2015 Winter Youth Assembly: Bridging the Gap Between Youth Employment and Global Development

YABanner1The 2015 Winter Youth Assembly empowers the youth to become active members of their communities and participants in the shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ms. Bokova stated that each person is unique and that individual voices matter for shaping a better future. Representative MacDonald focused on the necessity of introducing gender equality to younger ages to create a stimulating social environment and workforce, saying that men need to understand that discrimination against women is not just a woman’s issue, but humanity’s issue. Governments should focus on planning their own conferences instead of waiting for regional ones.

Representatives from the UN Youth Delegate Program discussed their experiences and promoted the involvement of younger people in delegations. Being a part of the global decision forum enables youths to be active at the UN as opposed to just being observers. Mr. Alhendawi emphasized that current business communications must change and be directed towards the younger audience. The commitment of the UN is not to work for the people, but with the people. Twenty years ago, delegates made an agreement to help young people succeed. The Secretary General is requesting that each delegation take on at least one young member by September. Youth movements and representatives are essential for creating frameworks that support the young people of the future. Representative MacDonald explained that one must know and understand what their rights are before they can advocate for them.

Ms. Thomas introduced three members of the Microsoft YouthSpark Team. Microsoft works to ensure that as many young people as possible have the skills they need to get employment and advance finding opportunities. As the world is becoming more technology enabled, an education with computer science is becoming increasingly important.

Meeting: 2015 Winter Youth Assembly: Bridging the Gap Between Youth Employment and Global Development
Date & Location: Wednesday, February 11th, 2015. Conference Room 2, UNHQ, New York.
Speakers: H.E. Ambassador Simona Miculescu, Permannet Representative of Romania to the United Nations; Patrick Sciarratta, Executive Director of FAF; Irina Bokova, Director-General United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO; Henry MacDonald, Permanent Representative of Suriname to the United Nations; Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth; Yvonne Thomas, Microsoft
Written By WIT Representative: Paige Stokols
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

NGO Committee on Sustainable Development

International_Peace_Day_logoDr. Vendley introduced the role of religious communities in creating a shared vision of peace for the sustainable development agenda. He also stated, “Peace is more than the absence of war”, but also a cultivation of virtues. Essentially, Dr. Vendley believed social institutions could not survive without virtuous people and community. Reverend Ali stressed the importance of engaging children in developing peace, an important factor in sustainable development. To build equality, she emphasized a cultivation of open-mindedness in children, especially those surrounded by conflict and violence. This encourages collaboration among children, a societal benefit.

Ms. Kader shared her opinion about sustainable development and peace by saying, “It is the right of every human being to live in peace and dignity”, no matter their lifestyle or beliefs, as long as “their decisions aren’t inflicted on others and don’t harm others.” Similarly, Mr. Knotts spoke on the importance of having human rights when discussing peace in sustainable development, noting climate change as a current and future source of conflict in countries, especially when dealing with resources. Ms. McGlone revealed the work of the Peace Boat US, an NGO focused on educating others about global conflict resolution and peacebuilding by inviting speakers aboard their cruise ship to discuss relevant world issues.

Ambassador Garcia discussed three pillars of sustainable development: environmental protection, economic development, and social inclusion. He also explained humane sustainable cities through a cultural peace, which, combined with national institutions, leadership, and global partnership development, can lead to civil society and private sector participation. Ms. Jacob represented youth involvement in the creation of a culture of peace. She wanted to improve the present and change conditions for the future by boosting the level of youth impact in sustainable development and spreading relevant information.

Meeting: Co NGO Committee on Sustainable Development: November General Membership Meeting
Date/Location: November 13, 2014; 12:10-2:30; The United Nations Church Center
Speakers: Co-Chairs: Margo LaZaro & Yvonne O’Neal, Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace; H.E. Ambassador Carlos Garcia, former Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the Un Founder & CEO of CG Global Consultant; Ms. Sally Kader, Founder & President of the World Federation for Middle East Peace; Mr. Bruce Knotts, Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association, UN Office; Mrs. Emilie McGlone, Director of Peace Board US; Reverend Farida Ali, Principal Representative of the All Pakistan Women’s Association to the UN; Ms. Kamila Jacob, Envoy Coordinator & Youth Representative for UUA-UN Office
Written By WIT Representative: Daniel Cho, Eman Osagie, and Elise Freeman

Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon