Meet the Youth Delegates
Melissa Ofoedu, aged 23, from Vienna, is the Austrian Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. She studies Economics at the University for Economics and Business Administration Vienna and International Development at the University of Vienna. Furthermore, she works at the NGO LEFÖ, which supports migrant women who are victims of human trafficking. She has been engaged in human rights work from the age of 14, when she founded a Young Amnesty Group supported by Amnesty International. She has been a member of the United Nations Youth Association Networks for the past 2 years. Currently Melissa focuses on the advancement and empowerment of Austrian youth with migration backgrounds and has initiated a project promoting citizenship education for young people and giving them the chance to voice their opinions on youth unemployment, diversity and other issues of concern to Austrian politicians. She believes that education and participation are crucial for young women and men to live self-determined and full lives in their respective communities. As the Austrian Youth Delegate Melissa hopes to be able to commit Member States to effective measures to combat youth unemployment and to instil in them a continuous focus on securing sexual reproductive health and rights for women and girls around the world.
Dan Ryan aged 24, from Adelaide, is the Australian Youth Delegate to the UN Gneral Assembly 2012. Dan completed a Bachelor of Management Marketing degree with The University of South Australia, and three years employment in a glamourous retail marketing role. However, it was experiences volunteering in Africa and Asia, especially two months in 2010 in Cambodia, which led Dan to change his career and seek opportunities to make a difference. Dan is committed to driving social innovation and putting a spotlight on solutions addressing the problems faced by young people both locally and internationally. With his appointment as United Nations Youth Representative for Australia he launched www.unyouthrep.com which leverages social media to drive engagement with solutions submitted by young people across Australia. Dan worked as a Marketing Coordinator at Austraining International, a project management company delivering programs for social development in over 20 countries. Here he applied his skills in online development and social media for two years, Austraining are his principal sponsor for his national National Listening and Report Back tours. Dan has volunteered with the Oaktree Foundation and Global Poverty Project as well as sitting on a youth advisory board to his local council. Dan has represented youth opinion at many conferences including representing Australia at the One Young World 2011 Summit in Zurich, Switzerland
Oeljana Radelicki, aged 26, from Leuven, is one of the two Belgian Youth Delegates to the UN General Assembly 2012. She is currently completing a Master’s Degree in International and European Law at the Free University of Brussels. She specializes in environmental issues generally and the sale of emission rights in Europe. She has been an active member of the International Cell within the Flemish Youth Council for 3 years. In this respect, she has represented the interests of Flemish and international youth both in Belgium and at the UN, where she participated in the Commission for Social Development last February. Her work for the Flemish Youth Council focuses mainly on the Millennium Development Goals, which she considers to be of fundamental importance to stimulating the opportunities of young people across the world. To this regard, she has also taken part to the organization of several projects and activities linked to sustainable development and development cooperation and directed to a young-adult public. She also has a strong interest in development of educational systems, in both formal and informal settings, which she will strive to promote during her work as youth delegate. As part of her academic and personal commitment to raise awareness about this pressing issue, in New York she will organize the Side-Event ‘The water we want, youth acts for water’ on water sustainability.
Jonathan Moskovic, aged 22, from the French-speaking part of Belgium, is one of the Belgian Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. He graduated in Political Science at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and is currently studying European studies at the Institute for European studies in Brussels(IEE). He has been active in different associations as le “CJMAD” which aim is to contribute to dialogue and friendship between Jewish and Muslim people and to “A place to live” which is a volunteer association to help vulnerable persons. At the same time, Jonathan is an animator of a local sport show on the radio and student’s representative of his faculty. One of his priorities is to bring youth closer to regional and international organizations as the EU and the United Nations with a final aim of mutual understanding and contributing to a better world. He wants to fight against fatalism, which according to him is the biggest opponent of progress. In New York he will organize a side-event with his Dutch speaking colleague, Oeljana Radelicki, about water scarcity and how youth can act for water.
Gergana Tomova, aged 25, is one of the Bulgarian youth delegates to the General Assembly 2012. She completed her second M.A. as a Fulbright scholar in 2010/2011, at Fordham University, major Elections and Campaign Management. Gergana received her first M.A. in Political science from the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria. Her wish to become a Bulgarian Youth Delegate is a result from her own interest in the topic and her desire to make a change. During her study at the UNWE, she co-founded a student NGO, “Ego Politico”, working for the active involvement of young people in the most important processes. While working on her Master’s degree in the USA, she was involved in a student taskforce and worked with development organization BRAC on a project in Tanzania. She was also part of the UN Youth Subcommittee, which organized a briefing meeting in NYC before the 64th UN DPI/NGO conference in Bonn. Currently, Gergana is working as a researcher for a full-service research company in Sofia, which allows her to follow closely active youth projects in Bulgaria. She believes that during the one-year mandate the whole team of Bulgarian Youth Delegate will be able to successfully work toward improvement of the priority areas for the young people and will help make their voices heard. Gergana Tomova grew up in the Czech Republic, apart from Bulgarian she’s fluent in English and Czech and can speak freely German and Russian.
Asen Dimitrov, aged 23, is the second Bulgarian delegate to the General Assembly 2012. He graduated from the High School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, where for two years he chaired the oldest student parliament in Southwest Bulgaria. At the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), in his native town of Blagoevgrad, Asen completed with distinction a double major in Political Science and International Relations & Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked as a reporter and later editor of the general interest student-run magazine Verve as well as the photography publication InFocus. In 2009, he founded a high-profile lecture series, bringing renowned politicians, diplomats and political scholars on campus, as well as a parallel series called Tea Talks, offering students a chance to meet skillful professionals in an informal setting over a cup of tea. Asen contributes to Radio Blagoevgrad, regional radio station of the Bulgarian National Radio, and enjoys photographing various events. Before joining the Youth Delegate team, Asen worked for Teach For Bulgaria, member of the international network Teach For All. Supporting the efforts of the organization to help provide quality education for more pupils in Bulgaria, Asen was involved in coordinating the Spring 2012 recruitment campaign and selecting the very best applicants to teach at Bulgarian secondary schools for two years. He is not only interested in educational issues in Bulgaria and other high and middle income countries with comparable problems, but also in the educational challenges of the developing world where many children do not have the chance to acquire even primary education.Boryana Zareva, aged 27, is the third Bulgarian delegate to the General Assembly 2012. She obtained her BA degree in Integrated Human Studies, majoring in International Relations and International Law at Kyoto University in Japan. She also holds a MA degree in International Public Policy with International Human Rights Law specialization from Osaka University. Boryana is currently at the end of her LLM studies of Public International Law at Leiden University, the Netherlands. During her studies, she participated in various projects and conferences both in Bulgaria and abroad. As her main fields of study and interest are Human Rights and Human Security, she strongly believes that youth from all around the world should be able to enjoy equal opportunities for future. The United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth is major step towards the achievement of that goal and it lies with the Youth Delegates not only to promote and implement it, but to take it further and further.
Iliana Lazarova, aged 22, is one of the Bulgarian delegates to the General Assembly 2012. She holds a degree of International Economic Relations from the University of National and World Economy and during her final year has been a grantee of the “Bulgarian Young Leaders” program to Columbia University in New York. She is actively interested in the social processes in post-communist societies of Eastern Europe, in the problems of young people on global scale. Her future professional aspirations are in the field of renewable energy and sustainable social development. Iliana has the vision and drive to form a network of devoted to a common idea young motivated people and inspire them for a certain idea. She strongly believes in the importance of team work and the has participated in projects on the topics of intercultural dialogue and simulations of the European Parliament. Iliana has represented Bulgaria in the international meeting in Warsaw, called Generation ’89 :How can we change the world? . She had the chance to get to know the United Nations Organization during an internship; freely communicates with friends from all over the world. In the fall of 2012,Iliana joins the organization “Teach for Bulgaria” as a transformational teacher, as she deems good education and self belief as extremely important factors for success. She believes that young people must “be the change, they want to see in the world”; to never stop self-improve and dream actively. She speaks freely English, Russian,and Spanish; communicates in French.
