Points of Ukraine: Putin’s Widening Grip

Vitaly Klitschko talks with pro-European integration protesters at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev.

Today, Ms. Holland began the panel discussion by introducing the agenda of the event, which concerned examining different perspectives on the continuing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.  Then, Mr. Karatnycky provided an overview of the history of the conflict and the potential obstacles that may impede a negotiated settlement to it.  He elaborated that though President Vladimir Putin is using hard tactics to maintain control over Crimea, he has triggered the latent sentiments of a large contingent of Russians and elites that never wanted Ukraine and Crimea to separate from Russia.  Additionally, he mentioned that the main problem regarding using diplomacy to end the conflict stems from Russia’s unwillingness to reach an agreement with Ukraine.

Next, Dr. Nikolayenko spoke of the effect of the conflict on the civil society and citizens of Ukraine.  She stated that with over 8,000 Russian soldiers present in Ukraine and 9,100 human casualties that have resulted in death, the conflict has led to a growing number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country and a slowdown of Ukraine’s economy.  Additionally, she mentioned that the Russian government’s influence over the Russian media has led to misrepresentations on the reporting of the conflict and swayed public support in President Putin’s favor.  Lastly, Ms. Arno talked about fleeing Russia after protesting President Putin’s inauguration in 2012 and the punishments other pro-democracy Russians face in the country due to their political views.  She also reinforced the idea that President Putin’s control over Russian media outlets have helped to build support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Additionally, she mentioned that the Free Russia Foundation that she founded seeks to give a voice to pro-democracy Russians and Ukrainians embroiled in the conflict.

Meeting: The Panel Discussion on “The Continuing Conflict Between Russia and Ukraine”

Date/Time/Location: Monday, April 18, 2016; 18:00 – 20:00; New York University (NYU) School of Law, Vanderbilt Hall, Room 210

Speakers: Ms. Mary Holland, Moderator and Director of the Graduate Lawyering Program at New York University (NYU) School of Law; Mr. Adrian Karatnycky, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Ukraine in Europe Program at the Atlantic Council; Dr. Olena Nikolayenko, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University; Ms. Natalia Arno, President and Founder of the Free Russia Foundation (FRF)  

Written By: WIT Representative Shubhangi Shukla

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo: Reuters

Remembering the Holodomor Famine

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The Permanent Mission of Ukraine hosted a meeting on occasion of the 82nd anniversary of the Holodomor famine in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The famine was an effort by the dictator Joseph Stalin to eliminate the Ukrainian independence movement, and it resulted in the deaths of 7-10 million people, which was nearly a quarter of Ukraine’s rural population. 25,000 people died per day, and 3 million children were senselessly murdered. The Soviet regime established unreachable grain quotas, confiscated foodstuffs, and closed Ukraine’s borders with no food and no chance to escape. Therefore, the famine is considered to be a genocide, which the UN defines as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”.

The meeting was also held to honor the recent resolution passed by the UN, which marks December 9 as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of This Crime. The speaker was Mr. Yuriy Sergeyev, who said that like the Holodomor genocide, food insecurity continues to be employed and used as political weapons. However, he explained that politically induced famines cannot occur in societies with democratic regimes, and thus, the simple solution is democracy. In addition, he stated that international societies like the UN have a responsibility to secure the protection of literacy, education, development, human rights, and freedom. Mr. Sergeyev noted that the meeting was also held to keep the memory of those who died during the genocide, and make sure that the world will understand the magnitude of the genocide to ensure an atrocity like this will never happen again. After the speaker, students from the Self-Reliance School of Ukrainian Studies recited poems and sang songs.

Meeting: Special event on “Combating Food Insecurity: Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine” (on the occasion of the eighty-second anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine) (organized by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine)

Date/Location: Wednesday December 9, 2015, 13:15 – 14:30; Conference Room 8

Speakers: Mr. Yuriy A. Sergeyev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Permanent Mission of Ukraine

Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Boston University

UN Delegates Speak on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

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Ms. Khalaf presented the Secretary-General’s report on the repercussions of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip. Israel enacted a system in the Gaza strip where citizens are treated significantly more favorably than residents. Free movement restrictions have been imposed, including 65 kilometers of roads to be used only by Israelis. It is “almost impossible” for Palestinians to build without Israeli construction permits. During the summer of 2014 the Israeli offensives killed 551 children, bombed seven schools, and have continued “patterns of excessive use of force.” Since 2000, dependency on UN food aid has increased tenfold in Gaza. There is a heavy water shortage fueling the conflict, where “Israelis are allocated up to seven times the water allocated to Palestinians in the West Bank”. The report concluded by noting that peace is impossible as long as this occupation continues

           The state of Palestine called for peaceful and legal means to salvage Gaza. South Africa, representing Group of 77 and China, noted that Israel has nearly full control of the water resources of the West Bank. Further, a third of Palestinians under occupation are food insecure. Qatar noted that Palestine experienced the highest civilian death toll last year since 1967. Iran noted that it will be almost impossible for Palestine to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

            Israel dismissed the report as being biased. For example it ignores the fact that Hamas initiated and escalated the 2014 conflict, which caused hardships on both sides. Thousands of Israeli families and children suffered from the missile attacks on their houses over a period of months. The delegation highlighted that the Arab countries attacking it had numerous human rights violations of their own. They then invited these same countries to return to the negotiations table to find a peaceful solution.

Meeting: Second Committee, 18th Session

Date/Location: Monday, October 26, 2015; 10:00-13:00, Conference Room 2

Speakers: Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of ESCWA; H.E. Mr. Riyad H. Mansour, State of Palestine; Representative from South Africa; Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Salim Al-Shanfari, Oman; H.E. Mr. Bashar Ja’afari, Syrian Arab Republic; H.E. Mrs. María Rubiales de Chamorro, Nicaragua; H.E. Mr. Ramlan Bin Ibrahim, Malaysia; H.E. Mr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Iraq; Mr. Abdulrahman Yaaqob Y.A. Al-Hamad, Qatar; H.E. Mr. Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, Egypt; H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Maldives; Ms. Maritza Chan, Costa Rica; H.E. Mr. Gholamali Khoshroo, Iran; H.E. Mr. Mansour Ayyad SH A Alotaibi, Kuwait; H.E. Mr. Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, Zimbabwe; H.E. Mr. Ibrahim O. A. Dabbashi; H.E. Mrs. Dina Kawar, Jordan; H.E. Mr. Desra Percaya, Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Francis Mading Deng, Sudan; H.E. Mrs. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, United Arab Emirates; H.E. Mr. Wilfried I. Emvula, Namibia; H.E. Dr. Mwaba Patricia Kasese-Bota, Zambia; H.E. Mr. Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia; H.E. Mr. Danny Danon, Israel

Written By: Alex Margolick

Edited by: Modou Cham

Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy

GSHRD_Logo_Trans_2Spot_Black_ProcessCyan_WhiteBackedThe 7th annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy was held this past Tuesday at the UN Headquarters in Geneva. Sponsored by 20 human rights NGOs, the Geneva Summit brings together various human rights leaders, activists, and dissidents from around the world who speak out on behalf of human rights, justice, and democracy. This year’s summit focused mainly on the themes of confronting authoritarianism, fighting oppression and defending human rights, communist regime reforms, and the future of liberal democracy.

This year’s panel discussion also highlighted two countries with very poor human rights’ records–Nigeria and Pakistan. Saa, a Nigerian schoolgirl who escaped from Boko Haram, spoke about her personal experience when she was kidnapped by the terrorist group. Following this, Ashiq Masih, who is on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy, spoke about her personal experience and violation of her right to freedom of speech. Throughout the summit, various other human rights activists from countries such as Russia, Venezuela, Syria, North Korea, and China gave their personal stories of human rights violations, giving this year’s conference an added personal dimension.

Furthermore, during the conference, two prestigious awards were given out. The Women’s Rights Award was given to Masih Alinejad for the creation of a Facebook page inviting women in Iran to post pictures of themselves without a headscarf. This Facebook page became incredibly popular and represented the larger political message of protesting the requirement for women to wear a hijab. Ms. Alinejad, an Iranian journalist, said she is not strictly opposed to the hijab, but believes women should be given a choice about wearing one. The next award, the Courage Award, was given to Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam on his blog.

Finally, the summit concluded with a discussion on the future of liberal democracy, with statements from the director of UN Watch and other human rights NGOs on the importance of promoting human rights and democracy, particularly in countries with poor human rights track records.

