work of the Organising Committee of the 2nd Youth Olympic Games as a junior consultant. He has also been an active contributor to the global Model United Nations circuit since 2011, teaching students in South Korea and Hungary, attending and chairing at conferences from Tel Aviv to Cambridge and serving as the Secretary-General of Budapest International Model United Nations in 2015.
Ms. Samantha O’Brien O’Reilly
Samantha O’Brien O’Reilly is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from Ireland to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. She is a graduate of both the Sutherland School of Law (University College Dublin) and Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II). She is an alum of the Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership, which fosters peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland through a six month personal and professional development program. Samantha enjoys entrepreneurship and has set up two successful businesses, as well as a number of social innovation initiatives. She previously worked for the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress in Washington D.C., as well as various law firms in London and Dublin. Samantha is passionate about the empowering nature of education. She is the co-founder of an independent, all-island, non-profit organisation focused on improving disadvantaged students’ level of progression to third-level education through debate, public speaking and international affairs training. Samantha is a committed volunteer, particularly in support of marginalised groups. She was twice appointed to the board of UCD Student Legal Service, an organisation that provides legal information to those in vulnerable situations. She is an accomplished debater and has represented Ireland at both the European and the World Debating Championships. Through these experiences, she gained insights into the viewpoints of youth from across the world. In 2016, she received the UCD President’s Award for Excellence in Student Activities and was also previously a recipient of the President of Ireland’s Award (Gaisce) for Leadership and Community.
Mr. Colm O’Rourke
Colm O’Rourke, aged 25, is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from Ireland to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Colm is a communications professional, working as a public affairs executive for a leading international business communications consultancy. From Dublin, Colm was educated at Castleknock College, St Patrick’s College Maynooth and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He holds many key positions that have traditionally been held by people of an older age, in Ireland. He is also a former member of the Governing Authority of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Furthermore, within the education sector, Colm is a former Executive Officer of Maynooth Students’ Union and he is a former university tutor. Colm is heavily involved with social justice and global development projects, and has travelled to Ethiopia on a number of occasions to volunteer at various projects such a street children’s project, a leprosy village and a deaf centre. Additionally, he is a member of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and has previously served as a national youth representative to the society. Colm has previously represented Ireland as a youth representative at the EU Youth Conference, Luxembourg, which was organised by the European Commission along with ministers for youth affairs from across Europe. Experienced in international initiatives, he is also a member of the International Advisory Committee of the National Youth Council of Ireland.
Mr. Hugo Carvalho
Hugo Carvalho, aged 26, is the United Nations Youth Delegates from Portugal to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Hugo is President of the Board of the National Youth Council (CNJ) and Secretary-General of the Youth Forum of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (FJCPLP). He is from Viseu, Portugal, and is a scout, musician, athlete and youth leader, as a former board member of the Student Association of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (AEFEUP) and of the Academic Federation of Porto (FAP). From 2014 to 2015, he was appointed project and budget administrator of the Academic Federation of University Sports (FADU) and was the representative of CNJ in the National Education Council (CNE). Hugo has a Master Degree in Energetic Sustainability and a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto.
Ms. Sahar Afzal
Sahar Afzal is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from The Netherlands to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. She is a student at Amsterdam University College where she studies International law and International relations. Sahar has been involved in many NGOs and organizations for the last couple of years. She has also worked as an Anne Frank ambassador around the world to spread Anne Frank’s ideals through international conferences and exhibitions. As a member of the European Youth parliament, she organizes and chairs sessions. In October 2015, after many selection rounds and a public campaign, she was chosen as the new Dutch United Nations Youth Representative. Sahar has worked on policies and resolutions previously, such as at the 54th Session of the Commission on Social Development, where she also gave a statement on behalf of the Netherlands, and at the 14th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 14) in Nairobi in July 2016. In the Netherlands, she works principally on young people’s implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. She believes that youth are a key factor for the achievement of the Sustainable Development goals.
Mr. Elian Yahye
Elian Yahye, aged 18, is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from The Netherlands to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Elian is currently in his second year of International Relations and Organizations at Leiden University. He has been engaged in a diverse range of activities, from being part of the Advisory Board of his high school and writing for political news sites to being the editor in chief of an award-winning student magazine and being active in multiple student associations. He is committed to bringing people from diverse backgrounds together and building bridges between groups that seem far apart. He sought to put these ideals into practice in the context of the United Nations, and in Octber 2016 he won a public campaign to become a Youth Representative from the Netherlands, following an extensive application procedure. The implementation of the SDGs by youth will be his general focus, but he will pay special attention to achieving these goals in such a way that the most vulnerable groups in society will also benefit from them and that they are actively being involved in the process. These groups include ethnic minorities, victims of persecution and people with disabilities, among others. Elian believes that problem-solving must be inclusive, so we will truly leave no-one behind.
Ms. Denisa Ionela Bratu
Denisa Ionela Bratu is one of the two United Nations Youth Delegates from Romania to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. She is a graduate from the University of Bucharest with a European Studies Specialization and is a second year student at the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in the Management and Government Master’s programme. She participated and organized summer schools as well as projects on cultural diplomacy and has above all, implemented her own project for youth-focused on leadership in a global context (Young Ambassadors Forum – “Tackling chess on the world stage. Be the pawn that counts!”). Through this work, she discovered the importance of being an active actor in her society, which made her continue her endeavours and explore civic leadership so as to contribute to the construction of the Romanian society. Together with her colleague, Gabriel Uifălean, she plans to bring about a positive change in society at a local, national and international level, by focusing on education, intercultural dialogue and civic participation, all done in a sustainable way.
Mr. Gabriel Uifălean
Gabriel Uifălean is one of the two United Nations Youth Delegates from Romania to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. He recently graduated from the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, having obtained a Master’s in International Relations and European Policy and one in Human Resource Management, two fields he became passionate about during his time as a student. Since high school, he has volunteered in various NGO’s and at various events focused on youth, culture or political sciences and european studies (including Cluj Napoca 2015 European Youth Capital, The Society of European Students, NapoMUN and The UN Youth Association of Romania – Cluj Branch, to name a few). During his tenure at the UN Youth Association of Romania – Cluj Branch, he met several Romanian UN youth delegates and worked with them to help promote the programme in his country. Together with his colleague, Denisa Bratu, he plans to bring about a positive change in society at a local, national and international level, by focusing on education, intercultural dialogue and civic participation, all done in a sustainable way.
Ms. Giada Crivelli
Giada Crivelli, aged 22, is the United Nations Youth Delegate from Switzerland to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. She is one of the three Swiss Youth Delegates to the United Nations for 2016-2017. Giada is currently studying Law at the University of Lucerne and is particularly interested in matters of public law, international public law and international relations. She is currently the Vice-President of the“StudRat”, the student parliament at the University of Lucerne. In 2014, she became a member of the executive board and subsequently assumed the presidency of the “Model United Nations (MUN) University of Lucerne” Association. In addition to being active on a university and political level, Giada also volunteers for the Switzerland-Cuba Association – ASC. In February 2016, she travelled Camagüey, Cuba, and drafted the final report for a project supported by the ASC and “Solidarit’eau Suisse” pertaining to the purification of drinking water. Gender equality, the rights of the LGBT community and the rights of refugees are topics very dear to Giada’s heart. She also believes that it is essential to tackle the issue of mental health, which she finds particularly important in relation to her role as young Swiss delegate to the UN. Giada is convinced that it is necessary to make people aware of this topic, and to discuss it, in order to eradicate or at least reduce the stigma associated with mental illnesses and in doing so promote access to psychological and psychiatric treatments to reduce the risk of suicide in young people.
Mr. Mohamed Mongi Ghedira
Mohamed Mongi Ghedira is the United Nations Youth Delegate from Tunisia to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Born and raised in Tunisia, he is a medical student and a young civil society leader. He was president of the Tunisian International Model United Nations, and also the youngest member of the United Nations Association of Tunisia (UNA-Tunisia). As a member of UNA-Tunisia, he organizes many conferences on international health, AIDS and other related subjects. Actively engaged in Tunisian post-revolution civil society, he has written many articles promoting UN values and the power of youth, since he strongly believes that today’s youth can, and should be, heard in order to become today’s leaders. Mohamed also works as a consultant for the United Nations System in Tunisia.
Mr. Gilbert Happy Lewtutte
Gilbert Happy Lewtutte is one of three United Nations Youth Delegates from Uganda to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Gilbert is a young development strategist and is passionate about development and sustainability with particular focus on education. Believing that Education goes beyond going to school and that learning is key to development and change, Gilbert co-founded Education Forum Africa. He is a researcher, entrepreneur, activist and philanthropist who is interested in leadership and ensuring that all youth have equal opportunities to maximize their potential no matter the background or nationality. Keen to develop his own knowledge and expertise so as to better serve others, Gilbert received a scholarship from the Pan African E-Network to do a Post Graduate diploma in Information Technology in Amity University India. This opportunity bought his attention to the possibilities that technology brings to improving engagement, irrespective of the issue at hand. Gilbert is proud to be from Uganda, a country where 60% of the population is below 30 years old, and is particularly familiar with the challenges faced by young people. He is confident that the United Nations has a strong role to play in trying to find workable solutions for the challenges facing the youth especially through the Sustainable Development goals and endeavours to bring his experiences, energy, passion and potential to the United Nations youth delegate programme.
Ms. Lillian Aber
Lillian Aber is one of three United Nations Youth Delegates from Uganda to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Lillian is a youth leader and an activist and has over 10 years of leadership experience. She was a vice guild president of Makerere University Uganda, president of the Uganda National Student’s Association and vice president of the Commonwealth Student’s Association in charge of advocacy and partnership. She is the first female chairperson of Uganda National Youth Council and private secretary to the President of the Republic of Uganda in charge of Youth Affairs. Lillian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication (Literature) and is pursuing a master’s in Business Administration of oil and gas. She is a results-oriented person and is passionate about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals across the world. She believes that young people are leaders of today and that a strong foundation for a better world begins with their inclusion in decision-making.
Mr. Edwin Muhumuza
Edwin Muhumuza is one of three United Nations Youth Delegates from Uganda to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Edwin the Founder and CEO of Youth Go Green Uganda, an umbrella organization for all young people engaged in climate change interventions in Uganda and a private secretary to the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament of Uganda in charge of environment and climate change affairs. As a national youth leader and a young climate change activist, Edwin has over 7 years of experience in environmental and climate change issues with special focus on its vulnerability on the young people of Uganda. Considering that young people have a right enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children and youth to have their voices heard on matters that affect them, Edwin advocates for inclusion of young people in Climate change planning.Edwin is a member of YOUNGO, a UNFCCC observer constituency of youth non-governmental organizations where children and youth participate in the UNFCCC intergovernmental processes, and was also recently selected to give a speech on behalf of YOUNGO at the closing plenary, a High Level Segment of COP22/CMP in Marrackech, Morroco. Edwin is a graduate of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Makerere University, Certificate in Law, and has acquired many training certificates in environmental science and climate change programmes. He is currently enrolled for a Masters’ Degree in Environmental Assessment and Control at the University of Derby, UK. He has been a member of the Uganda National Youth Council as a District Youth Chairperson and a former candidate for the position of the Youth Member of Parliament of Uganda.
Ms. Uliana Avtonomova
Uliana Avtonomova, aged 22, is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from Ukraine to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. She is a member of the “Young Generation Will Change Ukraine” Association. Uliana also cooperated with various projects related to education and has extensive volunteer experience. Additionally, she collaborated with the analytical platform VoxUkraine and the Eidos Center for Political Studies and Analysis. Uliana is a first year Master’s student at Taras Shevchenko National University, in the faculty of philosophy, majoring in political science. She participated in the 12th Yalta European Srategy meeting as a young leader. Uliana is the co-founder of the NGO ProOsvita and member of the NGO Forum of Young Diplomats. Together with her colleague, Kyrylo Beskorovayny, she would like to further involve youth the decision-making processes at the local and national levels by organizing trainings about active citizenship and advocacy.
Mr. Kyrylo Beskorovayny
Kyrylo Beskorovayny is one of two United Nations Youth Delegates from Ukraine to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. He is a first year Master’s student at Taras Shevchenko National University, majoring in Communications and International Relations. He is a co-founder of the Ukrainian popular science magazine “Kunsht”. Kyrylo took part in organizing Ukrainian youth initiatives like “Strengthening youth as active citizens in Ukraine”, “Tut is zaraz” and NGO “Help and Travel”. He has impressive volunteering experience, which includes WCF Davos Kyiv, IDCEE, OSCE mission and the NATO school. Kyrylo completed an internship at the Directorate General for Policy and Communications of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and was selected to participate in the 12th Yalta European strategy annual meeting as a young leader. He was an editor in chief of the Institute’s magazine “Mizhnarodnyk”. In 2010, he became a FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) program finalist and was awarded a scholarship to spend an academic year in the USA.
Ms. Nicol Perez
Nicol Perez is currently the US Youth Observer to the United Nations to the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Commission for Social Development. Her work with the United Nations is focused on capturing youth voices and bringing them to the table at the UN, as well as engaging more young people in the SDGs. Professionally, Nicol does product marketing and communications at Instagram. Nicol graduated from the University of Florida where she was president of Nourish International, a student-run, non-profit organization that works towards making a sustainable impact on communities around the world. During her time at the University of Florida, Nicol spearheaded a project in Guatemala City where she taught business classes to a group of 50 single mothers living in extreme poverty and provided them with the tools and skills needed to start their own businesses. At University of Florida, Nicol co-founded the Global Leadership Program where elected students spent a semester leading business ventures around campus to raise money to start a Goat farm in Uganda. Later, Nicol studied abroad in Bangkok, Thailand where she volunteered with the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation and Maastricht, The Netherlands where she helped start a community house and business incubator.