Organized in observance of the International Youth Day by the Department of Global Communications (DGC) with the DGC Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee

11 - 12 August 2020

Main Event:

11 August
9 - 10 a.m. EST

Regional Conversations:

11 August
11 a.m. EST - Asia Pacific Youth Flyer
3 p.m. EST - North America Youth Flyer

12 August
11 a.m. EST - Africa Youth Flyer
2 p.m. EST - Europe Youth Flyer
5 p.m. EST - South America Youth Flyer

Watch online on Facebook and Twitter @theYouthReps



Main Event (11 August, 9 - 10 a.m. EST)

Introduction and Welcome

Hawa Diallo
Chief, Civil Society Unit

Rosleny Ubinas
Chair, DGC Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee

Social Media Moment

Rosleny Ubinas
Chair, DGC Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee

Interactive Conversation: The Future of Youth Engagement

Katelyn Grano
Youth Representative to DGC, Pathways to Peace


Caitlin Figueiredo
Jasiri Australia

Pavel Sarwar
YOUTH HUB, Bangladesh

Wanja Maina
Inclusive and Education Advocate and Blogger

Sailesh Singhal
Co-founder, Youth of India


Regional Conversations

Aisa Pacific (11 August, 11 a.m. EST)

Melati Wijsen
Youth Environmentalist (Indonesia)

Valentina Mendez
Member, DGC Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee

North America (11 August, 3 p.m. EST)

Zephanii Smith
International Advocate for Civil and Human Rights (USA)

Ruth Brinkey
Adviser, DGC Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee

Africa (12 August, 11 a.m. EST)

Kenneth Gyamerah
Education Policy Researcher (Ghana)

Aishu Narasimhadevara
Member, DGC Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee

Europe (12 August, 2 p.m. EST)

Ariadne Papatheodorou
Climate Activist (Greece)

Yee Siang (Ashley) Yong
Member, DGC Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee

South America (12 August, 5 p.m.)

Esmeralda Pimente
Actress, Environmentalist (Mexico)

Juan Pablo Celis Garcia
Member, DGC Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee



Caitlin Figueiredo

Caitlin Figueiredo is the Founder and CEO of Jasiri Australia, a youth-led organisation working to strengthen representative democracy by unleashing Australia’s next generation of political leaders. Caitlin has seven years’ experience advising international civil society organisations and has served on three UN Task Forces where she was a founding Committee Member of the UN CSW Youth Forum.

Caitlin has worked as a Senior Consultant with two Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Assistant Secretaries and currently works as an Expert Panellist on the direction of the Prime Minister and Minister for Youth to co-develop the Australian Youth Development Index. She is the Vice-Chair of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, the national peak body representing Australia’s 4.5 million young people.

Caitlin was named a Queens Young Leader by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and is an Australian 100 Women of Influence and Forbes 30 Under 30 list maker. She has a Bachelors of Development Studies with specialisation in the Pacific and is completing a Masters in National Security Policy.


Pavel Sarwar

Pavel Sarwar is a curious individual who is passionate about innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. He has been actively engaged in entrepreneurship, public service innovation, tech education, and community development. His 8 years of hard work has left active footprints in different international and national organizations. Through his activities, He is trying to prepare young people to become productive and engaged citizens and to educate and enable school students, especially girls, in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. He is trying to ensure that all young people have access to good quality primary and secondary education. Especially his initiative targets girls and young women from secondary schools and colleges who are interested in ICT & STEM. He has also been doing the campaign, meet-up, partnership for bringing touths, school students, academicians, entrepreneurs, industry experts, government officials together to promote innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship at the school level. He wants to spread a very simple yet powerful message among the YOUTH – do what you love, inspire others, and change the world. His dream includes a pledge that no one will be left behind.


Wanja Maina

Wanja Maina is a global activist on inclusive development and education and a blogger. Living with a disability herself,she knows the pain of been being put 'in a box' and being 'othered'. She believes the world will be a better place if we listed to all voices. Wanja has worked with various entities in youth inclusion, runs education awarness campaigns, and enjoys connecting with others through her blog Hummingbird+ on various social media platforms.




Sailesh Singhal

Sailesh Singhal is a global youth activist, community mobilizer & strategist advocating for YOUth rights, human rights, gender equality, accountability, transparency and youth engagement in the development discourse. In an effort to endorse inter- governmental, bi-partisan co-operation for egalitarian sustainability, he has been promoting a cohesive framework for sustainable development, transparency & accountability.

Sailesh Singhal is the Founder of  Youth of India Foundation, special accreditation by 2020 United Nations conference - a movement initiated to Empower, Engage and Evolve the young people of India in achieving Sustainable Development Goals through innovative campaigns and discussions. Youth of India is present across 13 states and 12 countries, completing over more than 100 projects.  He had earlier served as the Youngest District Animal Welfare Officer by Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India. 