Meeting: Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy
Date & Location: Tuesday, 24 February 2015; UN Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
Speakers: Markus Loening, Chair of Human Rights Committee of Liberal International; Jakub Klepal, Executive Director, Forum 2000; Yavuz Baydar, Turkish journalist; Maria Baronova, Russian human rights activist; Tamara Suju, Venezuelan human rights lawyer; Yeon-Mi Park, 21-year-old North Korean defector; Tom Gross, journalist; Saa, Nigerian schoolgirl who escaped from Boko Haram; Emmanuel Ogebe, International Human rights lawyer; Pierre Torres, French Journalist held hostage by ISIS for 10 months; Philippe Robinet, CEO Editions Kero; Ashiq Masih, Husband of Asia Bibi, on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy; Ladan Boroumand, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy in Iran; Dicki Chhoyang, Central Tibetan Administration; Ibrahem Al-Idelbi, Syrian journalist and activist; Il Lim, North Korean defector and former slave laborer; Maria Corina Machado, Venezuelan opposition leader; Yang Jianli, Chinese dissident, president of Initiatives for China; Alex Chow, Secretary General of Hong Kong Federation of Students; Lester Shum, Deputy Secretary General of Hong Kong Federation of Students; Amanda Alvarez, People in Need, Czech Republic; Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya, Cuban human rights activist; Manuel Cuesta Morua, Cuban dissident leader; Hillel Neuer, Executive Director, UN Watch; Fouzia Elbayed, MP, Morocco, Member of Human Rights Committee of Liberal International; Javier El-Hage, General Counsel, Human Rights Foundation; Subhas Gujadhur, Director, Universal Rights Group; Ladan Boroumand, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy in Iran; Yang Jianli, Chinese dissident, president of Initiatives for China
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

Seminar on Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and Democratic Governance

International_Peace_Day_logoThis meeting elaborated on a report written by Dr. Timothy Sisk, whose presentation formed the majority of the afternoon’s discussion. Given that 2015 is the designated time for the 10-year review of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture, this talk about the foundational elements of a peaceful and inclusive society had particular relevance.

Dr. Sisk began his presentation by noting that, contrary to the typical level of discord among scholars, there is a broad consensus within the research community regarding the idea of peace as a prerequisite for development. Many elements of the UN’s post-2015 agenda are therefore tied to peaceful relations among and within countries around the world.

The principle finding of Dr. Sisk’s report is that poverty is increasingly concentrated in fragile and conflict-affected countries. For many the roughly 60-80 countries classified as fragile, violence, poverty, and poor governance have become mutually reinforcing elements of a vicious cycle that prevents the success of development initiatives. As violence is reduced, however, and post-conflict development is begun, virtuous cycles can be created.

Dr. Sisk’s report found that peace, development, and governance are all interrelated. The level of inclusivity and democratic participation within a society contributes both to peace and development—the presence of robust civil and political society and the establishment of norms of equality and inclusion have historically led to a rapid growth in democracy. Social cohesion is extremely important, especially in fragile states. When a state is on the path to development, no real results will be achieved without an underlying base of social cohesion.

Dr. Sisk concluded by urging a continued, dedicated effort at reducing conflict, including social and interpersonal violence. Further, in developing states, access to justice is vital in creating positive perceptions of a government for its citizens, and state accountability in general will encourage individual citizens to make personal investments in the country’s advancement.

Meeting: Seminar on “Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and Democratic Governance.”
Date & Location: 6 February 2015, Conference Room 8, United Nations Headquarters, New York.
Speakers: Ms. Yvonne Lodico, Head of the UNITAR New York Office; Mr. Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the United Nations; Mr. Gustavo Meza-Cuadra Velásquez, Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations; Dr. Timothy Sisk, Professor, Associate Dean for Research, University of Denver; Thomas Gass, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Written By WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Women and Climate Change

This meeting discussed climate change and its relationship with women. Ms.Nusseibeh explained that women comprise up to 60% of the agricultural work force in some countries and farms can be devastated by drought and desertification. Women are also more vulnerable to violence when they are required to travel farther to gather essential supplies and during periods of forced migration. Mr. Sachs discussed areas where funding needed to be “scaled-up”. Examples included education, which he claimed was essential to women empowerment and sustainable development goals and clean energy, to mitigate the effects of climate change. Ms. Puri stated that empowering

women was essential to finding solutions to both gender equality and climate change. Climate change and extreme weather also has an effect on society, as conflict, often derived from gender inequality, is worsened by these environmental changes. For examples, in small island states, rising sea levels have caused forced migration, exacerbating social tensions in these regions. She also stated that the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka killed approximately 1 in 5 displaced women, nearly twice the amount of displaced men. Ms. Markham emphasized the need for women to be active in policymaking because it is necessary to mitigate climate change. To do this, the insecure land and tenure rights, obstructed access to national resources, the burden of domestic duty, and other social restrictions placed upon women need to be lifted in order to increase decision making within women and girls. Ms. Blomstrom continued upon this point, as she stressed the necessity of adequate legal framework to allow women to become empowered activists and leaders.

