Meet the Youth Delegates
Joren Selleslaghs, 21, is one of the two Belgian Youth Delegates, he is the youth delegate for Flanders.Joren obtained recently his Bachelors degree in Political science at the Free University of Brussels and will start a two years course of European Studies at the Institute of European Studies in Belgium. A part of his studies he did at the University of Corsica and before that he was an exchange student in the Central American country of Honduras. Besides learning spanish in Honduras, he also volunteered at many different projects organized by local NGO’s and UNICEF throughout whole Central America as he experienced the different aspects of poverty and its impact on youth. Once back in Belgium he kept active volunteering in different projects to promote the intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, while believing that since we live in an globalized world, we should act globally too. In the same spirit, he strongly supports the idea of having a strong United Nations Organization and was very active in different Model United Nations conferences organized by universities like Oxford University and Harvard University.
Stefani Borislavova Simeonova, aged 18, is the current Youth Delegate to the GA. She is a student at the First English Language School in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is the current president of club UNESCO at her school and is involved in many other extracurricular activities. In Saint Petersburg High School in the United States, Stefani was involved in many different clubs and organizations, concerning youth, such as Youth in Government, Model United Nation’s Club, Student Government Association etc.
She has participated in Model United Nations in the United States, where she first became interested in and inspired by the ideals of the United Nations. She was a part of the GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) summer camp program with the American Peace Corps, where she learned about the importance of youth involvement and the different ways in which youth can influence society in a positive way. Young people are the future of every nations and Stefani feels honored to be able to have the amazing opportunity to represent the youth of her country because she believes that there are no limitations or boundaries to what young people can do.is planning to start her university studies after two years of working full time as the president of her national school student union.
Katerina Lovtchinova, aged 24, is the current Bulgarian Youth Delegate to the UN. She recently obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degrees in both Political Science and International Relations, and European Studies at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG). During her studies at AUBG, Katerina was an active member of Better Community Club, focused on local level projects for improving the environment in which community lives, and raising awareness mostly among youth, regarding problems connected to education, environment, HIV/AIDS. She was also a member of the Model United Nations Club at AUBG, which organizes every year the BLIMUN simulations with participation of many international students.
Katerina is passionate about traveling and exploring diverse cultures and traditions. She strongly believes that youth should be nurtured trough a proper and well-developed educational system which has to relate to the fast-changing, globalized world of technological revolution. Therefore, Katerina hopes that widening and deepening of such initiatives, like the creation of the UN Program of Youth, is essential for having a pool of well educated, highly motivated and skilful young citizens of the world who shape today our future tomorrow.
Alina Nadezhda Belcheva, aged 28, is the Bulgarian Youth Delegate to the United Nations Commission on Social Development for 2011/2012. She obtained her Master Degrees in International and European law at the University Paul Cezanne, Aix –en –Provence, France. Actually she is enrolled in PhD program at the same university. During her education and after graduation she gained experience in different international governmental and non-governmental organizations, such as NATO and the Bulgarian Red Cross. Actually she is working as a legal advisor meanwhile she is member of the Rotaract Club Sofia –City, Rotary Youth Bulgaria and has been elected for secretary of the same for 2011/2012. She strongly believes that youth is the future and should be included in the decision –making process at both national and international level. The youth shall be educated trough an adequate educational related to the requirements of the fast-changing, globalized world of technological revolution.
Alina Böling, 21 is the finnish youth delegate. Alina has a background in her national school student union. She has also been involved in several other youth organizations and the international work of her national youth council. Through her involvement in youth organizations Alina has been working with issues such as youth participation, youth rights, human rights education as well as young people and development.
Currently, Alina is planning to start her university studies after two years of working full time as the president of her national school student union.
Norbert Monti YLPCE 2011 was selected as UN Youth Delegate in a transparent application process overseen by members of the civil society in 2010. The organizers were the Hungarian UNESCO and UNICEF
In 2011 he participated in several events, which provided him a better view on problems of the Hungarian and foreign youth policy. He attended different meetings where he was informed about the situation of young people. He is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of his community’s youth council in the city of Miskolc.
He attended the High-level meeting of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest in April 2011.In November 2011 he took part in the German UN Association’s workshop where other European Youth Delegates shared their experiences related to their work done at UN international events.
He represented the Hungarian youth at the 50th session of the UN Commission for Social Development in February 2012. Youth Delegates worked together to find solutions to youth poverty eradication, the effect of financial crisis on youth, youth unemployment and education. These are issues that have a huge impact on Hungarian Youth and solutions to them can change the future of the country.
He has also represented the Hungarian Youth at the Rio+20 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in June 2012. It is known that the resolution accepted at Rio+20 is a step forward a fair society, green economy, the creation of green jobs, the use of renewable energy, sustainable education, climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, desertification among different issues. This is why the message of Rio+20 must be understood by the young so as to tackle present problems and look for their solutions.
