The 2017 DPI/NGO Youth Orientation Programme focused on introducing new DPI/NGO youth representatives to the United Nations and outlining the specific responsibilities of a youth representative. Jeffrey Brez began the session by highlighting the importance of youth to the UN. Through youth groups, the UN is able to gain specific knowledge, learn different advocacy skills and gain outreach on social media. Brez concluded by noting that youth groups need to put “boots to words,” the idea that words are meaningless if action is not taken.
Next, Amanda Goodson highlighted AIESEC’s work with youth globally. As a partner of the UN, AIESEC launched a Youth for Global Goals initiative to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The initiative consists of three phases: Awareness, Understanding, and Action. In 2016, 12 million youth were aware of the SDGs. Out of the 12 million youth, 56,000 physically engaged in AIESEC’s forum, which helps youth understand SDGs, particularly the goals that are most relevant to them and their communities, and 2.5 million people engaged in the forum virtually. After selecting their target goals, participants take action. In 2016, 32,000 volunteers were mobilized to take action on their target goals. With 10 partners, AIESEC has 4,500 registered projects in over 120 countries. The year when the AIESEC forum took place, AIESEC distributed a youth speaks survey. According to the survey results, 68% of the respondents believe the world will be a better place by 2030. 55% of respondents were also not aware of the SDGs. However, Goodson noted that this 55 % were able to learn about the SDGs over the course of the survey.
Meeting: DPI/NGO 2017 Youth Orientation Programme
Date/Location: Friday, 10 March 2017; 11:30 to 1:00; UN Headquarters, Conference Room 1
Speakers: Juan Pablo Celis, Youth Representative to UNA-NY; Jeffrey Brez, Chief of NGO Relations and Advocacy Section of the UN DPI; Saskia Schellekens, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth at the UN; Elizabeth Niland, Social Affairs Officer-UN Programme on Youth; Christopher Dekki, United Nations representative for the International Movement of Catholic Students; Amanda Goodson, Vice President of Partnerships at AIESEC; Rena Zhu, Youth Representative to the American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Written By: Na-Yeon Park, WIT Representative