Visiting the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Kirara-hama, Yamaguchi, Japan, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, spoke with the three members of the World Scout Jamboree’s International Service Team (IST) about his experience as a Scout, the importance of the global Scout Movement to the UN, and the role of youth as global citizens.
IST: How did your personal experience in Scouting influence your work today?
AA: Once a Scout, always a Scout. You learn discipline. You learn to increase your sense of responsibility to your community and to serve others. Also, you learn to approach things in a humble but yet responsible way. That’s the attitude I developed as a Scout.
IST: How does the UN as an institution benefit from Scouting? And how can Scouting benefit from the work of the UN?
AA: First of all, the UN and the Scouts share the same values. We are also committed to some important things. When the UN Secretary General and the Secretary General of World Scouting met last October, both of them agreed that it was important that the UN and the Scout Movement worked together in achieving our shared goals. It’s a daunting task but an exciting one at the same time.
This partnership is a great opportunity to bring more sustainability to our planet. My call to all Scouts around the world is to use the opportunity to work together on key issues with passion for their communities.
The UN believes strongly in Scouting. I believe the message that I will be sharing with you at the closing ceremony tonight, is a strong message of support to this important work and I invite all of you to work together on sustainable development.
IST: What are your ideas about spreading the Spirit of Unity of Scouting to create a better world?
AA: I think you can see what’s happening here in the Jamboree. You have the best sense of global solidarity that has emerged after two weeks. Young people come together, become friends and commit to live together for two weeks. If we can make it possible here, we should try to make it possible in the world. And that’s the spirit of global citizenship. This is a social experiment where young people come together and form, not a city, but a community. That’s how the UN would describe global citizenship. I think what I see here is global citizenship in action.
Interview conducted by: Jesse Fredriks from the Netherlands, Melanie Widmer from Switzerland, and Ishtiaq Mahmud from Bangladesh. All three are members of the International Service Team at the #wsj2015 Media Centre. Click for source.
For more on Ahmad Alhendawi’s two-day visit to the 23rd World Scout Jamboree watch this additional video interview below and follow us here and on Twitter @UNYouthEnvoy for updates and more as we get ready to celebrate International #YouthDay on August 12!