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Guide to Youth Delegates to the United Nations


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The purpose of the guide is to provide Member States with information on national youth delegates to the United Nations and practical guidance on developing youth delegate programmes. The Guide presents the many avenues through which young people may take part in the work of their national delegations, including by highlighting how some Member States have enabled youth to participate inthe intergovernmental processes at the United Nations

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Guide to Youth Delegates to the United Nations

  1. 1. GUIDE TODELEGATESYOUTH to the United Nations
  2. 2. YOUDELEGPrepared for Member States of the United Nations by theUnited Nations Programme on Youth/Division for Social Policy and Development/Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  3. 3. UTHGATES
  5. 5. The creativity, energy and passion of young people areindispensable for tackling global challenges. WheneverI spend time with young people — my role affords me thepleasure and honour to meet frequently with youth fromaround the world — I am always impressed by the contribu-tions they make to their communities, and inspired by theinsight and devotion they bring to the issues on the UnitedNations agenda. The Member States of the Organizationhave also acknowledged the importance of youth in meet-ing the trials of our day, including through the decision ofthe General Assembly to proclaim the International Yearof Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding, starting on12 August 2010.An important mechanism for the participation of youngpeople in the work in the United Nations is the Youth Del-egates Programme. By including young people in nationaldelegations to United Nations meetings, Governments helpthem gain a better understanding of the intricacies of nego-tiations, the challenges of achieving consensus and the pa-tience required to win diplomatic progress. These skills helpyoung people no matter what course they choose in life.Moreover, the time spent representing the youth of theircountries in the international arena can also inspire and en-courage young people to participate more deeply at home,in the political life of their own societies, thereby counter-acting the immense social costs of excluding young people. i
  6. 6. I attach great importance to the Youth Delegates Pro-gramme. It creates civic role models for young peoplearound the world and brings new perspectives to discussionsin the General Assembly. However, some regions continueto be underrepresented among the youth delegates; I en-courage Member States to do more to bring young peopleaboard and achieve a more equitable geographical balance.Half of the population of the world is under 25. We needto harness the spirit of youth around the world to addressthe tough challenges we face. This Guide is meant to inspiremore Member States to support youth participation at inter-governmental meetings and to allow the voices of youngpeople from all over the world to be not only heard, butacted upon. BAN Ki-moon Secretary-General of the United Nations ii
  7. 7. iii
  9. 9. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 represent ap-proximately 18 per cent of today’s global population, signi-fying the largest youth cohort in history. They are increas-ingly mobilizing and impacting social policy dialogue withintheir communities as well as at the global level. In response,the international community has recognized their contribu-tions and potential for greater participation by encouragingthe inclusion of youth delegates in United Nations meetingsand conferences.The purpose of the following Guide is to provide MemberStates with information on national youth delegates to theUnited Nations and practical guidance on developing youthdelegate programmes. The Guide presents the many ave-nues through which young people may take part in the workof their national delegations, including by highlighting howsome Member States have enabled youth to participate inthe intergovernmental processes at the United Nations.The Guide has been prepared by the United Nations Pro-gramme on Youth of the Division for Social Policy and Devel-opment in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.The Programme is the focal point within the United Nationssystem in the area of youth development and matters relatedto young people, particularly in relation to the priority areasidentified in the World Programme of Action for Youth. v
  10. 10. Specifically, the Programme aims to: • Enhance awareness of the global situation of youth and to increase recognition of their rights and aspi- rations; • Promote national youth policies, programmes and coordinating mechanisms as integral parts of social and economic development, in cooperation with both governmental and non-governmental organi- zations; • Strengthen the participation of youth in decision- making processes at all levels in order to increase their contribution to national development and international cooperation; • Facilitate the coordination of the UN system’s youth-related activities by leading the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development.Through the information and country-specific examplesprovided in this Guide, it is the hope that Governments andyoung people alike will be encouraged to strengthen oppor-tunities for youth to participate more fully in national andinternational development policy dialogue. Sha Zukang Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs vii
  12. 12. ■ BACKGROUND 1■ WHY YOUTH DELEGATES? 5■ THE ROLE OF A YOUTH DELEGATE 7■ YOUTH DELEGATES AT THE UNITED NATIONS 9 ■ The General Assembly 9 ■ The Commission for Social Development (CSocD) 10 ■ The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) 11■ THE SELECTION PROCESS 13■ BEFORE THE iNTERGOvERNmENTAL mEETiNGS 17 ■ Preparations 17 ■ visa process 18■ WHEN RETURNING HOME 21■ COUNTRY PROFiLES 23 ■ Australia 24 ■ Germany 27 ■ Netherlands 31 ■ Norway 34 ■ Romania 36 ■ Sweden 38 ■ Switzerland 41 ■ Thailand 44■ FURTHER iNFORmATiON 47 ix
  13. 13. ACKgroUNBackground
  14. 14. Member States of the United Nations have long recognizedthat the imagination, energy and ideals of young peopleare vital for the continuing development of the societiesin which they live. In 1995, on the tenth anniversary of thefirst International Youth Year, the United Nations formallystrengthened its commitment to young people by adoptinga unified approach called the World Programme of Actionfor Youth (WPAY). The WPAY initially identified 10 priorityareas to guide policy and action in the area of youth devel-opment. Recognizing the major changes that were occurringin national and international development at the beginningof the twenty-first century, the General Assembly added fiveadditional priority areas in 2007, namely globalization, in-formation and communication technology, Hiv/AiDS, armedconflict and intergenerational issues. The five additionalareas were elaborated in a supplement to the WPAY, whichwas adopted at the sixty-second session of the GeneralAssembly in 2007 (see box on p. 2). 1
