Australia: Chris Varney Statement
Belgium: Sacha Schmitz & Stephanie Veraghtert
Botswana: Bogolo Kenewendo, Yolisa Medise Statement
Bulgaria: Kristina Lyubomirova Popova & Rosen Dimov Statement
Croatia: Emina Bužinkic
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Claudy Ahuka
Dominican Republic: Alejandro Javier, Sabrina Rivas Pérez, Yismelle Rubio Statement
Finland: Matti Niemi Statement
Germany: Emily May Büning & Falko Mohrs Statement
Ghana: Simeone Azoska , Daniel Boateng, Priscilla Bonney, Onasis Rosely
Jamaica: Odale Mulgrave
Korea (Republic of): Hyunju Shim & SuHi Choi Statement 1 | Statement 2
Mexico: Victor Manuel Roman Galindo, Abril Itandehui Maldonado Morales
Netherlands: Jordy Sweep Statement
Norway: Jens Kihl & Julie Lødrup Statement
Peru: Denisse Becerra
Portugal: Rui Duarte
Romania: Bianca Sarbu, Adrian Marius Solcan Statement
Russian Federation: Vladimir Kharchenko
Rwanda: Karine Rusaro Utamuliza & Ntezimana Aloys Statement
Slovakia: Gita Hulmanova Statement
Sweden: Linda Wallberg Statement
Switzerland: Tobias Naef Statement
Thailand: Manop Sinfungphankawi & Siriwan Limsakul
Tonga: Henry Aho
Turkey: Seyithan Ahmet Ates Statement
Chris Varney (22): Chris is a passionate advocate for youth participation rights in Australia and has been since early secondary school. Chris’ background includes leadership roles with Rotary Youth, City of Knox Youth Services, Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and World Vision Australia. At World Vision he has been Co-Director of its national youth movement in Australia, ‘Vision Generation’ (VGen), a youth community he has been building since the age of 16. Through VGen, Chris has led campaigns supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the elimination of child trafficking, and has traveled to Tanzania, India and Thailand to support World Vision’s child rights advocacy. The Australian Youth Delegate role is a program run in partnership by the United Nations Youth Association of Australia (UNYA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. So far as Youth Delegate Chris has traveled Australia with UNYA leaders to consult diverse youth on their hopes for Australia and the world. Chris is inspired by the UN’s work and hopes UN member states will work together to achieve the MDGs. He studies Politics and Law at Monash University. Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sacha Schmitz is a student in Business & Engineering at the “Université Libre de Bruxelles”. To be selected as one of the official youth delegates from Belgium by his Youth Council, he studied the purpose, mandates and structure of the UN. He had to write an application letter describing why he would be the most suitable candidate for the position, answer several questions about the United Nations and attend an interview with the persons in charge of the selection process. Sacha has responsibilities in many students associations and his preoccupation and experience of the UN helped him to be chosen as a youth delegate. His aim is for everyone to access the intellectual freedom which has the power to solve and even to prevent any conflict. He thinks that youth have the potential to both help reform the UN system and to reshape the scarred face of our Earth by addressing issues such as poverty, environment, armed conflict and migration. Sacha likes to travel and to discover other cultures and he is a fervent believer of the “share (instead of clash) of civilizations”.
Yolisa Modise. Yolisa holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Political Science) degree from the University of Botswana. She is currently in pursuit of a Diploma in French as a foreign language from the L’Alliance Francaise du Gaborone. Her previous job experience includes working as an enumerator for the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, in a survey based evaluation of government anti poverty strategies. In 2007-2008, she was a treasurer for University of Botswana Political Science Society; an organisation whose prime mandate is promoting political awareness and instilling the values of democracy among the youth in Botswana.Throughout her schooling years, she was involved in numerous community activities such as public debates and in the organising of panel discussions on pertinent issues, with the relevant authorities and stakeholders. Yolisa is currently a co founder and vice president of the University of Botswana Model United Nations (UBMUN), which seeks to simulate the UN general assembly and develop the planning, organising, and leadership skills of individuals needed in the world of diplomacy. UBMUN has also taken it upon itself to simplify the resolutions and treaties Botswana signs up to, and to promote a better understanding of the UN to the general public.
Bogolo Joy Kenewendo (22). Bogolo lives in Gaborone, Botswana. She has just completed her Bachelors in Economics and working towards a diploma in French. She is currently working as an Economic consultant. Bogolo has been active in Youth programmes since her early secondary school days and has worked on issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness, entrepreneurship and youth leadership. She has worked with the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC), Southern African Development Community Youth Movement (SADCYM), Youth on HIV/AIDS Organization (YOHO) and the University of Botswana Business Clinic. She is currently the Public Relations and Cooperation Manager at Rotaract Botswana and the founder and President of ‘Model UN’ Botswana. Together with her team, she is currently working on introducing the Model UN to the rest of Botswana through a roll over program and on a National youth conference with the BNYC. The main goals of ‘Model UN’ are to become a leader in youth empowerment and leadership programmes and to sensitize Botswana on the role of the United Nations. In Rotaract, she works on improving other people’s livelihoods, especially those of orphans through donations and mentorship programmes. Her selection as one of Botswana’s youth delegates was based on her involvement in the Youth programmes stated above.
Claudy Ahuka Lutundula (18): Claudy is studying economics and development at the University of Kinshasa and is a member of the board of an NGO focusing on developing an entrepreneurial spirit. He has been engaged in youth policy-making through his involvement in the National Youth Council, a partnership with the Ministry of Rural Development and participation at various conferences and workshops on the topic. He has organized a series of trainings and exchanges among youth. Claudy believes that investments in youth not only benefit a large number of young people, but also contribute to social and economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Alejandro Javier (19): Alejandro is currently a second-year Economics student at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre & Maestra in Santo Domingo. From an early age, he has demonstrated an acute interest in international affairs. He has participated in numerous international Model United Nations conferences and is now a Volunteer for the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic (UNA-DR). He was selected to represent the UNA-DR Volunteer Corps at the Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting 2009, at Austin, Texas. In keeping with the institutional commitment UNA-DR and FUNGLODE/GFDD made at the CGI U summit, he worked hard on the organization of youth initiatives for Haiti. In doing so, he became a member of the coordinating staff for the Youth of the Americas Forum in Haiti and its subsequent Community Service Week in July 2009, an event scheduled to be held every summer. The selection process for the Dominican Republic’s first ever Youth Delegation was thorough, and the competition was fierce. Alejandro presented his essay on Youth Empowerment, and the selection committee (composed of representatives from the United Nations and the Dominican Ministry of Foreign Affairs) deemed it meritorious enough to warrant his inclusion in the second stage of the process. He was then interviewed and selected as one of the three Youth Representatives to the General Assembly that will represent the Dominican Republic. Contact Alejandro at email@example.com.
Sabrina Rivas Perez (22): Sabrina is currently a Law student pending graduation at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. From the moment she began studying, she has participated in various forums, workshops, conferences, and initiatives focused on public international law and the socioeconomic development of countries. Her passion for these issues has led her to become deeply involved in the organization of Model United Nations conferences as well as simulations of other organizations, both local and regionally. She is a volunteer with several organizations, including the Pan American Institute of Geography and History (a specialized subsidiary of the OAS), the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic (UNA-DR), and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, and Technology (SEESCyT, in following its Spanish acronym). She is steadfast in her belief that youth cannot be relegated; they ought to be heard and taken into account, and the opportunity to be a Youth Delegate will allow her to voice her thoughts in a scenario designed for youth to express the changes they want to produce. Contact Sabrina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yismelle Rubio (22): Yismelle recently obtained her Law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre & Maestra. She is currently a member of UNFPA’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) in the Dominican Republic, as well as a Youth Representative in the Dominican Family Wellbeing Organization’s (PROFAMILIA) Directive Board. She has been advocating for youth rights since the age of 14, doing volunteer work with several NGOs whose work is based on gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and human rights. She has worked in the process of formulating national youth policies, and participated in the World Youth Congress 2008. Moreover, she is a volunteer for the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic (UNA-DR), and has participated in over 11 Model United Nations conferences. Contact Yismelle at email@example.com.
Matti Niemi (21): Matti is a student of World Politics in the University of Helsinki specializing in International Political Economy. His political background is social demoratic, an ideology that has shaped his views considerably. Matti believes that every person in the world should have equal opportunities notwithstanding the circumstances where she or he was born. He has been active in environmental and local politics as well as international activities. For example he currently is a member of the City Planning Committee of Helsinki and a Board Member of the Young European Federalists Finland. He heads the Helsinki branch of the Social Democratic Students of Finland. Matti loves travelling and meeting new people and cultures and he is also an aspiring musician.
Emily May Büning(24): Emily lives in Hamburg where she studied at Bucerius Law School majoring in international public and European law. She has been an active member of the GRÜNE JUGEND (the youth organization of the German green party) for the past five years. She was president of the state section Hamburg, board member of the Federal Committee and is currently a member of the International Representation and the Election Campaign Team. She is also involved in the international youth network the Global Young Greens. Furthermore, she is a board member of the Young European Federalists Hamburg. Emily is a past president of the Bucerius Model United Nations Society and participated in several international Model United Nations Conferences such as the Harvard World MUNs in Edinburgh 2005 and Beijing 2006. Youth participation and sustainable development have always been issues of her personal concern.
Falko Mohrs(24): Falko studies economics, more precisely transport and logistic management, while working simultaneously at Volkswagen Group. He lives in Wolfsburg. His main background is Scouting – he started as a 6 year old boy and since 1999 he went on as a group leader and active volunteer at all levels between the local and the world wide platform. For example he was engaged as a leader during the last World Scout Jamborees in Thailand (2003) and the United Kingdom (2007) and ran a project for several years with Kosovarian youth with the aim of setting up Scouts in Prizren. Mohrs is also active in youth policy at the regional level and founded a local youth parliament and was selected as it’s president during it’s first period. He has chosen a quote from the founder of the scout movement as his life guideline: ‘Leave this world a little better than you have found it’, because for Mohrs this quote shows that every good step – independent from how big it is – that leads into a better direction is an important improvement in shaping the world.
Simeone Azoska (24): Simeone earned a Bachelor of Science from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and is preparing for the LLM in Technology and Property law and a PhD in International Relations. Simeone has a long history as youth advocate for peace. In 2006 he led students in constructing the World Heritage Peace Pole which was erected at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He produced and directed the video documentary “Vote for Peace”, to raise awareness about the outbreak of conflict during election seasons in a number of African countries. The documentary was aired nationally prior to the 2008 elections in Ghana. He was elected the Founding President of the Student World Assembly at his university from 2004 to 2006 and during his term in 2005 he helped to organize the first Regional Students Convention for Africa. Simeone currently serves as the Chairman of the Peace Secretariat which he also founded. In addition, he co-authored “Save the Rural Dweller”, a project which promotes a volunteer approach to youth achieving the Millennium Development Goals. He is presently is working to start a consulting firm that helps businesses make a positive contribution to the environment by reducing energy use.
Daniel Boateng (25): Daniel holds a Bachelor of Science in Herbal Medicine from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He played a key role in the formation of the advocacy committee for herbal medical students at his university and was active in the implementation of a number of projects related to youth engagement and participation. He participated in three International Youth Leadership Conferences with the Apeadu Peace Center, served as the Programme Coordinator for the Peace Secretariat Ghana and played a key role in the commemoration of the World Heritage Peace Pole at Kwame Nkrumah University. Daniel was a member of the Fundraising Board for the National Youth Council for the celebration of International Youth Day 2005 and also helped to establish the Teen Intellects Assistance in Ghana. He is currently developing a working document for youth employment in the Abodwese Cluster of Villages in the Central region.
Priscilla Bonney (26): Priscilla is presently enrolled at the Meridian Pre University studying business and is dedicated to the cause of gender equality and human rights. She is currently working to launch Equality International, a gender advocacy organization. She has worked with the AYUM foundation in Accra as a project coordinator and a women’s trainer, and has worked on the Twifu Hemang women and youth training programme as both a trainer and counselor. Priscilla started the women’s wing of the youth parliament at her university and is working to organize young women to be active participants in political affairs in Ghana.
Onasis Rosely (26): Onasis is a graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute for Technology. He has been a youth activist for many years, and as a student political leader he was involved in numerous youth led initiatives. He is a founding member of Metro Youth Watch in Kumasi, a youth organization that promotes voluntary community initiatives. Onasis has also served as a member of the Student Parliament at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology.
Odale Mulgrave (25): Odale holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work and an Associate of Science degree in Family Life Education from the Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica. His leadership experience commenced in the late 1990’s when he was a Lance Corporal in the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force at the Manchester High School. He is a Corporal of Police and has been serving his country for the past six and a half years as a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. In 2005, he was awarded Jamaica’s Junior Police Officer of the Year; Odale also formed and led Police Youth Clubs and sits on several youth committees. He has been instrumental in fostering improved police/youth relations and is a dedicated server of the Parish of Clarendon where he served as Public Relations Officer of the HIV/AIDS Association and Vice President of the Youth Council. Due to his various contributions to youth development, he was bestowed the Prime Ministers Youth Award for Leadership (the highest youth award in Jamaica) in November 2008. He is looking forward to using the skills honed in his capacity as a youth delegate to develop youth advocacy and participation in Jamaica and the Caribbean Region. In response to an advertisement for youth delegates by the Ministry of Information Youth Culture and Sports, he submitted his application along with two recommendations and a 2000 word essay addressing various youth issues at local, regional and international levels. As a short-listed applicant, he was taken through team-building exercises with the Jamaican military and then made presentations on youth participation and problem-solving to two youth groups. His final selection interview was conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Youth. He was then formally appointed by the Governor General of Jamaica. Odale can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
SuHi Choi (22): SuHi is a senior at KyungPook National University, studying English and Business. In 2007, she was an exchange student in the United States. Upon her return to the Republic of Korea, SuHi Choi participated in a national English Essay competition and won the first prize with her entry on multiculturalism. As a youth delegate at the General Assembly, SuHi Choi hopes to speak for all youth of the Republic of Korea and to foster Korean youth involvement domestically and internationally. She is therefore volunteering at several youth activities to meet and share ideas face to face with other Korean youth. Both SuHi Choi and Hyunju Shim, the other Korean youth delegate, feel privileged to be the first female youth delegates representing the Republic of Korea at the UN General Assembly.
Hyunju Shim (21): Hyunju Shim is a senior at Pusan University of Foreign Studies with a major in English. She entered college one year earlier than her peers and has excelled at school. She has won various scholarships both nationally and internationally and also competed in the English Essay contest through which she won the first prize. She also participated in the intergovernmental youth exchange programme organized by the National Council of Youth Organizations in Korea and worked with an NGO to promote intergenerational solidarity. Being one of the first woman youth delegates of her country, she hopes to be the voice for the most vulnerable and voiceless within society and believes that every youth should be empowered to “stand as the conscience of this generation” at one of the most historically challenging moments.
Victor Manuel Roman Galindo(24): Victor is a lawyer and is currently studying science and political management in the state of Morelos in central Mexico. As a child he liked to participate actively in social, cultural and political events. In different school levels, he was a student representative and leader. Victor firmly believes that young people can and should participate in decision making. He is convinced that young people must act for a better world with respect and tolerance. He considers it as a great opportunity to represent his country at the United Nations and to contribute and leave something for others. Victor is currently teaching at two universities and at one high school and works at a radio programme.
Abril Itandehui Maldonado Morales (19). Abril is a dreamer and activist who cares about promoting young people’s rights, especially in her ethnic group (Zapotec). She currently lives in Oaxaca City in Mexico. Abril is taking part in two BA programmes at the same time: Law at Universidad Regional del Sureste and TEFL at Universidad Autonoma Benito Juarez de Oaxaca. Since she was very young she has supported the promotion of her culture and the respect for women’s rights. Through lectures and forums, Abril promotes the participation of young people in the fight against global warming. April has participated in different literacy campaigns directed to indigenous children. She has also been part of various oratory contests and some theatrical activities.
Jordy Sweep(21): Jordy studies law, management and economy at Tilburg University. He has been active in youth participation since the age of 15; first as a Youth Ambassador for his home town Tilburg and now as a Youth Delegate to the United Nations. One of his main hobbies is travelling, which he thinks is very important, as it provides an opportunity for an open-minded view, as well as an exchange of beliefs that enable people to learn from each other, no matter where they come from or what they do for a living. He is an advocate for increasing the capacity of young people, utilizing their knowledge in society and creating new opportunities for them. The selection process for youth delegates in the Netherlands begins with a review of applicant’s résumés and their answers to a questionnaire. The next stage involves a debate between 16 young people from which six semi-finalists are chosen. The candidates compete in pairs to receive the largest number of text-messages from supporters. The winner of each of these pairs makes it into the finals. The three finalists are presented at a big event on the evening of UN Day, 24th of October, where attendees vote for a winner.
Jens Kihl(23): Jens was born in Oslo, the capital of Norway, where he has lived ever since. He has participated in youth organisations at both local and national levels for the last ten years. For the last two years, Jens has been president of the Norwegian Language Youth, a language organisation in Norway. Jens also divides his days between jobs as communication officer at the Norwegian Language Association and project manager at the Norwegian EU-critical movement. He also holds several honorary posts in the socialistic movement in Norway, where he has been involved for the last few years. Jens has been active in the student democracy at the University of Oslo, been member of the board of the Norwegian Children and Youth council and participated at the General Conference of UNESCO in 2007 as a youth delegate. Jens has many topical interests, including democracy, youth participation, environment, anti-discrimination and human rights.
Julie Lødrup (25): Julie comes from Oslo, the capital of Norway. She has been politically active for many years in the Norwegian Labour Youth (AUF), where she is now Secretary General. AUF is a part of the world-wide co-operation of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY), and is the biggest political youth organisation in Norway with almost 10,000 members. Julie shares AUF’s vision that human beings together can create a free and just society, where ecology is placed above economy and human values are placed above wealth. her work in the organisation addresses issues such as climate change, international solidarity, and education and employment. Through her work, she educates and encourages young people all over Norway to have a say in the development of society. Julie has a Bachelors degree in European studies from the University in Oslo, and an MSc in Politics and Government in the European Union from London School of Economics and Political Science. She has also been active in student politics and ran a co-operation project between the Student Parliament at the University in Oslo and two student organisations in Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina. She has worked in the Norwegian Children and Youth Council with issues concerning framework conditions for youth organisations.
Denisse Becerra(21): “Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.” This statement by A. Hamilton is Denisse’s life motto. After her IB, Denisse enrolled in the economics programme at Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, where she also follows a minor in political science. Since high school Denisse has always been involved in activities related to social service and the Millennium Development Goals. She participated in Model UNs and the debating team. Her interest in politics and her commitment to Peru’s development are what pushed Denisse to advocate for the UN Youth Delegate programme in Peru. She believes that if people are given the chance to participate and get involved, they will make a greater effort to change the current situation. Her current goals are to build up political credibilitiy for the Peruvian UN Youth Delegate Programme and to promote “Feeding Peru” – a non-profit organization in which she has been working with a group of college friends. The aim is to help to eradicate hunger and undernourishment in Peru.
Rui Duarte(25): Rui is currently studying International Relations in Coimbra at Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra. He is also a board member of the Portuguese National Youth Council responsible for employment and social affairs, as well as a board member of – Espacio IberoAmericano de Juventud. At the age of 16, he became a political activist in the organization, Portuguese Socialist Youth, a member of IUSY (International Union of Socialist Youth). He is a strong advocate for youth representation and says that all UN Member States should have youth delegates in their official delegations to empower and allow them to participate in decisions that affect their lives. He says “In such processes, I believe in ‘Nothing about us, Without us'”.
Bianca Sarbu (24): Bianca holds an M.A. degree in Comparative and International Studies from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology/ ETH Zurich, Switzerland and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania. Bianca has been an intern with the Senate of Romania, the Ministry of European Integration and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has also worked abroad in the Luxembourg Institute for European Studies and the Center for International Political Economy in Zurich. For the past year, Bianca has been involved in political research on drivers of UN humanitarian interventions, political risk analysis and energy security at the Center for Security Studies in Zurich. Throughout her studies, she has been actively engaged in different students associations in Romania, Germany and Portugal while promoting youth rights and supporting youth participation in the decision-making process. As of March 2009 Bianca took over the executive lead of the International Projects Department within the League of Romanian Students Abroad (LSRS), an NGO promoting the rights and interests of young Romanians enrolled in foreign educational systems. Bianca’s motto in life comes from Jürgen H. Daum: “Where there is a goal and a will, there is a way.” Contact details: email@example.com
Adrian Marius Solcan (19): Three years ago, Adrian was elected Youth Mayor in the Local Youth Council of Bistrita, his hometown. During his mandate he led, initiated and collaborated in more than 20 projects that were youth–targeted. Adrian graduated from the Fine Arts „Corneliu Baba” Bistrita in „Graphics” and is currently a student at Babes-Bolyai University Cluj, at the Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences. He is a volunteer in 4 youth NGOs that run programmes targeted at youth. He is very dedicated to youth work and is convinced that his experience as youth delegate at the United Nations will help him bring added value to the youth sector in Romania. Adrian is convinced that young people are the most important resource that the world currently has and that investments in young people is an investment in Sustainable Development. He is committed to emphasizing the importance of education as the main tool for youth empowerment worldwide.
