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Ireland’s UN Youth Delegate addresses UN meeting in New York

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 15:00

Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs to be inclusive, ECOSOC meeting told.

Inclusion must be at the heart of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. That’s the message from Samantha O'Brien O'Reilly from Kells, County Meath, one of Ireland’s UN Youth Delegates for 2017.

“If you don’t ask who is not represented at the table, regardless of how noble your intentions, you go against the spirit of the SDGs,” Ms O'Brien O'Reilly told a high level meeting at the United Nations in New York.

“The Sustainable Development Goals will not be achieved without the participation of a wide range of young people from all sectors of society. Young people who tell us they currently feel excluded from the Agenda 2030 process include young people with a disability, young offenders, young refugees and migrants, young people who have been in care. All these groups and more need to be brought in to the discussions to ensure successful implementation” explained Ms O'Brien O'Reilly.

Ms O'Brien O'Reilly was speaking at an interactive roundtable meeting on “The role of youth in poverty eradication and promoting prosperity”, featuring ministers and other high-level speakers as part of the 6th ECOSOC Youth Forum today (30th January 2016) at the United Nations Headquarters, New York.

Samantha is one of only two young people selected to represent Ireland as part of the UN Youth Delegates programme, the other is Colm O’Rourke from Cabra in Dublin. Commending the programme, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan, TD said: “I am delighted to support the programme, [it] provides an exciting opportunity for young people in Ireland to work with their peers on key issues affecting young people in Ireland and around the world. In Samantha and Colm we have two active and engaged young people, and it is they, and other young people like them, that will be central to Ireland continuing to make a major contribution to peace and security, human rights and development at the UN into the future.”

The UN Youth Delegate programme is being run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in partnership with the National Youth Council of Ireland.

Those holding youth events in Ireland can contact to invite the UN Youth Delegates to attend.



Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 087 781 4903, 01-478 4122 or e-mail

National Youth Council of Ireland

NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.