  15. 15. The World Programme of acTion for YouTh (WPaY)The World Programme of Action for Youth wasadopted by the General Assembly in 1995 andexpanded upon in 2007.It provides a policy framework and practicalguidelines for national action and internationalsupport to improve the situation of youth in relationto the following 15 priority concerns:• Education • Youth participation in• Employment society and in decision- making• Hunger and poverty • Globalization• Health • information and com-• Environment munication technology• Substance abuse (ICT)• Juvenile justice • Hiv/AiDS• Leisure-time activities • Armed conflict• Girls and young women • intergenerational issuesFor each priority area, the WPAY outlines thechallenges young people face and presents proposalsfor action to improve the lives of young people. TheWPAY also outlines the means of implementationof the Programme of Action. The 15 priority areasare clearly interrelated and cut across areas in whichagencies of the United Nations system specializeand provide technical advisory and other services toGovernments.The Programme of Action is available 2
  16. 16. The World Programme of Action focuses on increasing thequality and quantity of opportunities available to youngpeople for full, effective and constructive participation insociety. In particular, it invites Governments to strengthenthe involvement of young people in international forums byconsidering the inclusion of youth representatives in theirnational delegations to the General Assembly (General As-sembly resolution 50/81, paragraph 107).This invitation has been renewed several times in subse-quent resolutions (52/83, 54/120, 56/117, 58/133, 59/148,60/2, 62/126). in its recent resolution pertaining to youth pol-icies and programmes (General Assembly resolution 64/130),adopted in 2009, the General Assembly: Urges Member States to consider including youth representatives in their delegations at all relevant discussions in the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and its functional commissions and relevant United Nations conferences, as appropriate, bearing in mind the principles of gender balance and non-discrimination, and emphasizes that such youth representatives should be selected through a transpar- ent process that ensures that they have a suitable man- date to represent young people in their countries; [para- graph 17] Recognizes the need for a greater geographical balance of youth representation, and encourages Member States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organi- zations to contribute to the United Nations Youth Fund in order to facilitate the participation of youth repre- sentatives from developing countries; [paragraph 18] 3
  17. 17. OUTH DEL4 Why youth Delegates?
  18. 18. The underlying principle of youth participation in the workof the United Nations is that it leads to better policy and pro-grammatic responses to the problems facing young peopletoday. The United Nations recognizes that young peoplearound the world are both a major human resource for devel-opment and key agents for social change, economic devel-opment and technological innovation. Where young peoplehave participated more fully in their communities, they havebeen a strong positive force in the development of theirsocieties. Youth who are involved in positive activities such ascommunity service are less likely to pursue risky behaviour.In addition to their substantive contributions, young peoplealso bring a unique perspective that needs to be taken intoconsideration.Including young people in official delegations to inter-governmental meetings not only enriches the debate andpolicy dialogue, but also strengthens existing channels ofcommunication and cooperation between Governments andyoung people. Listening to youth and making them full part-ners in the decision-making process can help Governmentsenact more effective and legitimate policies and programmes,especially with regard to youth issues.Upon return to their home countries, youth delegatesoften promote continued progress in the development andimplementation of youth policies at the national level andencourage other young people to participate more fully inthe development of their communities and nations. Youthdelegates also spread awareness and knowledge about thework of the United Nations to young people in their homecountries, making them important actors in promoting theaims and principles of the Organization.Several Member States regularly include youth representa-tives in national delegations to the United Nations, with thenumber gradually increasing year by year. For a list of coun-tries that have had youth delegates in the past and for moreinformation on their work, please visit 5
  19. 19. DEL6 OUTHOF A The ROLe YOuTh DeLegATe
  20. 20. The role of a youth delegate to United Nations intergovern-mental meetings differs from country to country. It is gen-erally determined by the authority responsible for youthdevelopment in a country, in cooperation with the ministryof foreign affairs (or its equivalent) and a country’s perma-nent mission to the United Nations. Youth delegates typi-cally participate in the General Assembly and/or functionalcommissions of the Economic and Social Council. The youthdelegates provide input to their delegation on issues relatedto youth and participate in the delegations’ general workthrough attending a variety of meetings and informal nego-tiations, as well as providing assistance in covering generaldebates and drafting reports. When returning home, theyouth delegates often conduct tours of schools, universities,youth organizations and other civil society organizations toshare their experiences with other young people. 7
  21. 21. OUTH DEL youth delegates at8 the united nations
  22. 22. Youth delegates may participate in several intergovern-mental meetings at the United Nations. Most official youthdelegates participate in the General Assembly, but some alsoattend functional commissions of the Economic and SocialCouncil.THE GENERAL ASSEMBLYEach country determines the amount of time its youthdelegates spend at the United Nations General Assembly.Some countries enable their youth delegates to participatethroughout the full duration of the General Assembly, whichis generally in session from September to mid-December.However, the main focus of a youth delegate’s work is usu-ally the processes that take place in the Third Committee,the arm of the General Assembly that deliberates on social,cultural and humanitarian issues. Youth delegates regularlydeliver statements on issues of concern to young people onbehalf of their Governments in the Third Committee.Matters that pertain specifically to youth currently fall underthe agenda item entitled “Social development, including 9
  23. 23. questions relating to the world social situation and to youth,ageing, persons with disabilities and the family”. Generally,this agenda item is considered in the Third Committeeduring the month of October. However, this is subject tochange based on the annual programmes of work adoptedby Member States. The agenda of the General Assembly,including that of its Third Committee, is usually available inlate summer at often the youth delegates liaise with youth repre-sentatives from other countries to exchange informationand build upon their experiences. They may be invitedto speak at various side events or panel discussions organ-ized by their mission, the United Nations Secretariat, ornon-governmental organizations. In recent years, youthdelegates have also jointly organized side events on issuesof global concern to youth development.Upon the arrival of the youth delegates, it is recommendedthat the mission provide a short briefing to clarify their rolein the delegation. The United Nations Programme on Youthalso provides an orientation to the United Nations systemthat is open to all national youth delegates.THE COmmiSSiON FOR SOCiALDEvELOPmENT (CSocD)The Commission for Social Development (CSocD) is a func-tional commission of the Economic and Social Council(ECOSOC). The body is in charge of the follow-up to andimplementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Pro-gramme of Action of the World Summit for Social Develop-ment and meets annually in February for approximately oneand a half weeks. It covers key social development themes,such as poverty, employment and social integration, and theissue of youth falls within the latter. The Commission is organ-ized in two-year cycles, comprising a review session and apolicy session. Each year the Commission reviews relevantUnited Nations plans and programmes of action on the situ- 10
  24. 24. ation of social groups, including youth. A youth resolutionis traditionally adopted every two years. Typically, youthdelegates that have been selected for the General Assemblyalso participate in the Commission for Social Development,since the work of the two bodies is closely interlinked.The agenda of the Commission for Social Development isavailable at COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLEDEvELOPmENT (CSD)The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) isresponsible for reviewing progress in the implementationof Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on the Environmentand Development, as well as providing policy guidance tofollow up on the Johannesburg Plan of implementation(JPOi) at the local, national, regional and international lev-els. The CSD meets annually in New York during the monthof May for two weeks, and is open to both governmentaland non-governmental actors. Young people can participateeither by being a member of their country’s official delega-tion, or by representing an NGO through the children andyouth major group. In recent years, the presence of youthon government delegations has been increasing. Participat-ing NGOs must be in consultative status with the Economicand Social Council (ECOSOC), including those accredited onthe CSD Roster. Major groups can participate in interactivedialogues, develop coordinated statements through thedifferent caucus groups, and advocate for particular issues.The youth caucus is an international network of youth lead-ers from hundreds of organizations around the world thatfacilitates youth inputs to the CSD, through the children andyouth major group, in the Commission’s preparation phaseand throughout the session.The agenda of the Commission for Sustainable Developmentis available at 11
  25. 25. selecTi12 heselecTion The process
  26. 26. The selection process for youth delegates varies from countryto country. The selection process is frequently overseen bythe government authority directly responsible for youth (e.g.,ministry of education, department of youth and sport, min-istry of cultural and social affairs, or equivalent). Since youthdelegates represent the youth of their home countries, pastyouth delegates have stressed the importance of selecting arepresentative young person through a transparent process,often with the involvement of young people in the decision-making process. In many instances, the process is coordinatedby the National Youth Council or similar youth structure that isable to transmit information to a diverse membership and or-ganize a peer review process. Involvement of well-establishedyouth structures also ensures continuity. In other instances,the relevant ministry circulates a call for applications andthen shortlists candidates to be jointly reviewed and/or in-terviewed by representatives of both the Government andyouth organizations. In several countries, previous youthdelegates are included in the decision-making process, sincethey have first-hand experience of the skills and knowledgeneeded to be an effective youth delegate.Because the youth delegates are expected to inform reso-lutions and other recommendations on youth policies andprogrammes, the most effective delegates are those who arewell versed in current national youth policies, who are linkedto youth organizations, structures or networks in their homecountry and who are knowledgeable on some of the keyissues confronting their generation. Further, it is of impor-tance that the selected youth delegates have knowledge ofsome basic English in order to be able to interact effectivelyat the intergovernmental meeting.The inclusion of a youth delegate in a national delegationto a United Nations intergovernmental meeting involvesintragovernmental cooperation and coordination. Oncethe delegate(s) has been selected, the name of the selecteddelegate(s) is then transmitted to the ministry of foreign af-fairs (or equivalent) and subsequently to the country’s per- 13
  27. 27. manent mission to the United Nations. It is also important toinform the United Nations Programme on Youth, at, so that the youth delegate can be appropriately di-rected to information, supported in understanding the workof the United Nations and informed of joint events with otherselected youth delegates.To ensure that the youth delegates have sufficient time toprepare, and thus make the most of their participation atthe United Nations, it is recommended that selection takeplace well before the intergovernmental meeting is held.Ideally, the youth delegate should be selected at least sixmonths prior to the meeting.The logistical arrangements for youth delegates are typicallyhandled by the foreign ministry or permanent mission, asthey are experienced in bringing their nationals to functionsat the United Nations. The associated costs are borne by theGovernment, either entirely or partially. The youth delegatemay also be asked to raise funds required for his or her par-ticipation. Following the request of the General Assembly inits resolution 64/130, Governments may wish to make con-tributions to the United Nations Youth Fund to support theparticipation of youth delegates, in particular from develop-ing countries.For more information on how different countries selecttheir youth delegates, please refer to the country profiles onpages 23 to 45. 14
  28. 28. 15
  29. 29. Before the intergovernmental EFORE TH meetings16
  30. 30. PREPARATIONSBefore attending intergovernmental meetings, it is help-ful for youth delegates to become familiar with the workof the United Nations on youth development. It is useful toreview recent youth resolutions and relevant reports of theSecretary-General. All this information is accessible via theUnited Nations Programme on Youth website at or by request at It is also veryhelpful to contact previous youth delegates, in order tolearn more about their experiences.Youth delegates often attend an in-country briefing withthe ministry of youth or similar authority responsible foryouth development. In some cases, youth representativesorganize events, public or online discussions, consultations,school visits or other forms of outreach in order to createawareness of their role as a national youth delegate. Insome countries, youth delegates’ role includes travellingaround their country, in order to gather information aboutyoung people’s opinions and views. For more examples ofactivities that youth delegates around the world undertakebefore the intergovernmental meetings, please see thecountry profiles included in this guide.Most years, a national youth council or similar organizationhosts a preparatory meeting for all the national youth del-egates of a specific region taking part in the General Assem-bly. In previous years, for example, the European YouthForum has hosted a preparatory meeting for European youthdelegates. Youth delegates from other regions around theworld have participated through online discussions. The pur-pose of the preparatory meeting is to prepare the youth del-egates for their work in the General Assembly and to meetother youth delegates. Some Governments support thiswork, either financially or by integrating these activities intotheir own programmes. 17
