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Save the Date 2015  Old
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Black Tie International:
The Youth Assembly at the United Nations
Article by: GMK

Youth Assembly

The Youth Assembly
at the United Nations (YA@UN

5,6,7  August 2015,
UN Headquarters
and New York City Venues

 is a unique platform created to foster dialogue and generate partnerships between exceptional youth, UN high officials and staff, private sector, and civil society. We are committed to empowering youth to become active participants in the success of the UN Millennium Development Goals and the transition to the
Post 2015 Development Agenda.


3 Full Days at the United Nations Headquarters, NYC, USA;
Resolution Project new Social Venture Awards through Competitions
for University-level Delegates,
The 2015 Summer Youth Assembly at the UN has, as its Lead Endorser,
 the Permanent Mission of Paraguay to the United Nations;
our Host is His Excellency Mr. Federico Alberto González,
Ambassador from Paraguay to the United Nations.

Plenary sessions, Workshops, Round table Discussions, Networking, New Social Venture Competitions, MDG Related Skills Building and Campaign Introductions

Renowned speakers and expert workshop facilitators; U.N. Staff participation at sessions; Young leaders like yourself from around the world; Intergenerational Leadership Exchanges


Black Tie has a limited number of  guest passes.
   Premium  sponsorship opportunities are still available
 for the  2015  Youth Assembly.
 Please contact



Global Development and Youth:
No Half Steppin’

Day 1 – Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Doors open to UN Conference Room

Security and Announcements

YA Director Executive Welcome

Mr. Patrick Sciarratta

Opening Musical Offering
Sophia Angelica

Official United Nations Welcomes

H.E. Ambassador Federico A Gonzalez, Host YA@UN Host and
Permanent Representative of Paraguay to the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Henry Mac Donald, Host
Permanent Representative of Suriname to the United Nations

H.E Ambassador Ib Petersen,
Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations

UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Ahmad Alhendawi,

UN Youth Panel, moderated by Mr. Ramu Damodaran
Official UN Youth Delegates

Q & A with Ahmad Alhendawi

Ediola Pashollari, World Assembly of Youth (WAY)

Microsoft Youthspark Panel

Patrick introduces IYC leader

Kanchan Amatya introduces Oliver Libby,
The Resolution Project
Resolution Project: Schedules and Announcements

Erin Bernhardt / Danielle
(Imba Means Sing- Short intro)

Lunch Break

Movie Screening: Imba Means Sing (Q & A)

Call to Order & Announcements:
Co-Chair of the Youth Assembly

United Nations Office of Partnerships

Michelle Leon, Youth Entrepreneur

Closing Musical Performance by Sussana

Day 3 - Friday, 7 August 2015

Check-in and Registration

Call to order, Announcements

Co-chair, YA

Short Video

Keynote Address
Asifa Bhutto Zardari

Gender Equality/HeForShe/YM4GE Panel

The Global Partnerships Forum
Media + Social Entrepreneur + Foundation
Moderator: Amir Dossal, Founder & Chairman,
Global Partnerships Forum
(Oliver Libby, Mariel Davis)

Office of Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth Panel

Code for All - OpenJC Panel


Lunch Break

Film Showing: The Trials of Spring (Q & A)

Call to Order, Announcements
Co-Chair, YA

Special Guests Address
Crossover and Intergenerational Welcome:
Claes Nobel – National Society of High School Scholars

Short Video

Moving from Tragedy to Activism
(Nepal, Haiti, Pakistan, The Philippines)

Youth Leader Address
Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez

Resolution Social Venture Challenge Awards

Closing Keynote Address:
Andrew Rabens,
Special Adviser, Global Youth Issues,
US State Department

Musical Performance:
Children’s Choir - Sierra Leone

Closing Remarks:
Patrick Sciarratta
Co-Chair, YA





Welcomed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and
endorsed by the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Ahamad Alhendawi,

The Youth Assembly at the United Nations (YA@UN) is a unique platform
created to foster dialogue and generate partnerships between exceptional
youth, UN high officials and staff, private sector, and civil society. We are
committed to empowering youth to become active participants in the success
of the UN Millennium Development Goals and the transition to the Post-2015
Development Agenda.

In February 2015, YA@UN gathered more than 500 youth leaders from 30
countries at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, and reached more
than 3 million people through its live webcast and media coverage. Outside the
conference, we continue to gather and amplify exceptional youth voices through
a long-term partnership with The Huffington Post (started in September 2013),
where YA@UN has now its own feed.

The outcome of the YA@UN is a powerful cross-sector and cross-national network
among the next generation of leaders, translated into action-based projects
through our alumni network – The International Youth Council – and through our
partnership with The Resolution Project, which awards fellowships to promising
socially-responsible ventures created and managed by young leaders around
the world.

Our Alumni Network, the International Youth Council, has more than 5,000
active members and it is currently implementing 18 projects in 10 countries.
Since 2002, YA@UN has educated more than 7,500 youth leaders.

Sustainable Youth Development

The YA@UN developed from the cultural exchanges which began Friendship
Ambassadors Foundation (FAF) in the 1970s. For 40 years, FAF has cultivated
sustainable youth development: the youth who took part in FAF’s intercultural
programs became well-known and highly influential actors in the international arena:

Former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, Senator
John Rockefeller, Indian Minister of State Sashi Tharoor, H. E. Ambassador
Simona Miculescu of Romania, UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth
Ahmad Alhendawi, etc.

 They all help - through their work – the young generations that succeed them.

This success challenged FAF to create a platform that went beyond the arts to find solutions to current development issues: thirteen years ago, the YA@UN was born.



The 1.8 billion youth on our planet comprise almost 25% of the world’s population.
 This is the largest generation of youth that the world has ever known and it therefore faces many unique challenges and opportunities.

As representatives of the civil society, we support this generation and enhance its capacity to face the future environmental, political, and social challenges.

Through the YA@UN, we contribute to making a shift in the mindset of the young leaders – from the “business-as-usual” approach towards a more responsible form
 of leadership.

The unprecedented population growth of the last six decades - from 2.5 billion in 1950 to over 7 billion today - has adversely affected the environment by increasing pressure on land, ecosystems, water and overexploitation of nonrenewable resources. It has also had a significant economic impact, as an annual population growth of 1% requires that up to 10% of GDP be allocated to the infrastructure, equipment and training needed by the larger population.

In this complex and challenging context, almost a quarter of the planet’s youth are neither working nor studying. Young people occupy less than 2% of the publicly-elected positions at the global level and most of the youth organizations are not able to fulfill the criteria that the United Nations requires in order to grant them consultative status, which would allow them to bring their contribution to the policy-making processes that shape their future.

It has become increasingly clear that the conventional development model having solely economic growth at its center is not suited to solve today’s challenges. The traditional approach had many undesirable social, economic and environmental outcomes. We need a new integrative development approach that looks at society, economy and environment as a whole, having as its epicenter the YOUTH, their access to education and employment.

Youth are the ONLY ones who, through the creative use of ICTs (Information and Communications Technologies), can reinvigorate and widely implement effective frameworks and strategies geared towards the sustainable development of our planet. Therefore, they need to be informed and prepared to tackle these challenges, and to be inspired to take responsibility and action.

13 years ago, YA@UN organically developed from the cultural exchanges which began FAF in the 1970s, becoming the oldest and largest youth leadership event on the annual calendar of events at the UN Headquarters.

In February 2015, 500 young leaders from all over the world gathered at the UNHQ
in New York City.

YA@UN takes place every year at the United Nations Headquarters  in New York City.

Our program offers a unique balance between UN high officials, private sector and civil society leaders, and exceptional youth who are active agents of change in their communities – these categories are equally represented, highlighting the importance of partnerships in creating impactful and sustainable change.

We educate young leaders
about the UN Millennium Development Goals and the
Post 2015 Development Agenda through

• Workshops/ trainings/ panels

• Special materials

• Dialogues with UN high officials and staff

We inspire them
to become active participants in the success of the UN Millennium Development Goals and the Post 2015 agenda by offering

them access to

• Role models

• Inspiring speakers

• Successful stories

We foster lasting connections between

• The brightest young people from all over the world

• UN staff and agencies

• Private sector leaders

• Civil society leaders

We support them
by gathering and amplifying their voices through

• Our partnership with The Huffington Post

• Our social media networks

The YA@UN gathers the most valuable young talent from

• The best high schools and universities from all over the world

• NGOs and other forward-thinking organizations
(often founded by our brilliant young delegates)

• Global and national companies

• The international entrepreneurial field

...and connects it with world leaders. Our previous assemblies brought

leaders from:

• United Nations

• Private Sector

• Academia

• Media

• Civil Society

 (YA@UN and International Youth Council):
31, 832 – 86.37% growth in the last 15 months (March 2015)

 (YA@UN and International Youth Council):
 12, 362 – 27.61% growth inthe last 15 months (March 2015)

Emailing Database
(YA@UN and International Youth Council):
 17,716 – 10.32% growth in the last 15 months (March 2015)

The International Youth Council (IYC) was founded during the Youth Assembly
at the United Nations in 2007. The Youth Assembly alumni are dedicated to bringing together and supporting young leaders from around the world in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals by providing youth with project support, leadership opportunities, and a broad networking base. The IYC has currently more than 5,000 active members and implements 18 projects in 10 countries.



Ahmad Alhendawi

Currently serving as UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi
is a strong youth advocate at the national, regional and international levels.

He was a co-founder for Youth for Democracy Network at the Jordanian
Commission for Democratic Culture which he headed. Internationally,
he is a co-founder of the International Youth Council, based in New York. He
previously worked as a Team Leader for the World Bank funded programme to the League of Arab States on Institutional Development to Strengthen Arab Policy and Participation. Prior to this, he served as the Youth Policy Advisor in the League of Arab States in Cairo and as an officer in the Technical Secretariat of the Arab Youth and Sports Ministers Council. Past experience also includes serving as a Team Leader for the National Youth Policy Project in Iraq, a Youth Programme Associate at the Iraq office of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and as an Emergency Programme Officer at the non-governmental organization Save the Children.

Illac Diaz

Illac Diaz (who launched “Liter of Light” in 2011) is a Filipino social entrepreneur who works in the ASEAN region and empowers communities through the use of sustainable construction and appropriate technologies using bamboo and PET plastic bottles. Mr. Diaz is the youngest Asian Institute of Management alumnus to receive an Honors and Prestige Award. He also received the Everyday Hero Special Award from the Readers Digest Asia and an Entrepreneur Award from the 1st Johnny Walker Social Award. He was runner-up in New York’s Next Big Idea International Design Competition and got the First for Social Entrepreneurship from TOYM Award in 2005. He was also named as “Young Global Leaders of 2008” by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva. Mr. Diaz pursued his higher education at MIT and Harvard.

Esperanza Garcia

Recent graduate from Columbia University’s program on Sustainability Management, Ms. Garcia worked as climate change consultant for the Philippine Senate, served as a negotiator and official delegate of the Philippines at the UN Climate Change Conference and as development consultant for FriendshipAmbassadors Foundation, organizing the Youth Assembly at the United Nations. She started and built three organizations: she was Co-Founder of the International Youth Council, the Founding President of Columbia University Coalition for Sustainable Development, and the Founder of the Philippine Youth Climate Movement, raising climate change awareness in Philippine schools toover 50,000 students. Ms. Garcia has received many awards on youth leadership and is invited to speak at international conferences, including UN, on the importance of young people’s engagement in global affairs and environmental sustainability. Her work has been published in Unipro’s “30 top Filipinos under 30,” Humaneity’s “Mobilizing Young People to Save the Planet”, “Heroes of Today” and was awarded as one of “The Outstanding Filipino of NY” in Oct. 2013.

Sam Vaghar

Selected for the 2012 list of the “Top 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33” by The Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, Sam Vaghar is the Executive Director and Co-founder of The Millennium Campus Network, empowering student leaders across the United States to be effective partners for global development. In this capacity, Mr. Vaghar engages with numerous partners from Microsoft and The Jenzabar Foundation to the United Nations Foundation and HP. Under his leadership, the MCN educates over 1,000 campus leaders through annual conferences, trains emerging leaders through an innovative fellowship program, and allocates Student Action Grants to support activism on campuses and overseas. In 2011, Mr. Vaghar was invited by the State Department as the featured speaker in a tour across Bosnia and Herzegovina. During that summer he met with President Barack Obama in the Roosevelt Room at the White House to share perspectives of US youth leaders. In 2013, he served as the featured speaker on a tour for the State Department across Morocco. Mr. Vaghar has addressed audiences at over two dozen institutions including talks at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and at the United Nations.

Kehkashan Basu

Representative for Children & Youth, UNEP Major Groups Facilitating Committee
 (the first minor to be elected into this position in the 40-year history of UNEP),
Kehkashan Basu is a 13-year-old environmental and social activist living in Dubai, UAE whose sole objective is to involve and mobilize children and youth in the movement for a sustainable and green future. She is the Global President of the Children’s Board for Plant-for-the-Planet and the Chairperson of the UAE chapter of the International Youth Council. Ms. Basu is the founder of a youth organization, GREEN HOPE UAE, which seeks to provide a networking platform to children and youth in the region to carry forward the Rio legacy Through environmental workshops and ground level projects on biodiversity conservation, waste segregation and reversing land degradation. She is the recipient of several international awards, notable amongst which are those from UNCCD and Korea Green Foundation in 2012 and most recently the 2013 International Young Eco-Hero award.


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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