From September 2012 he is studying at the Li Po Chun UWC in Hong Kong. In this school he will represent Hungary among 80 other nations’ students.
Ruth Lawrence is a 23 year old who has spent a decade giving her life to servicing her country and fellow youth, it is because of this she was recently awarded the Prime Minister’s Youth Award (Jamaica’s highest youth award) for Excellence in the category of Youth in Service. Now at the University of the West Indies, Mona where she is pursuing her final year of study in Marketing Management, Ms. Lawrence is intimately involved in youth development through the National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD), where she has volunteered for the past five years and recently been employed as the Youth Empowerment Officer.
She can be found serving on several boards some of which include; The Broadcasting Commission’s Monitoring and Compliance Committee; the United Nations Population Fund Youth Advisory Group and the Jamaican Youth Parliament.
Meeckel B Beecher: My involvement in youth development has focused on literacy at all levels. I support the notion that literacy is a human right and is the best tool for human development. Literacy is essential in eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, and achieving gender equality. I am involved in training individuals to use social and traditional media techniques as aids to show their situations to policy makers and to demand changes in their communities.
My focus is now on environmental sustainability, where I will start an education campaign to instill values and attitudes that promote healthy living, respect for the environment and changing in values and attitude. I have a BA in Media and Communication from the University of the West Indies, with professional training in Project Management and Implementation and Television Production.
Dirk Janssen is the Dutch Youth Delegate. He is currently studying economics and international relations at Maastricht University, in The Netherlands. He also studied politics and social development for a semester at the University of Ghana, in Accra. During his time in Ghana, Dirk worked as a volunteer at the Liberian UN refugee camp Budumburam. Since the age of 15, he has also been actively involved in various civic engagement projects, and has organized debates on social issues, and well as participated in a project with Rwandan students in Kigali. Through the project in Kigali, Dirk realized the strength of cooperation, solidarity and the similarities between the Dutch and Rwandan youth.
Abhishek Raman Parajuli, aged 19, is the Nepalese Youth Delegate. Abhishek finished his high school studies at the United World College in Hong Kong, and is taking a year off before starting college. Currently he works at the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics & Environment, a think-tank in Nepal, as well as serving as a member of the United Nations Youth Advisory Panel in Nepal. Abhishek has written articles on social issues for South Asian national newspapers, has published a research paper on the United Nations role in the Rwandan genocide in the history journal, Concord Review. Abhishek has experience from various Model United Nations conferences (MUN), having participated at the Harvard Model United Nations conference were he served as the Secretary-General and was rewarded an outstanding delegate award. He also participated in the annual Global Model United Nations 2010 were he was awarded the best position paper.
Jon André Hvoslef-Eide, aged 24, is the Norwegian youth delegate. Jon is vice president of Changemaker, the youth branch of Norwegian Church Aid. Specializing in trade and economy, he’s often found working on illegitimate debt-issues, state bonds and tax. Jon is a representative to the Norwegian Tax Justice Network, and a former board member of Operation Days Work, an annual programme where approximately 120,000 youth work and earn 4 million euros in order to provide youth in the South with educational opportunities.
He is also studying law at the University of Oslo, on master level, and will deliver his thesis on international tax (in the) fall of 2012.
Tomás Leite, is aged 21 and is the Portuguese Youth Delegate. Tomás has just finished his Bachelor of Economics from Faculdade de Economia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He is now looking for an internship before starting his Master’s programme. Tomás has been a member of the biggest youth organization in the world, the Scouts, since the age of 10. As a scout he participated in several international activities. In 2008 he represented the Portuguese Scout Association as a delegate in the World Scout Youth Forum in South Korea. Today, as a scout leader, Tomás has the luck of helping young boys and girls grow to become active citizens who play a constructive role in society. He worked in Sao Tomé and Principe for 2 months as an NGO Development Volunteer. This once-in-a-lifetime experience allowed him to broaden his horizons and see first hand how youth involvement can have such an important role in the world. He also participates in meetings of the Portuguese National Youth Council and in the Local Youth Council.
Karine Rusaro Utamuliza is one of the two Rwandan UN youth delegates for 2011. Born in 1987 she is currently finishing her bachelor degree in Zoology and conservation at the National University of Rwanda. She has had a lot of experience in youth advocacy and representation.
Since 2007, she has been participating in several beauty contests and was elected first runner-up Miss Rwanda 2009. Since then she has been involved in many activities aimed at sensitizing Rwandan youth take sustainable initiatives to address problems that young people are facing where she also shares practical experiences. She has been one of first Rwandan youth representative to UN selected in 2009, and attended the UNGA the same year where she delivered a statement on behalf of Rwandan youth. She is among the founders of the Rwandan youth organization on climate change, poverty reduction and environment protection created in 2010
She has actively participated in celebrating the international volunteer day in 2010 and contributed greatly to make a declaration at the end to mark agreement on common actions that had to be taken to achieving MDGs through volunteerism.
She is most interested in culture, youth advancement and protection of the environment and presently working as the coordinator of tourists guide in the Institute of national museums of Rwanda.
Aloys Ntezimana, aged 25, is one of the two UN Youth Delegates from Rwanda and a former UNESCO Students Ambassador. He comes from the Nyagatare district, eastern province of Rwanda. He is an initiator of the United Nations Youth Delegates Programme in Rwanda. Mr. Aloys is the founder and CEO of Self Employed Youth Organization “SEYO” and one of the co-founders of Rwandan Youth Alliance for Climate Action (RYACA: www.ryaca.org). As a Rwandan youth leader, he has created different initiatives in his country; Aloys is known through his effort to promote human dignity and human rights, fighting poverty, climate change and HIV/AIDS. He studied Biology at National University of Rwanda from 2007-2011 with Zoology and Conservation majors. His university studies were combined with studies of Social Entrepreneurship and Social Business by addressing the bottom of the pyramid from the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI India), Training on Climate Change and Diplomacy issued by United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) and other professional trainings.
He is well known as very strong and ever ambitious youth activist to promote youth participation in international decision making processes, most importantly youth from Global South.
Monika Mareková, aged 23, is the Slovak Youth Delegate. She is doing a master degree in law at the Faculty of Law of Masaryk University in Brno in the Czech Republic. This academic year she was studying as an exchange student in the Department of Law and Justice at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada and two years ago she was studying for one year at the Faculty of Law of University of Fribourg in Fribourg, Switzerland. In her studies she has been aimed at the international public law and human rights. This summer she is going to participate in the UN Graduate Study Programme in Geneva. Beside her studies she is doing an internship in the Czech Center for Human Rights and Democratization, within which she is responsible for doing research on the topical issues in the field of human rights. While she was studying at Laurentian University, she worked as an assistant of a professor in the Department of Law and Justice and she participated in the activities of the university club Rights & Democracy Student Network. One year ago she performed an internship at the Office of the Czech Public Defender of Rights – Ombudsman. Monika believes that young people are able to achieve immense things; they just need to be brought to activity and to be supported in it.
Malin Johansson, aged 24, is the Swedish Youth Delegate. She is currently studying Global Development in Stockholm, Sweden. She is the president of Stockholm Deaf Youth Association and also very active in Swedish Deaf Youth Association. Malin works hard for all parts of society to be accessible for everyone, and for everyone to be able to participate on equal terms. She loves travelling and lived in India for four months where she worked as a volunteer at a Deaf school in Bangalore, which was one of the greatest experiences of her life. She has also worked at world camps for children and youths in Norway and Venezuela. One year ago she was part of Program Committee for the Nordic Culture Festival for Deaf. Her primary political focus is of course the youth perspective, but also rights for people with disabilities although she has many other political priorities as well, such as gender equality and anti-discrimination on all grounds.
Oliver Felix is one of three Swiss Youth Delegates and will be attending the 66th Session of the General Assembly. He is 21 years old and currently studying History, Public Law and Political Science at the University of Zurich. Oliver is a board member of the Model United Nations Association of the University of Zurich and has participated at the UN simulation conferences in Oxford and Milan. Last year, Oliver successfully applied for the United Nations Intensive Summer Study Program in New York. For many years Oliver has supported students with various difficulties at school, such as dyslexia or weak knowledge of the language of instruction. One of his main priorities in his year as a youth delegate is to make clear that young people can take responsibility for themselves and for others and should do so. Oliver is looking forward to the General Assembly and is of the strong opinion that the Youth Delegates will be able to leave a lasting mark, because their commitment and passion can change perspectives and conceptions!
Hung Tran, aged 20, is the Vietnamese Youth Delegate. Hung Tran is a third year BA student in Economics, Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin college, USA. He holds a firm belief in the United Nations’ ability to cope with increasingly challenging global issues and young people’s power to contribute to the betterment of their countries. Hung co-founded and is currently serving as the CEO of NES Inc., a social enterprise focusing on media and administrative technologies specialized for corporations, governmental organizations and end users in Vietnam. He co-chaired the VietAbroader Business Conferene in Hanoi while being one of the four representatives of Vietnam to the One Young World Summit in London. He has participated in politics at home with his main agenda of exposing youth to the major decision making process through the Youth Union and the National Assembly.
During the 66th Session of the General Assembly there will be a variety of events including a photo opportunity for the official youth delegates with the Secretary-General, a briefing with the UN Programme on Youth and a side event on youth at the German Mission. For more information about events taking place, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.