  31. 31. viSA PROCESSThe visa process differs by country. In most cases, the for-eign ministry or the country’s mission to the United Nationswrites a support letter for the selected youth delegates thatcan be used for the visa application process. Sometimes thevisa process takes only a week, but in most cases it takes sig-nificantly longer, adding to the importance of selecting theyouth delegates well before the intergovernmental meetingtakes place. 18
  32. 32. hen retu When returning20 home
  33. 33. Upon return from United Nations intergovernmental meet-ing, most youth delegates prepare a report to submit tothe various ministries within the Government and/or makepresentations to relevant departments. In some cases, theyundertake outreach activities similar to those they under-took prior to their time in New York, in order to share theirexperience with other young people through youth organi-zations, schools, radio programmes and other media.Some youth delegates continue to interact with their Gov-ernments to participate in implementation of the WorldProgramme of Action for Youth or to support related gov-ernment programmes and projects. It is also very useful forthe returning delegates to be involved in the preparationand briefing of the incoming youth delegates. 21
  35. 35. Countries that send youth delegates to intergovernmentalmeetings at the United Nations have varied arrangementswhen it comes to their national youth delegate programmes.In this section several national programmes are presentedin detail, in order to provide a better understanding of howa youth delegate programme might be set up. The pro-grammes presented here have been operational for at leastthree consecutive years, and are proven to have effective se-lection processes that could serve as examples for emergingyouth delegate programmes. Each country seeking to estab-lish a youth delegate programme will, however, need to tai-lor the programme to local specificities. 23
  36. 36. auSTraliaexisting since: criteria for applying:1999 - Between 16 and 24 years oldSending youth delegates to: - Passion for youth empowermentThe United Nations General and participationAssembly - Strong knowledge of the Unitedcall for application: Nations and of internationalLate October affairsnumber of youth delegates: - Awareness of the Australian1 youth sectorlength of term: - Past background in media,1 year, beginning end of March advocacy and consultationVisa process: - Able to devote the whole yearG2 visa, received with a support to a domestic tour andletter from the Australian participation in the UnitedMission to the United Nations Nations General Assembly SelecTion ProceSS: The selection process is organized by the United Nations Youth Association of Australia (UNYA) and follows a four-step process. The process begins with an expression of interest. UNYA advertises the position and consistently receives around 200 applications per year that respond to short-answer questions relating to youth advo- cacy and international relations. During the second step, shortlisted applicants are asked to think creatively and to strategically write an essay on what they can bring to the posi- tion of youth delegate. Thirdly, successful applicants from the second round are invited to an interview where they are asked questions on their experience with media, advocacy, consultation and youth work. Interviews are recorded in each Australian state and territory and are then screened by the UNYA National Executive. From the recorded interviews, UNYA shortlists five candidates to be viewed by the Austra- lian Government’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade 24
  37. 37. (DFAT). The final step consists of DFAT’s selection and en-dorsement of the successful youth delegate. UNYA supportsthe youth delegates with their domestic consultations andadvocacy, while DFAT is responsible for supporting the rep-resentative’s work at the General Assembly.Before The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegate hasa high-profile role in the Australian youth community andundertakes a five-month consultation tour of all Australianstates and territories. The objective of this tour is to capturethe local and global concerns of young Australians.During the tour, the youth delegate performs a wide range ofeducational activities, including educating young people ondomestic and international political processes. This includesraising awareness among young people on how they canconvey their views to the Australian Government and onhow they can support the goals of the United Nations. Theyouth delegate also equips young people with tools andinformation on how they can get involved in local andglobal campaigns.A vital part of the youth delegate’s work is engaging voice-less young people in the community, including young peoplewho are marginalized and come from disadvantaged back-grounds. In this work, the youth delegate seeks to improvethe self-esteem of young people by delivering motivationalspeeches and participating in workshops on youth partici-pation.Throughout the domestic tour, the youth delegate formsstrong relationships with members of the national Govern-ment, in particular the Ministry for Youth, state governmentsand other political actors. Through these relationships,the youth delegate has a good platform through which toadvocate the concerns of the diverse youth s/he has engaged.Ultimately, the consultations and advocacy work help de-velop the youth delegate’s official statement to the ThirdCommittee of the General Assembly. 25
  38. 38. aT The general aSSemBlY: The Australian youth dele-gate works within the Permanent Mission of Australia to theUnited Nations from mid-September to early December. Themain responsibility of the youth delegate is to convey thevoices of Australian children and young people in GeneralAssembly forums and events. This includes delivering a state-ment to the Third Committee of the General Assembly basedon the findings of the national tour. The youth delegatealso helps to negotiate resolutions in the Third Committeeon behalf of the Australian Mission, has the opportunity toorganize side events for delegations and contributes toraising the profile of youth participation within UN organsand agencies.When reTurning home: Follow-up on the work withinAustralia and to the General Assembly is one of the mostcritical parts of the youth delegate’s role. The youth dele-gate’s follow-up work includes a “Reporting Back Tour” inorder to undertake a substantial evaluation process and sup-port to government and non-governmental organizationsin the implementation of youth resolutions adopted by theGeneral Assembly. The youth delegate delivers educationalworkshops and inspirational talks to diverse youth audiencesto inform young people, especially those visited throughoutthe national tour, on how they were represented at theGeneral Assembly.funding: The Australian Government organizes and paysfor the youth delegate’s accommodation during the GeneralAssembly. All other costs, including the national tour andflight tickets, are funded by the youth delegate through his/her own fund-raising.conTacT: To learn more about the selection process andthe Australian youth delegate programme, please contactthe UNYA National vice-President for Youth Representationat or visit 26
  39. 39. germanYexisting since: length of term:2005 1 year for the General Assembly. Youth delegates are selected in lateSending youth delegates to: January/early FebruaryThe United Nations GeneralAssembly, the Commission for For the CSD, one youth delegate withSocial Development and the a 2-year mandate is selected each yearCommission on Sustainable in August/September, so that the GermanDevelopment delegation always includes one experi- enced and one new youth delegatecall for application:Early November criteria for applying: - Between 18 and 25 years oldnumber of youth delegates:4 (two youth delegates to the - Fluency in EnglishGeneral Assembly who typically also - Experience with youth work isparticipate in the Commission for desirableSocial Development (CSocD) andtwo delegates to the Commission on - Must be able to devote a consid-Sustainable Development (CSD)) erable amount of time to youth delegate work SelecTion ProceSS: The selection process is organized by the German National Youth Council (DNK – Deutsches Nationalkomitee für internationale Jugendarbeit) together with the German United Nations Association (DGvN – Deutsche Gesellschaft für die vereinten Nationen). in re- sponse to a call for applications, interested candidates sub- mit a motivation letter and Cv. Shortlisted candidates have two weeks to submit an essay on questions regarding youth topics discussed at the United Nations. The questions are typically taken from the toolkit for the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY). Around 12 candidates are then selected for a telephone interview containing general ques- tions in both German and English about the candidate, the candidate’s motivation and his/her knowledge about the United Nations and the WPAY. Six candidates are selected 27
  40. 40. for a two-day final selection process that takes place in Ber-lin. The finals include interviews and role playing. The twoyouth delegates are then selected together with the FederalForeign Office and the Federal ministry of Family Affairs,Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.Before The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegatestravel around the country to visit local youth initiatives,youth organizations, schools, universities, political parties,NGOs, Model United Nations Conferences, expert confer-ences, educational centres for disadvantaged youth, andother events where young people are present. The main aimof this tour is to have a comprehensive consultation process,which enables young people in Germany to voice their viewsand demands, as well as share information about their lives.Furthermore, the youth delegates inform youth in Germanyabout the work of the United Nations. During the tour, theyouth delegates attend workshops, deliver speeches andtake part in panel discussions. They also meet with the Fed-eral ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women andYouth and the Federal Foreign Office to learn more aboutthe work of these institutions and to establish contacts withtheir staff.Contact with previous youth delegates is essential, and sev-eral days are spent with them in order to transfer knowledge.Furthermore, the youth delegates prepare by undertakinga great deal of background research. This includes readingresolutions, reports of the Secretary-General and nationalposition papers of youth organizations, and collecting theinputs from the national tour. The youth delegates alsoattend a preparatory meeting for youth delegates organ-ized by the European Youth Forum, and take part in onlinediscussions with other youth delegates. During the last threeyears it has been common that the youth delegates take asix-month break from their studies/jobs in order to make theoutcome of the programme as successful as possible.aT The general aSSemBlY: The German youth delegatesare advisers to their national delegation. In their personal 28
  41. 41. german YouTh delegaTeS To The cSd The CSD youth delegate programme is run by the Ger- man Federal Youth Council (DBJR), with strong support from the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conser- vation and Nuclear Safety. After a call for applications that takes place in late summer, interested candidates submit their motivation letter and Cv to the DBJR. Shortlisted candidates are invited for a personal in- terview and, based on those interviews, the youth del- egates are selected. The CSD youth delegates usually do not conduct a nationwide tour before the CSD, but are instead responsible for keeping in contact with all youth organizations around Germany to include their inputs in formulating a joint German youth position for the dis- cussions at the CSD. While at the CSD, the German youth delegates are part of the official delegation as well as members of the chil- dren and youth major group. When returning home, the youth delegates undertake a national tour during the summer together with the youth delegates to the General Assembly to discuss the topics at the CSD with youth around the country. The youth delegates normally attend CSD for two weeks and are funded by the Ministry for the Environ- ment. In recent years, the German Government has also funded the participation of two African youth delegates at the CSD.capacity, they deliver a speech to the Third Committee of theGeneral Assembly on behalf of German youth, and attendinformal consultations on resolutions concerning youth. Fur-thermore, they arrange side events at the German Missionand take part in various meetings. The youth delegates usu-ally attend the General Assembly for three weeks. The youth 29
  42. 42. delegates to the General Assembly typically also participatein the Commission for Social Development (CSocD), whichtakes place in the beginning of February.When reTurning home: When returning home, theyouth delegates report back to the national Parliamentabout the outcome of the General Assembly and what ac-tions should be taken in the national context with regardto youth policies. The youth delegates also report back tothe National Youth Council and its member organizationsas well as to the German United Nations Association. Finally,they also go through an extensive knowledge transfer pro-cess with the youth delegates of the subsequent year.funding: The trip and accommodation for the final stageof the selection process is covered by the German NationalCommittee for International Youth Work (DNK) and the Ger-man United Nations Association (DGvN). During the nationaltour, the inviting organizations cover the travel expenses andaccommodation if necessary. Apart from that, the Germanyouth delegates raise funds for special activities and events.Participation in the preparatory meeting of youth delegatesorganized by the European Youth Forum is covered by theNational Youth Council and the European Youth Forum. Thetrip and accommodation for the youth delegates duringthe General Assembly is covered by the DNK and the DGvN.conTacT: To learn more about the selection process andthe German youth delegate programme, please visit 30
  43. 43. neTherlandSexisting since: mission on Sustainable Development1970 (CSD) and one for UNESCO)Sending youth delegates to: length of term:The United Nations General 2 years for the General Assembly,Assembly, the Commission for CSocD and CSD and 1 year forSocial Development (CSocD), UNESCO. Youth delegates are se-the Commission on Sustainable lected in October. During the first year,Development (CSD) and the the youth delegates take on an activeUnited Nations Educational, Sci- role by attending intergovernmental meetings and working on nationalentific and Cultural Organization projects. During the second year, the(UNESCO) Youth Forum youth delegates act as mentors andcall for application: support the next youth delegateBeginning of August criteria for applying:number of youth delegates: Between 18 and 25 years old5 (two for the General Assembly andthe Commission for Social Develop- Visa process:ment (CSocD), two for the Com- G2 visa SelecTion ProceSS: The selection process is organized by the Dutch National Youth Council (DNYC). In response to a call for applications, interested candidates submit their Cv and answer a few questions in an online questionnaire on what they would do if they were selected as a youth del- egate. In September, the DNYC selects 16 young people who qualify for the next round. The second round consists of a debate, where groups of four people debate against each other on two different topics. The six best debaters are chosen by a jury including a previous youth delegate and representatives from the ministry of Foreign Affairs or the United Nations Association of the Netherlands. In the third round, the six selected young people compete against each other in a week-long election process. Everyone in the Netherlands can vote either through the Internet, by ballot 31
  44. 44. paper or by sending text messages. The three candidatesthat receive the most votes are selected for the finals. Thefinal takes place on 24 October, United Nations Day. Thethree finalists hold debates and try to gather as many votesas possible. Through the DNYC, the finalists get a smallamount of money to use for their campaigns, which includeleaflets, articles in newspapers and posters. People can voteeither by being present at the final or by sending text mes-sages. The person with the most votes is the winner and be-comes the next youth delegate.Before The inTergoVernmenTal meeTing: The youthdelegate travels around the country to meet young people,attend conferences organized by the ministry of ForeignAffairs, participate in debates and give speeches at variousconferences. The youth delegate also receives support fromthe senior youth delegate, reads background documentsand participates in preparatory online consultations withother youth delegates. S/he also attends a preparatory meet-ing organized by the European Youth Forum.aT The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegate is an offi-cial member of the national delegation and delivers a state-ment to the Third Committee of the General Assembly. Theyouth delegate also participates in informal consultationson resolutions concerning youth, and organizes side eventstogether with other youth delegates. The Dutch youth del-egate is normally at the General Assembly for three weeks.When reTurning home: The youth delegate reportsback to the ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Na-tional Youth Council. The youth delegate also participates invarious lectures, debates and workshops and gives speechesin order to inform as many youth as possible about his/herexperience at the intergovernmental meeting.funding: The Dutch National Youth Council coverstravel expenses within the Netherlands. The European Youth 32
  45. 45. Forum pays costs related to the preparatory meeting. Theministry of Foreign Affairs covers expenses related to theintergovernmental meeting, including accommodation,flight and food. neTherlandS YouTh delegaTeS To uneSco and The commiSSion on SuSTainaBle deVeloPmenT The youth delegates participating in the UNESCO Youth Forum undergo a selection process similar to that for those attending the General Assembly. After a call for applications, interested candidates have to submit a personal letter and Cv. Shortlisted candidates are then selected for an interview with the DNYC. After that, the member organizations of the DNYC vote for the candi- date they want to see as the next youth delegate. The candidate who receives the most votes from the mem- ber organizations becomes the next youth delegate to UNESCO. The youth delegates attending the CSD are also chosen through a few rounds of interviews conducted by the DNYC. The final takes place at a sus- tainable development event, where those attending vote for the candidate they would like to see as a youth delegate.conTacT: To learn more about the selection process andthe Dutch youth delegate programme, please visit the DutchYouth Council at 33
  46. 46. norWaYexisting since: length of term:1971 1 year. Youth delegates are selected at the beginning of MarchSending youth delegates to:The United Nations General criteria for applying:Assembly - Nominated by a youthcall for application: organizationBeginning of February - Experience working with youth organizationsnumber of youth delegates:2 - Age 26 or below SelecTion ProceSS: The selection process is organized by the Norwegian Children and Youth Council (LNU). In response to a call for applications, youth organizations around Nor- way can nominate candidates. One candidate is selected from one of the political parties’ youth organizations through a rotating system, and one youth delegate is selected from one of the other youth organizations. The nominated candidates have to send their Cv and a motiva- tion letter stating what the candidate would do as a youth delegate if selected, together with the nomination letter from their organization to the LNU. Successful candidates are then invited for an interview conducted by a staff mem- ber and a board member of the LNU. On the basis of these interviews, two candidates are suggested to the board of the LNU, which makes the final decision. Before The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegates participate in the United Nations working group of the Nor- wegian Children and Youth Council, and take part in the Council’s board meetings in order to learn more about the work. The youth delegates also meet with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, previous youth delegates and various politi- 34
  47. 47. cians. They also participate in the preparatory meeting or-ganized by the European Youth Forum.aT The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegates are of-ficial members of their national delegations. They deliver astatement to the Third Committee in the General Assemblyand speak on behalf of Norway in the informal consultationson youth resolutions. The youth delegates are at the GeneralAssembly for two weeks.When reTurning home: The youth delegates write a re-port to the Norwegian Children and Youth Council. They alsoshare their experiences with youth organizations aroundNorway.funding: Most of the costs for the youth delegate are cov-ered by the Norwegian ministry of Foreign Affairs. About10 per cent of the total cost is covered by the LNU.conTacT: To learn more about the selection process andthe Norwegian youth delegate programme, please visit theNorwegian Children and Youth Council at 35
  48. 48. romaniaexisting since: length of term:2006 1 year. Youth delegates are selected at the end of AugustSending youth delegates to:The United Nations General criteria for applying:Assembly and the Commission - Romanian citizenshipfor Social Development (CSocD) - Between 18 and 25 years oldcall for application: - Have spent at least one year out ofEnd of July, beginning of August the last three years in Romanianumber of youth delegates: - Able to spend the year of the2 (gender-balanced, the youth mandate in Romaniadelegates selected for the GeneralAssembly also participate in the Visa process:CSocD) G2 visa, supported by the Romanian ministry of Foreign Affairs SelecTion ProceSS: The selection process is organized by the Romanian National Youth Council in partnership with the ministry of Foreign Affairs. in response to a call for appli- cations, interested candidates submit their Cv, a motivation letter, a letter of recommendation and a 1,500-word-long essay on a preset topic regarding youth. Successful candidates are then selected for a semi-final, where an interview is con- ducted via Skype on such topics as youth policies and youth programmes at the national, European and international levels, as well as questions regarding the candidate’s aca- demic and professional background. The final rounds, for which six candidates are selected, com- prise a public debate with negotiations on youth priority areas as defined in the World Programme of Action for Youth, and a question-and-answer session. The jury consists of rep- resentatives from the Romanian National Youth Council, the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministry of Youth and Sports, the United Nations Information Centre and various youth NGOs. 36
  49. 49. Before The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegatestake part in various briefing sessions held by the Ministryof Foreign Affairs, the ministry of Youth and Sports and theUnited Nations Information Centre. The youth delegates alsoattend a one-day briefing on youth policies and programmesorganized by the Romanian Youth Council. Furthermore, theyouth delegates conduct background research on issues re-lated to youth, and have online discussions and consultationswith young people around Romania. They also participate inonline discussions with other youth delegates prior to the Gen-eral Assembly and the Commission for Social Development.aT The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegates are of-ficial members of their national delegation and take partas advisers. The youth delegates deliver a statement to theThird Committee and participate in informal negotiationson resolutions concerning youth. They also organize a sideevent at the Romanian Mission, and write briefing reportson youth-related topics. The youth delegates attend boththe General Assembly and the Commission for Social Devel-opment for two weeks.When reTurning home: Upon their return, the youthdelegates report back to the National Youth Council andmeet with various stakeholders and NGOs that work onyouth policies. The youth delegates also travel around thecountry for an information campaign visiting universitiesand high schools, informing young people about their ex-periences as youth delegates and the work of the UnitedNations. They also brief the incoming youth delegates.funding: The Romanian ministry of Foreign Affairs coversthe accommodation during intergovernmental meetings,while the Ministry of Youth and Sports covers the flight tick-ets. Other costs related to the role of the Romanian youthdelegates are covered by the youth delegates themselves.The youth delegates are advised and supported by the Na-tional Youth Council to undertake fund-raising.conTacT: To learn more about the selection process and theRomanian youth delegate programme, please visit 37
  50. 50. SWedenexisting since: criteria for applying:1999 - Nominated by a memberSending youth delegates to: organization of the Swedish National Youth CouncilThe United Nations GeneralAssembly (GA) and the - Between 18 and 25 years oldCommission on Sustainable - Fluent in EnglishDevelopment (CSD) - Insight into and understanding of youth perspectivescall for application:Beginning of November - Strong active background in youth organizationsnumber of youth delegates: - Experience with and knowledge2 (one for the General Assembly about the Swedish Nationaland one for the Commission on Youth Council (LSU)Sustainable Development) - Willing to be a resource personlength of term: for the member organizations1 year. Youth delegates are selected of the LSUin February SelecTion ProceSS: The selection process is organized by the National Council of Swedish Youth Organizations (LSU). The selection process is the same for both the General As- sembly and the Commission on Sustainable Development. In response to a call for applications made through the LSU’s electronic newsletter, interested member organizations of the LSU nominate one person to represent their organiza- tion. The nomination includes submitting a letter of motiva- tion, a Cv and an official nomination letter from the mem- ber organization. The candidates who qualify for the next round are called to a telephone interview with members from the LSU board. Successful candidates are then selected for a face-to-face interview. The final candidates are selected by the board of the LSU. 38
  51. 51. Before The inTergoVernmenTal meeTing: The youthdelegates meet with the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the LSUand former youth delegates to gather inputs about the workof the United Nations. They undertake research of old resolu-tions and other relevant background information. The youthdelegates also write articles, take part in various conferencesand participate in preparatory meetings traditionally organ-ized by the European Youth Forum. The youth delegates alsoparticipate in online discussions with the other youth del-egates prior to the intergovernmental meeting.aT The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegate’s role isto be a resource for the Swedish Mission on youth perspec-tives, and s/he is asked to deliver a statement to the GeneralAssembly’s Third Committee. S/he also takes part in informalconsultations on youth resolutions and follows other discus-sions on topics covered during the General Assembly. Theyouth delegate is at the General Assembly for two weeks. aT The commiSSion on SuSTainaBle deVeloPmenT: The youth delegate is part of the official delegation but also represents youth as part of the children and youth major group (Children and Youth Caucus). The youth delegate attends delegation meetings (and the European coordination meetings), follows consultations and assists in the work of the Permanent Mission of Sweden. The work (for the Children and Youth Caucus) is more dependent on the priorities of the caucus and can include speechwriting, organizing side events and writing articles.When reTurning home: When returning home, theyouth delegates follow up with a report to the LSU to brief it 39
  52. 52. on the experiences gained at the intergovernmental meet-ing. The youth delegates travel around to visit schools andmember organizations of the LSU to share experiences andthe outcomes of youth resolutions at the United Nations.funding: The Swedish Government and the National YouthCouncil of Swedish Youth Organizations cover expenses re-lated to the preparatory meeting organized by the Euro-pean Youth Forum. The Swedish Government also covers ex-penses related to the intergovernmental meeting, includingthe cost of travel, food and accommodation.conTacT: To learn more about the selection process and theSwedish youth delegate programme, please visit the NationalCouncil of Swedish Youth Organizations (LSU) at 40
  53. 53. SWiTzerlandexisting since: role by attending intergovernmental2003 meetings and working on national projects, including awareness-raisingSending youth delegates to: activities to inform Swiss youth aboutThe United Nations General the UN. During the second year theAssembly, the Commission youth delegate acts as a mentor andfor Social Development, the support for the next youth delegateCommission on the Status criteria for applying:of Women, the Alliance ofCivilizations Forum, the UNFCCC - Availability for 2 yearsConference of Parties, the United - Knowledge of at least twoNations Educational, Scientific national languages (French,and Cultural Organization German, Italian or Rhaeto- Romanic), one active, one(UNESCO) Youth Forum and the passive, as well as EnglishHuman Rights Council in Geneva - Background in working withcall for application: youth organizations or youthNovember/December projects as a volunteer - Declared interest and know-number of youth delegates: ledge of international affairs3. Each year the Swiss National and the United NationsYouth Council together with theministry of Foreign Affairs decides - Between 18 and 25 years oldwhich three conferences to send - Commitment to work approxi-youth delegates to mately 6 hours per week for the projectlength of term:2 years. During the first year the Visa process:youth delegate takes on an active A2 visa SelecTion ProceSS: The selection process is organized by the Swiss National Youth Council (SNYC). In response to a call for applications, interested candidates submit a motivation letter and a Cv to the SNYC. A certain number of candidates are then invited to an interview with representatives from the Foreign ministry and the SNYC and former youth del- 41
  54. 54. egates. The interview contains questions in German, Frenchand English about personal motivation, experience in volun-teer work, the work of the United Nations and youth issues.After the interview, three youth delegates are selected, andthe ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the SNYC, de-cides which intergovernmental meeting the youth delegateswill be attending. Normally, each youth delegate can at-tend one meeting. The selection committee tries to select agender- and language-balanced team. The youth delegatesthen receive several briefings from the SNYC, the Ministryof Foreign Affairs and other relevant institutions in order toprepare them for their role as youth delegates and to informthem about youth issues and the work of the different de-partments in the area of youth.Before The inTergoVernmenTal meeTing: The youthdelegates travel around the country to visit secondaryschools, NGOs and youth organizations to organize work-shops, meetings and conferences. Each year the three youthdelegates select a common theme in regard to youth issues,and work together to plan the national activities. The youthdelegates also prepare their position, together with theSNYC, prepare a statement to the General Assembly (whenpossible), familiarize themselves with earlier resolutionson youth, participate in online dialogues and take part inpreparatory meetings with the Swiss delegation. The SNYCsupports the youth delegates throughout the year. The youthdelegates meet every two months with the SNYC to informit about their ongoing work. The youth delegate attendingthe General Assembly takes part in a preparatory meetingthat is traditionally organized by the European Youth Forum.aT The inTergoVernmenTal meeTing: The youth del-egate is an official member of the national delegation andworks on youth-related issues. S/he participates in informalconsultations on youth resolutions, attends other discus-sions, and can usually deliver a statement to the Third Com-mittee of the General Assembly. During the General Assem- 42
  55. 55. bly, the youth delegate also organizes a side event and aworking breakfast at the Swiss Mission.When reTurning home: When returning home, the roleof the youth delegates is to share the experiences from theintergovernmental meeting through workshops and forumswith various NGOs, schools and youth organizations as wellas to follow up and report on the discussions at the inter-governmental meeting. The youth delegates also have theresponsibility to support, select and act as a mentor for thenext youth delegates during the following year.funding: The Swiss Foreign ministry covers some expensesrelated to the activities in Switzerland, as well as the cost oftravel and accommodation for the intergovernmental meet-ing. The Swiss National Youth Council covers the costs fornational projects. The SNYC receives its funds from differentfoundations.The youth delegates have to cover a part of their subsistenceexpenses, as well as telephone use while out on the road orat the intergovernmental meeting.conTacT: To learn more about the selection process andthe Swiss youth delegate programme please visit the SwissNational Youth Council at 43
  56. 56. Thailandexisting since: length of term:2007 2 weeks during the General AssemblySending youth delegates to:The United Nations General criteria for applying:Assembly - No older than 24 yearscall for application: - Experience working on youth issuesJanuary - Some English requirednumber of youth delegates: Visa process:2 (gender-balanced) G2 visa SelecTion ProceSS: The selection process is organized by the Bureau of International Cooperation, which is part of the Ministry of Education. The process begins with a call for applications. Interested candidates have to submit a short essay on human rights and children’s rights, a letter of motivation, Cv, grade transcript and, if they are students, proof of enrolment. Those who qualify for the next round are selected for a group discussion, during which the selected candidates have to debate an unknown subject related to general human rights issues in front of a jury including representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Bureau of International Cooperation and one NGO. The most successful candidates are then selected for an inter- view with questions concerning the United Nations in gen- eral in both English and Thai. Before The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegates meet with the Bureau of International Cooperation and take part in the delegation’s preparatory activities before attending the General Assembly. The youth delegates also prepare the statement to be delivered at the Third Com- 44
  57. 57. mittee of the General Assembly and read background mate-rial related to youth, such as reports, national policies andearlier resolutions.aT The general aSSemBlY: The youth delegates delivera speech to the Third Committee, take part in informal ne-gotiations, attend meetings, take notes and organize sideevents.When reTurning home: When returning home, the roleof the youth delegates is to share the experiences from theGeneral Assembly with other youth and to write a reportabout their experiences.funding: The Thai Government finances the trip, accom-modation and subsistence expenses during the intergovern-mental meeting. 45
  59. 59. for more informaTion on TheinTernaTional Year of YouTh, ViSiT: or contact: United Nations Programme on Youth 2 UN Plaza, 13th Floor New York, NY 10017, USA Fax: +1-212-963-0111 E-mail: 47
  60. 60. YOUDELEG 48
  61. 61. UTHGATES 49
  62. 62. at the United Nations, New York 10-38848—July 2010—2,000