Sailesh had been nominated by the Government of India to participate in the official youth summit of G20 – Y20 Summit in Germany and represent the Indian voices and participated in the first-ever youth climate action summit during United Nations General Assembly for his UnPlastic India initiative, an awareness drive to incrementally reduce eliminate single-use plastic by continuously discussing with educational institutions, corporate and government officials. He had appealed to the Prime Minister of India and Lok Sabha Speaker to pledge in making UnPlastic Parliament to which the request was encouraged and implemented. More than 80,000 young people have pledged to incrementally reduce single-use plastic and he further called for September 17 as Global UnPlastic Day. 

Earlier in 2016, Sailesh and his team had campaigned to create a mass awareness drive by distributing 100,001 sacred basil plants with a team of 1300 young girls and boys in seven days to spread the message of ‘Share One, Plant One.’ 
Sailesh has been on the mission of advocating about SDGs through the longest train journey in India - Jagriti Yatra. He has successfully reached out at the grass root level to strengthen the SDGs, which has been published by the UNICEF CONNECT and had been featured in the United Nations Youth Flash Newsletter, a monthly newsletter issued by Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division for Social Policy and Development.


Melati Wijsen

An 18 year old Indonesian/Dutch activist and change maker. Founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags with younger sister and has been leading the movement driven by youth since 2013. Have successfully banned plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam on their home island Bali as of 2019. Has also started the people movement One Island One Voice and the social enterprise, Mountain Mama's. Has spoken at TED and the United Nations and has also been selected among FORBES top ten most inspiring women in the country. Very passionate about protecting the ocean; Alumni Member of the World’s Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council of the United Nations. Most recently, graduated from high school one year early at the Green School and has since been honoured by TIME as part of the annual list of most influential teens in the world along with CNN Heroes Young Wonders. Is launching new youth empowerment project YOUTHTOPIA to empower youth through education and provide them with the tools they need to be change makers.


Zephanii Smith

Zephanii Smith Eisenstat is a national award-winning and internationally - recognized advocate working to address unresolved issues in civil and human rights. Having started on this path in elementary school, Zephanii has nearly two decades of service and activism experience. Zephanii has been elected and appointed to positions of local to global influence, including terms on the national boards of the NAACP and the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). With a BA in Government and a Master’s in Educational Administration and Leadership, Zephanii has worked at every level of government and developed an ethos in life informed by her experiences living and studying in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Zephanii’s passion for public service extends beyond the halls of government and into her commitment to developing intergenerational leadership structures that support strong and effective application of the Global Goals in local communities.


Kenneth Gyamerah

Kenneth Gyamerah is an Educational Policy Analyst, a Global Youth Ambassador for Education, YALI West Africa Emerging leaders Fellow and Multiple Award Winning Educationist. He has recently been accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Education with specialisation in Educational Policy, Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. As Chevening Scholar, Kenneth holds an MSc in Education Policy and International Development with Distinction from the University of Bristol, UK and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Education, Winneba Ghana. He has led key national and global education campaigns aimed at promoting quality educational delivery in underserved communities. He has written policy papers, reports and articles in the area of teacher education, educational interventions, educational policy and practice in Ghana. Kenneth is a strong advocate of quality education in Africa. He is an awardee of the 2017 Leadership in Education Award in Ghana. He was also awarded the Distinction of Associate Fellow by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2016. Between 2018 and 2019, he was listed in the 50 Most influential Ghanaians who are driving social change. His works in education activism has been published by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Thomson Reuters Foundation, Theirworld, Times Education Supplement, The Commonwealth and the University of Bristol School of Education. Recently, he was selected by the Commonwealth Secretariat and Jet Education in South Africa, to join their Covid-19 Education Response Research Task Force. Through this initiative, they are currently researching the barriers for most disadvantaged and marginalised groups in times of pandemics. Kenneth has consulted for CIVICUS Alliance for Citizen Participation and Plan International, Sweden.


Ariadne Papatheodorou

Ariadne Papatheodorou is a 16 year old climate justice, gender equality and human rights activist from Athens, Greece. She is one of the lead organisers for Fridays for Future Greece and a core member for Periodlink, an organisation that provides sexual and menstrual health education for girls in Ghana. She is also a co-founder for re-earth initiative, a climate international organization fighting for social justice. She has been volunteering with refugees in Greece for many years now. She has also played an active role in organising international events such as Talks for Future, Climate live, People of the Planet and other campaigns.



Esmeralda Pimentel

Esmeralda Pimentel is an actress, producer, writer and activist. One of Mexico’s leading advocates for women rights, child abuse, and the climate crisis believes in the power of nonviolence as the vehicle to create inclusive public policies that protect and serve all. Always seeking to inspire and promote empathy, in times of indifference and injustice, Esmeralda has created campaigns such as Juntas Somos Paz to address Mexico’s violence against women and Beautiful Yo, an urgent call to redefine beauty. Her commitment to create peace, justice and a safer space for all can be seen on and off screen. Esmeralda’s creative wit and unrelentless passion to build a world where everyone feels seen and heard inspires youth across the region, sometimes all it takes is listening to her closely to discover her deep love towards the betterment of humanity.