Asen Dimitrov, aged 23, is one of the Bulgarian Youth Delegates to the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly. Asen graduated from the High School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences in his native town of Blagoevgrad, where for two years he chaired one of the oldest student parliaments in Bulgaria. At the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), Asen completed with distinction a double major in Political Science and International Relations & Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked as a reporter and later editor of the general interest student-run magazine Verve and the photography publication InFocus. In 2009, he co-founded the high-profile Ambassador Elena Poptodorova Distinguished Lecturers Series, bringing renowned politicians, diplomats and political scholars on campus. Before Asen was elected Bulgarian youth delegate, he worked for Teach For Bulgaria, member of the international network Teach For All. Supporting the efforts of the organization to help provide quality education for more pupils in Bulgaria, Asen was involved in coordinating the Spring 2012 recruitment campaign and selecting the very best applicants to teach at Bulgarian secondary schools for two years. Asen says youth delegates, besides their formal duties, have an immense opportunity to motivate young people, and this could potentially become delegate’s strongest contribution to society.
Isaac Emmanuel Vasquez Montilla , is the Dominican young delegate to the General Assembly 2012. He graduated in Business Administration at the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC). He started his journey in the UN world in 2004 with the foundation of the first Model UN Club in the Cardinal Sancha Polytechnic Institute. Since then he has participated in about 31 Model UN as a delegate, and office volunteer member of the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic (UNA-DR). He has also had the opportunity to participate in meetings, forums and Social Services. During August 2009 he participated in the Youth of America Forum and Comunity Service Week in Haiti. In the month of December of the same year he was honored to serve as moderator of one of the working groups at the second edition of the Regional Conference on Human Rights in Mexico, organized by the UN Center Information for Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. In mid April he attended on behalf of the Dominican Republic to the “Clinton Global Initiative University” activity led by the former President of the United States Bill Clinton. He is currently an active member of the United Nations Association of the Dominican Republic, The Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, the Ministry of Education of the DR and the Ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology.
Cecilia Pellosniemi, aged 24, from Helsinki, is the Finnish Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly. Cecilia holds a M.A. degree in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies from the College of Europe, where she specialized in mediation and conflict resolution. Cecilia’s youth organization experience has been primarily built up in European youth organizations such as the European Youth Parliament. Her youth work has mainly focused on training, leadership methods, democracy education, peacebuilding and conflict simulations. As part of Finland’s official delegation she is representing the Finnish Youth Cooperation – Allianssi as well as the UN Association of Finland. In Rio+20 she also represented Save the Children and World Vision Finland. She is currently working as Project Coordinator at PACTA, a track II peace mediation agency operating in Southeast Asia. Cecilia has also worked at the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Finnish OSCE presidency, the Finnish Foreign Ministry as well as mediatEUr (the European Forum for International Mediation and Dialogue). Cecilia has a special interest in youth and peacebuilding, and the theme of her delegate year is “youth, peace and security”. Cecilia has been a vocal advocate of a UN Security Council resolution on youth and conflict, and she believes that providing opportunities and security structures to young people is key to ending violent conflict.
Giorgi Tshekhani, aged 24, is the Georgian Youth Delegate to the General Assembly 2012. He obtained an LLB degree in Georgia and LLM degree in the United Kingdom. In 2006, Giorgi was selected as a scholar of the US Department of State and studied law in Washington State for one year. During the first year of studies, Giorgi was an active member of the Student Union leading the Committee of Cultural Events. During his studies in the USA, he was a member of the International Students Organization. At the same time, he undertook internships with the Washington Bar Association and Washington State Juvenile Court. He also volunteered for Tacoma Rescue Mission where he worked with homeless children. In 2007, he was elected as a Secretary-General of the Student Union. In 2008, along with UNA Georgia, Giorgi implemented his own project – Georgian National Model UN which involved more than 300 students throughout Georgia. In 2008, Giorgi established the NGO “Youth for United Nations – Georgia” and started to educate Georgian youth about the UN. At the same time, the objective of the mentioned NGO was to lobby the idea of establishing the UN Youth Delegate Program in Georgia. Giorgi is interested in international relations and diplomacy. He participated in various Model UN conferences, such as UGRAD Model UN in Washington DC, European Model UN in Maastricht, Bonn International Model UN, etc. Besides representing the interests of Georgian youth at UN, Giorgi is interested to make his contribution to build the sense of tolerance and mutual respect in Georgian young people.