 

Title: Women, Peace, Security in the Context of Climate Change

Date/Location: Thursday, 15 January 2015; 13:15-14:45; Conference Room 4
Speakers: Lana Nusseibeh Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations; Susan Markham, Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment; Eleanor Blomstrom, Program Director for Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO); Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University
Written By: Elise Freeman
Edited By: Modou Cham

The Latest discussion on Humanitarian Affairs in ECOSOC at the United Nations

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The Humanitarian Affairs Segment provides an important forum for discussing the activities and issues related to strengthening the coordination of the humanitarian assistance of the United Nations. The focus of this report is on the opening of the Humanitarian Affairs Segment where Member States provided their respective positions.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Ibrahim O. Dabbashi stated that together we could identify ways to strengthen our collective response to the humanitarian challenges facing us today. H.E emphasised that every crisis is different and thus its context should determine the nature of assistance. Following Ms. Valerie Amos highlighted the security situation in different parts of the world: the Middle East and Africa have witnessed the displacement of millions of people; inter-communal violence in Myanmar and Philippines have killed and displaced several thousand people; and the largest number of refugees are in Afghanistan. She acknowledged and appreciated the generous funding of the member states in 2013 towards response plans and complimentary humanitarian action.

A representative from Bolivia then delivered its statement on behalf of Group of 77 and China. In its statement they declared that special attention should be paid to the guiding principles of respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of States, which should remain the overarching parameters in all efforts for coordination of humanitarian assistance. Ireland stated that inter-communal and ethnic violence are the outcome of years and indeed decades of endemic poverty, under-development, weak democratic institutions and neglect by the international community. Furthermore, Ireland stressed on the protection and gender based violence to be a crucial objective in humanitarian assistance.

Switzerland introduced three points of debate: question of efficiency of humanitarian aid; questions of protection of victims in armed conflicts; and wanted to question the current humanitarian assistance model. Canada, then stated that they remain committed to working with their humanitarian partners to provide life saving and effective assistance to affected populations, collectively improve their capacity to mitigate risks and vulnerabilities, as well as to ensure coherence in humanitarian and development efforts, in order to achieve lasting and sustainable results.

Meeting Title: Humanitarian Affairs Segment
Speakers: His Excellency Ibrahim O. Dabbashi (Libya), Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council; Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Ms. Ingrid Sabja, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Plurinational State of Bolivia; Mr. Tim Mawe, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland; Ambassador Manuel Bessler, Head of Switzerland Humanitarian Aid Department; Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations
Location: ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations, New York.
Date: 23 June 2014
Written by WIT Representative: Aslesha Kaur Dhillon
Edited by WIT Representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark 

Doing Justice to Sustainable Development

Integrating the Rule of Law into the Post 2015 Agenda 

Professor Michael Doyle explained that law is a valuable reflection of human dignity and must be preserved for equality. Democracy based rule of law, entrenched with human rights is essential to ensure that laws are not changeable by any majority in a way that violates equality and social inclusion. Judit Arenas emphasised that rule of law and the sustainable development goals have to go beyond words on paper to ensure that this transformative agenda is actually changed for the better.

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Judith Arenas summarized the IDLO report that has been posted online explaining that the key points in the document include legal frameworks for sustainable governance of resources, access to fair market trade to stimulate the economy, and legal rights that ensure transparency and participation. The recommendations from Rio +20 require that economic growth creates employment and decent work to ensure the eradication of poverty; strong legal institutions promote investment and encapsulate development.

Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, via video statement, said that environmental degradation is an existential threat to all of us, and although it touches all, it will particularly affect the poor, vulnerable and indigenous people. The wealthy and developed nations’ citizens have the ability to move between countries but millions of poor and vulnerable people have to face climate change as a threat to their existence.

Justice Antonio explained that to have the legal framework in place is one thing, however as a society we need to ensure goals are actually fulfilled. In order to do this the world requires good governance, more than legislative text, but rather interlinked goals alongside systems of compliance and enforcement. Justice Antonio also declared that judges can not be influenced by political and economic pressure, they should not be afraid of favoring weaker parties for their legal rights.