Vladimir Kharchenko (21): Vladimir lives in Moscow and studies law at Moscow State Linguistic University. He studied foreign languages in England and Germany and therefore speaks English and German. He passed the language courses of the Council of Europe in Germany and studied law at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. During his studies he passed a training course at the Council of the Federation of Federal Assembly (the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament) as well as courses on International relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Vladimir has taken part and organized a range of international and national youth events, including the Russian-German Youth Parliament (Dresden 2006), the Russian-German Youth Forum (Moscow 2006, Berlin 2007, Ufa 2007) and the International Youth Forum (Kazan 2007). In 2008, he founded a Russian-German youth exchange project and won the Prize «Support of the talented youth» within the scope of the National Project «Education». He is keen on sports and on collecting different models of planes and cars. The current priority area of Vladimir’s activities in his youth organization «Social Initiatives for children and youth (DIMSI)» (Moscow) is training youth who want to be engaged in international youth cooperation within the scope of development of public diplomacy in Russian Federation.
Aloys Ntezimana (24): Aloys was born in Eastern Province Nyagatare district. He is an undergraduate student at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) in Biology. As a teenager, Aloys created various initiatives, which culminated in initiating the UN Youth Programme in Rwanda this year after conferring with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Youth and the National Youth Council. His leadership experience began in 2007 after becoming a member of the World Youth Alliance and official chapter representative of this international youth organization in 2008. Aloys believes that family and youth are the base of every community, which is why they must be enabled to participate fully in the community and in decision making at all levels. He is passionate about bringing about change in his community and his message to all youth is: “Let’s start where we are, and be the change that we want to see. A lot of things will be better in our generation and we can leave a great legacy to future generations”.
Gita Hulmanova (23): Gita is currently doing her PhD studies in International Relations at the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia. She has been active in the scout movement for more than 10 years and works as member of the International council of Scouting Slovakia and coordinator for the European Voluntary Service. As a Youth delegate she was selected in a nation-wide essay competition followed by interviews. The competition was coordinated by the Youth Council of Slovakia and the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic. Gita has a great interest in youth policy on all levels and thinks youth definitely should be at the places where the decisions affecting them are being made. She has taken part in and organised numerous international projects and youth initiatives. Gita sees an enormous potential of volunteering and non-formal education and wishes it to be more acknowledged and recognised. She thinks everybody is obliged to use his/her talents and potential to make a positive change in his/her “part of the world”. After running several marathons she is not scared of “long distance running” either in sport or in life, loves new challenges and discovering other cultures and views on life, travelling, as well as coming back home.
Linda Wallberg (25): Linda is living in Stockholm and is currently working as financial officer for the Swedish Government, at the Secretariat for EU Meetings in Sweden 2009. She has studied human rights and economy at Stockholm University. Her main background is Scouting – she started when she was 8 years old and since 1999 she went on as a group leader and active volunteer at different levels. She is now engaged as a leader for the World Scout Jamborees in Sweden (2011). She has been active in youth participation at local, regional and national level since the age of 15; first as a Youth Ambassador in her school and now as a Youth Delegate to the United Nations. One of his main hobbies is travelling, and she has lived in Congo-Brazzaville and Uganda. She thinks that travelling provides an opportunity for an open-minded view, as well as an exchange of beliefs that enable people to learn from each other.
Tobias Naef (22): Tobias lives in Canton Obwalden in the beautiful village Engelberg in the middle of the Swiss alps. He is currently studying Political Science and Law at the University of Zurich. As a member of the United Nations Youth Association Switzerland he is involved in national UN policy and as Vice President of the MUN Team University of Zurich he is involved in academic UN research and participated in various MUN conferences. He is also an active part of the international branch of the Swiss National Youth Council dealing with the UN and the Council of Europe. The travel bug got him during his time in the scout movement. Since then he traveled to Central America learning Spanish and teaching indigenous kids, to the Middle East learning Arabic and to Mongolia working for a development bank. In his leisure time he loves to ski down the snowy mountains of his hometown or to have a swim in the rapid river of Zurich.
Manop Sinfungphankawi (22): Manop grew up in a village of the Yao Hill Tribe in Northern Thailand. His family came to Thailand from South China. Yao people are friendly, love their culture, value honour, cleanliness and the peaceful resolution of conflict. Hence they have done well in Thailand and in other places where they have settled, such as in California, Toulouse, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. We are known as the ‘businessmen’. His education, however, was in mainstream Thai Government supported schools and in the Buddhist way, so Manop is amongst the first of a group of young people from the Hill Tribes who see the world partly through non traditional eyes. This is not always easy for the people back home. Manop is currently in his fourth year of study in Political Science at Chiang Mai University. He is active in the Ethnic Student Group and in the American Studies Club. During the past three years, Manop has received funding to visit and explore the lifestyles of Yao people in Vietnam and in the South of France and to visit extensively the UK. These experiences have broadened his perspectives in unique ways. It all seems far from life in the Yao village in which he grew up but he tries to remember and honour his origins.
Siriwan Limsakul (23): Siriwan has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. She is the co-founder of Chulalongkorn University Model United Nations Club which works to educate students about the role and activities of the United Nations. During her bachelor’s degree, she participated in many academic conferences and World Model United Nations. She also gained experience in human rights and alternative development issues during her work as Teaching Assistant. She is currently working as a research assistant at the Faculty of Political Science of Chulalongkorn University, working on European Union and ASEAN Civil Society Promotion. Her special interests are international humanitarian law and human rights. Her highest hope is that human rights would be considered as the basis of every national policy and international cooperation. For Siriwan, participating in the 64th UNGA as youth delegate from Thailand is the most valuable experience. She believes that youth will be key in international policy making and policy implementation in the future, therefore participation of youth at the United Nations is crucial.
Henry Aho (25): was born in Tonga and came to New York in 2005 to pursue studies towards his Bachelor’s in Business Administration, at the Metropolitan College of New York. His interaction with the Pacific Islands diplomatic community caused him to realize the importance of multilateralism and the purpose and work of the United Nations. Upon graduation this year he inquired about the youth delegate programme so that he could engage in the dialogue and the action, becoming the voice of youth for Tonga at this international forum. Through his own initiative he urged the relevant Government agencies to include a Youth Delegate in its official delegation to the Sixty Fourth Session of the General Assembly. He hopes that through this type of engagement he will demonstrate the importance of youth participation in policy making at an international forum. Henry has actively worked with UTOPIA SF, an organization based in San Francisco, CA that helps create awareness of HIV/AIDS and to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation, for immigrants from Polynesian Islands to the U.S. He is also in close contact with youth organizations in Tonga to further promote their interests at the United Nations. Endorsed by the Ministry of Training, Employment, Youth and Sport and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he is the first youth delegate from Tonga. He hopes he will not be the last, and is determined to work on creating a more sustainable youth delegate programme for Tonga.
Seyithan Ahmet Ates (27): Seyithan was born in southern Turkey, Osmaniye. He started to study in Bilkent, Turkey and then moved to the Vienna University of Economics where he received an MA degree. He is currently obtaining a PhD in Energy Management at the Vienna University of Technology. Seyithan has served as vice president of the Wonder International Student Association which offers students free consulting services on issues ranging from finding a house to adaptation to the universities. He has also been president of FETA Economy Club and a member of the United Nations Youth and Student Association of Austria. As a trainee at UNIDO, he had the opportunity to participate in fund-raising programmes for youth projects and became aware of the crucial role of international collaboration on global issues. He believes that the UN, as well as all democratic institutions, should play a more effective role as far as global issues such as international conflicts, climate change, the economic downturn and rising youth unemployment are concerned. He intends to use his experience as a youth delegate to raise awareness on development and global UN issues among young citizens of Turkey and to implement a sustainable nationwide programme of selecting youth representatives to the UN.
5 October – 8.30 am, DC2-1337: UN youth delegates breakfast briefing with the UN Programme on Youth.
7 October – 2.00 – 3.00 pm, DC2-1337: UN youth delegates meeting with the UN Programme on Youth to discuss the experience as youth delegates.
8 October – lunchtime: Side event on Youth and Armed Conflict (tbc)
9 October: Breakfast meeting at the Swiss mission on Youth and Migration (tbc)
12 October – 12.30 – 2.00 pm: Side event on Youth Participation organized by European Youth Forum, United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels and the European Commission delegation in New York.
13 October – 1.15 – 2.45 pm: Side event on Climate Juctice hosted by the German Mission