Sabrina Reindl, aged 23, from Regensburg, is one of the two German Youth Delegates to the UN General Assembly 2012. She is in the last throes of her Bachelor studies ‘European Studies’ at Passau University. Next to her studies she has been involved in Youth Work for many years. She has been a member of the scouts association St. Georg since the age of 9 years old, which remains a very important part of her life. She continues to participate there as a group leader and additionally she helps in organizing the summer camps every year. Furthermore she is part of the network teamGLOBAL, a peer-education project of the Federal Agency for Civic Education. During workshops in schools teamGLOBAL tries to work out questions concerning Globalization together with young people in very interactive ways. The importance hereby is not to impart a huge amount of knowledge to the youth but to encourage them to start thinking independently about the world they live in. Whenever there is any time she loves discovering as much as possible of the world while travelling around with her friends.
Patrick Rohde, aged 23, from Hamburg is one of the two German Youth Delegates to the UN General Assembly 2012. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and German Language and Literature in Jena (Thüringen) at the Friedrich-Schiller-University, where he was involved with the federal organization of the BdP Schleswig-Holstein/Hamburg as part of the regional board. In Bargteheide he gained his first youth work experiences. He started in 1998, first just as a member of the BdP scout troop Geisterburg, than in 2003 as a group scout leader and in 2005 as the deputy scout troop leader of the BdP troop Geisterburg. Hence forward he extended his youth work over several years, organizing and being responsible for advanced training courses, several youth camps, and other activities dedicated to the youth. Besides his youth work activities he likes to spend time with his girlfriend, relaxing in the city park, discovering faraway (and nearby) countries and foreign cultures or just staying at home and meeting with his friends.
Francina Francis, aged 18 from Clarendon Jamaica is the Jamaican Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. She is a grade 13 high school student at Clarendon College in Chapelton Jamaica, pursuing five subjects at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Level, with a concentration mainly in the arts. Francina is an executive member of her school’s camera club, a group aimed at advocacy through photography. Their mission is to provide commentaries on social issues while seeking to ignite public awareness and promote feasible solutions. They also aim to train young people in the art of photography while emphasising the power of the lens to capture and generate interest in social issues. This year the Clarendon College Camera Club won tops awards at the National Resolution Project which sought to highlight the best of Jamaica’s Cultural heritage in this our 50th year of independence. The project also provided an opportunity for youth to reflect on the need for cultural preservation in the face of continuous erasure. Francina is also a member of her school’s quiz club and is currently in preparation mode for The School’s Challenge Quiz Competition, a national televised high school knowledge-based competition. Francina hopes to pursue a degree in law or political science at the University of the West Indies in September of 2013 while continuing to write in her spare time. She hopes one day to publish a series of motivational books.
Gladdy Kahara is one of the two youth delegates from Kenya at the UN General Assembly. She studies International Relations at the United States International University concentrating on Diplomacy and Foreign Policy. She was the Official Youth Delegate to Rio+ 20- UN conference on Sustainable Development, Rio Brazil (2012). She also represented the Kenyan youth at the Conference on ICC cases in Africa, Hague Netherlands (2011). She has also attended a number of conferences all over the World including; European Model United Nations Conference, Maastricht Netherlands (2011), UN conference on Conflict resolution, Kampala, Uganda (2011), China Peace Revolution, Macau China (2009), UN Conference against Drugs, Hong Kong (2009), UN conference on HIV AIDS in 2007 Gigiri, UNON Nairobi (2007),UN conference on Human Rights Gigiri, UNON Nairobi (2006) and Girl Guide Conference, London, UK (2006). She is also the director of Peace Makers’ International. An NGO that focuses on Youth Peace and Development. Among other achievements she was the Executive Producer- Hollywood Christmas Play ‘Mary and Joseph in Prison’ (2011). She won the Peace Award- in China Revolution Conference (2010). She coordinated the Humanitarian Department Wakenya Pamoja-Team of Musicians formed for reconciliation during Post election Violence. She is the Director- Dove Music Production and is the Youth representative-Sustainable Development Initiatives Centre (USIU). Gladwell is very passionate about humanitarian work and young people. She believes that a nation that doesn’t take care of its youth does not have a future and it truly doesn’t deserve one.
Rebecca Ndombi, aged 23, is one of the two Kenyan youth delegates to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly 2012 . She is also part of the Kenyan presidential delegation to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly 2012. Rebecca is currently completing her Degree in Information and Communication Technology Management from Maseno University. She was Awarded a First Class Honors in International Computer Driving License from the Institute of Advanced Technology and has completed her Certificate IV in Law from Australian Study Institute. Rebecca is the Director of Tofauti On The Move (a swahili word meaning Making a difference), an international NGO that involves the youth from around the globe in empowering young women and children in Kenya http://tofautionthemove.blogspot.com/2011/07/about-us.html. Rebecca was elected as the Education Youth representative of Knatcom UNESCO in 2011 where she participated in educating children on personal hygiene as a preventive measure for the spread of diseases and counselling the youth involved in domestic violence, rape and abuse in the slum areas of Nairobi. She played an instrumental role in advocating for Peace in 2009 at The Youth Revolution Conference that was held in Macau, China and also participated in the Leadership and Training Forum that was held in Southampton, UK 2006. This being the first time a Kenyan Youth Representative to UN has read the policy statement on Social Development, Rebecca was able to be the voice of young people in her Nation as she made the policy statement that received a clapping ovation from the chairman and other Representatives of states at this years 67th session to the UN General Assembly. She advocated for youth involvement in policy making, increase in opportunities for on-job training and employment, increase in ICT investments and green economy development. Rebecca continues to make a difference in her community and Nationwide; she believes in the motto “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”M.Williamson.
Åshild Marie Vige, aged 24, from Fredrikstad, is the Norwegian Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. She is currently studying law at the University of Oslo. Furthermore, she is the president of Queer Youth Norway, Norway’s only LGBTQ organization for youth, on her second term. She also has her organization background in Young Friends of the Earth Norway and the National Association for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in Norway. Areas of interests are sexual and reproductive health rights, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ rights and child and youth participation.
Maciej Chęciński, aged 20, from Warsaw, is the Polish Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. He studies law at the Law and Administration Faculty of the University of Warsaw. Maciej is one of the founders and the first Vice-president of the United Nations Association – Poland, where his duties include maintaining working contacts with government and diplomatic missions as well as overseeing the Department of Research and Political Affairs. His interest in UN-related affairs started many years ago when he took part in a MUN conference for the first time. Since then he is actively involved in organisation of the Warsaw Model United Nations conference for high school students. Maciej was originator of the establishment of the UN Youth Delegate programme in Poland and from the very beginning he is its coordinator on behalf of the UNA-Poland. As a Youth Delegate, among other activities, he would like to promote Polish initiative of observance of the Janusz Korczak Year, dedicated to the rights of children. In his free time he likes to spend time with his friends and beloved girlfriend Agata, watching movies or simply wandering around the beautiful city of Warsaw.
Bogdan Baciu, aged 18, from Falticeni, is the Romanian Youth Delegates to the UN General Assembly 2012. He recently graduated high-school and from October 2012 he will be a student at the National School of Political Science – Communication and Public Relations. His participation on youth issues at national level started in his first year of high-school. He was actively involved in projects organized by Red Cross, Save the Children and the National Student Council. He has participated in more then ten video contests based on social problems. Furthermore, this year he was named the Student of the Year in Romania. Bogdan strongly believes that this international experience is one of the most important of his life and that the Youth Delegate Program has changed his life in a very positive way.
Aruthra Rajasingham is Sri Lanka’s young delegate at the General Assembly 2012. She is presently reading for a Masters degree in Development Practice at the University of Peradeniya, and have completed Bachelors Degree in Social Work at the National Institute of Social Development. Her undergraduate research focused on the behavioral problems of children exposed to Domestic Violence, and was awarded the W.H.W Soysa Award for the Best Research Report, by the Academic Affairs Board, the Governing Council of National Institute of Social Development in 2009. The abstract of the study was presented at the World Conference on Social Work and Social Development in Stockholm, Sweden, 8-12 July 2012. Her academic interests have been central to her interest in pursuing a career in international development practice. Furthermore, she has been involved in Sri Lanka’s development sector since the beginning of her career, having successfully completed an internship at the Institute of Psychiatry, Angoda alongside having extensively volunteered with organizations such as Medical Teams International, Family Planning Association, Alcohol & Drug Information Centre, UNFPA and Voluntary Service Overseas. Moreover, she was also a part of the initial Global Xchange Volunteer program from 2010 to 2011, where she spent 3 months in the United Kingdom and 3 months in Ampara, Sri Lanka. Furthermore, she is engaged as a facilitator for British Council Sri Lanka’s Active Citizens program, which has provided her with the opportunity to work with socially-responsible young people in building trust and understanding, developing skills, delivering social action projects on emerging themes such as poverty, literacy, health and climate change, and connecting local and international agendas. As a long term career aspiration she hopes to continue working with young people and advocate for issues affecting youth and development.
Jayathma Wickramanayake, aged 21, is Sri Lanka’s young delegate at the General Assembly 2012. She is a second year undergraduate in University of Colombo, Faculty of Science following BSc. Biological Science ( English Medium) Degree Programme. She has completed Higher National Diploma in Human Resource Management and a part time student doing her Bachelors of Law(LLB) Degree. Winning the award for the 1st runner up at the “Emerging Young Leader of Sri Lanka Award 2011” was the turning point in her life. She is the co-founder and the Secretary of Emerging Young Leaders Association, which is a leading youth club under the umbrella of National Youth Services Council. This organization aims on building leadership qualities in the youth of Sri Lanka. They conduct workshops, competitions and awareness programmes for young people living in every part of the country encouraging them to take political, business and social leadership and drive forward their communities. Jayathma has been exposed to many National and International Platforms where she could give her fullest contribution in decision makings and drafting policies. Being a stakeholder of the National Youth Policy, being a stakeholder of the Country Partnership Strategy of World Bank Sri Lanka, Being a Stakeholder at “Non-Communicable Disease Prevention National Programme” Of the World Health Organization and being a member of the steering committee for the “Resolution on Proactive Measures of Youth Employment in Sri Lanka” along with the Ministry of Youth affairs and Skills development and International Labour Organization are some of them. In June 2012, she represented Sri Lanka at the Rio +20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the official youth delegate from Sri Lanka to the UNCSD. Moreover, she volunteers for SL2College and for for “Sri Lanka Education Forum”.
Milena Dudasova, aged 22, from Presov, is the Slovak Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. Currently she is studying a ‘Constructing Architect’ program at VIA University College, in Horsens, Denmark, where she is also helping incoming students as a Student ambassador. Her motto is “with my heart in Slovakia, with my soul for the world”. After various high school youth activities, during university, she was reelected five times into the Student council, where they stood behind many social and educational initiatives. Direct work experience with more than 40 various nationalities and various project stays abroad (USA, China, France, Belgium, Greece) motivated her to found, in cooperation with her colleague from Brazil, academic conferences MONARCH (Month of architecture) to bring the latest concepts closer to students and to link them with a network of professionals. Therefore she likes to focus on talent management within education. As she says, “diversity of talents need to be valued and further developed in young people…Youth is the future of any nation. Let’s give them support to build that future.”
Milischia Rezai, aged 23, from Norrköping , is the Swedish Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. She is currently completing a masters in political science and international relations at Uppsala University, and recently studied international security at the Institute of political science in Paris. In addition, she has been politically active in the Social Democratic movement since the age of 13.She is a member of the national board of the Social democratic student movement of Sweden, the municipal executive board of Uppsala and the board of the Olof Palme International center. Milischia is particularly devoted to issues concerning equality, sustainable development and international solidarity. Her international experiences reach from Palestine to Burma, South Africa and Mozambique where she has been working to educate and strengthen progressive democratic parties.
Mattia Zanazzi, aged 24, from the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, is the Swiss Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. He graduated in Political Science and Chinese at the University of Zurich and is currently studying at the University of Geneva. He has been active in Model United Nations simulations in Zurich and as a board member of youth organizations such as the Association of Swiss-Italian Students in Zurich and the Swiss Federal Youth Session. In 2011, he had the chance to work for an NGO at the Human Rights Council, which provided him with a great amount of information on the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. His priority for this year, both nationally and internationally, is the empowerment of youth belonging to minorities through education and participation. As Youth Delegate he will try to work with all relevant actors to promote this issue at the General Assembly.
Akarawin Sungkanand, aged 19, is one of the two Thai youth delegates to the UN General Assembly 2012. He is currently a second-year scholarship engineering student at Thammasat University under the programme TEP-TEPE, majoring in chemical engineering. In his high school years up until now, he is particularly interested in English public speaking or speech competitions. Some of the highlights of his accomplishments involve winning Her Royal Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Cup in 2008. Earlier in the year 2012, his interest in speeches culminated in his victory at the National Public Speaking Competition of Thailand 2012 organized by the English Speaking-Union to win a ticket to represent Thailand in London for the international rounds. Meeting brilliant-minded people that came from over 50 countries all over the world during the competition, he was inspired to continue to take part in any activities involving discussions or input of young people, especially at a global stage. At his university, he is also the vice-president of his generation where he actively participates and organizes various activities. He was originally attracted to the Youth Delegate Programme because of his curiosity in learning more about the work in the United Nations, particularly on how young people can contribute. It is also one of his motivations to strive beyond the realm of engineering and look for any correlation between engineering work and the work in the United Nations, more specifically on how engineering can give input under the aspect of practicality and logic. He hopes that he can collect every piece of experience during his time here and take advantage of this opportunity as much as he can to utilize them in the future in the most productive way possible for himself and others around him.
Orhan Esad, aged 21, from Ankara, is the Turkish Youth Delegate to the UN General Assembly 2012. Currently he is studying a Linguistic program at Hacettepe University ,and Labour Economy and Industrial Relations at Anadolu University. Orhan Esad have been working on youth issues more than 6 years. He speeched in several international and national conferences about youth leadership , youth employment and sustainable development on economy. He is awarded international youth awards. His one of the interest is politics and he is working on Middle East politics and Balkans. His analysis was published in international newspapers.
Brooke Loughrin is the US Observer to the UN General Assembly 2012. Brooke is a junior in the Presidential Scholars Program at Boston College where she studies Political Science and Islamic Civilizations and Societies. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Noor: The Boston College Middle East and Islamic Studies Journal, and the Vice President of the Boston College Iranian Culture Club. She is also an Undergraduate Research Fellow. Her research focuses on political cultures of the Middle East; comparative study of religion, civil society, and politics in the Middle East; and Iran’s social history and contemporary domestic politics and foreign relations. In Boston, she volunteers for ACEDONE (African Community Economic Development of New England), Haley House, and in the Education Department of the Suffolk County House of Corrections. Since 2005, she has also volunteered for the Fabric of Life Foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, which works to stop the begging cycle of poor girls on the streets of Mali, Africa. She has studied abroad in Visakhapatnam, India and Dakar, Senegal, and has traveled extensively in Iran, Turkey, Nicaragua, and Tajikistan.