 

Meeting Title: Doing Justice to Sustainable Development: Integrating the rule of law into the post-2015 agenda
Speakers: H.E. Riitta Resch Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland; Professor Michael Doyle, Foreign and Security Policy Columbia University; Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, National High Court of Brazil; Professor Dalee Sambo Dorough, Chair of UN Permanent forum on Indigenous Issues; Nury Montiel, Director of Human Rights for Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay, Andres Vazquez Coordinator Human Rights Projects for Supreme Court of Justice of Paraquay, Judit Arenas Director of External Relations IDLO
Location: United Nations UN, Conference Room 5 NLB, New York
Date: 17 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark

Cross-Regional Perspectives on Democratic Accountability

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This afternoon a meeting was convened on the linkages between human rights, rule of law, and democracy, and their effects on public service delivery. Ms. Miculescu began the meeting by stating that transparent and accountable institutions, as well as active participation and inclusion of all citizens in policy-making processes, are imperative for efficient public service delivery, democracy, and human rights.

Following this introduction, Dr. Spehar spoke about how democratic accountability is relevant for development, how to ensure democratic accountability in public service delivery through horizontal accountability (state institutions that hold each other accountable) as well as through vertical accountability (the role of citizens, civil society, and the media to hold government institutions accountable), and how democratic accountability can be assessed by using various governance indicators. The most effective democratic accountability comes from the interplay between formal accountability mechanisms like checks and balances within the government, and civil society working together.

Mr. Hilale then spoke about how Morocco has worked to decrease corruption, and promote human rights by reforming and creating accountable institutions. Furthermore, Mr. Hilale stated that gender equality and the empowerment of women, as well as human rights education and training, are necessary to uphold the rule of law and have good governance in order for democratic accountability in public service delivery to exist.

Next, Ms. Tan spoke about how Singapore’s strong commitment to rule of law and democratic accountability in public service delivery helped by Singapore’s relatively quick development. She also highlighted how holding democratic elections, equality of opportunity, and a collaborative relationship between the government and its citizens are necessary for democratic accountability.

Mr. Ulibarri then spoke about how in 2004, two former Costa Rican presidents were prosecuted for corruption charges. He stated how shocking this was for the nation, and that in order to promote accountability and eradicate government corruption a country needs strong legislation, guaranteed access to public information for its citizens, and an accepted and enhanced role for civil society to promote good institutions. To conclude, Mr. Massimo stated that democratic political processes are fundamental to inclusive development, and necessary for democratic accountability. It’s important to take into account how responsive government institutions are, and the role that actors and policy makers play in public service delivery.

 

Meeting Title: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Sharing Cross-Regional Perspectives on Democratic Accountability in Public Service Delivery
Speakers: H.E. Ms. Simona Miculescu, Permanent Representative of Romania; Dr. Elizabeth Spehar, Director of European Division, UN Department of Political Affairs; H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of Morocco; H.E. Ms. Karen Tan, Permanent Representative of Singapore; Mr. Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the UN
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 7, New York 
Date:
9 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Marli Kasdan
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark 

 

#Youth2015: Realising the future they want

Opening of the Forum on Youth 2014 

“The future is yours so you have your own prerogatives to raise your voices. There is no plan B because there is no planet B. ”

– H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

As emphasised by H.E. Secretary General, today’s youth are leaders in all areas from technology to politics, the arts to science. Already young people are making their mark on history by altering traditional power structures. H.E. Ban Ki-moon asked that the youth continue to play their crucial role challenging and transforming the future.

H.E. Martin Sajdik, President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), praised our youth as catalysts for change, as their imagination and energy innovates societies to grow and achieve a greater quality of life. H.E. Martin Sajdik asked the world to include the youth population, totaling 1.8 billion, to revolutionize our global system as providers, problem solvers and mentors.

 H.E. John Ashe, President of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly, explained his desire for youth to get involved especially as nations are working together towards setting agendas post 2015. These ‘sustainable development goals’ aim to transform our world by 2030, a period that will be run by leaders who are the youth of today. Therefore youth participation is essential so that their vision is encapsulated in the UN’s mission.

Youth Advisor for CIVICUS Alliance, Ms. Brittany Trilford shared that 85% of the youth population lives in developing countries. These people are the next generation of workers, leaders and activists. Therefore they should be targeted in development schemes.

Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, explained the global connection amongst young people, through the same struggles to realise the same aspirations. Mr. Alhendawi believes an important element to the post 2015 agenda should be the role of young women as assets and drivers for development.

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Meeting Title: United Nations ECOSOC Forum on Youth 2014: Opening Session
Performance by: Lisa Russell Spoken Word Artists
Speakers: President of the Economic and Social Council H.E. Martin Sajdik,  Secretary-General of the United Nations H.E. Ban Ki-moon, President of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly H.E. John Ashe, Youth Advisor of CIVICUS Alliance Ms. Brittany Trilford, and United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi
Location: United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 2 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark