GEM Youth Representatives 2012
GEM’s new youth representatives to the United Nations recently completed their on-site orientation and will be working under GEM on various UN initiatives. The UN youth representatives for 2012 are : Bobbie Chukuntarod a junior and Kellie Jingozian, a senior at Chestnut Hill College. Bobbie is from San Francisco, CA. and Kellie is from North Wales, PA.
Their UN security clearance pass, and on-site duties, are for one year with the option for a second. Education is a major focus, but they have the opportunity to concentrate in an area of interest. They will participate in NGO briefings, support GEM student work at the UN and also have opportunities for additional UN based interactions through initiatives of the UN Department of Public Information.
GEM looks forward to this special international experience that will help broaden their perspectives on the UN and the world.
Message from the United Nations Department of Public Information on the Youth Initiative - November 2011
NGO Relations Youth Initiative - United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, said during his trip to Egypt, that the "most impressive and most moving experience of engaging people was with young people who are really the initiators of driving change" (March 2011).
The Department of Public Information has acknowledged the importance of youth in its work with Non Governmental Organizations, and over the past two years has worked conscientiously to increase its youth activities and allow a more visible participation of youth representatives in its work. The initial step was to ensure that NGO delegations to the Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference had a youth representative participating. Following the successful participation of youth during the 62nd UN DPI/NGO Conference that took place in Mexico in 2009, including the two iconic moments with the Secretary-General, it was decided that the youth participation should be increased, so NGO Relations increased to two the number of registration spots exclusively reserved to youth representatives (aged 18 to 24 years old) in each NGO delegation.
This initiative was also palpable in Australia, where scores of youth representatives, both high-school-aged youth, who participated in a parallel conference, as well as their older University counterparts, who actually attended the UN DPI/NGO Conference, actively focused their work and activities on the issue of global health. These inspiring examples in Conferences abroad have also led NGO Relations to look closely at other opportunities to include young people in its work with civil society.
The NGO Relations cluster offers several opportunities for young people to get involved in the work of our office. Among them:
We hope that this new focus on youth will provide young people with the unique opportunity to work on an intergenerational level with potential NGO mentors and become more involved in the work of civil society. We also aim to inspire youth to be more involved in volunteering, as we celebrate this year an important milestone, the 10th anniversary of UN Volunteers (IYV+10).