Ban Ki-Moon launches UN Youth Delegate Programme for Ireland
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon meeting a delegation of young people including NYCI’s Millenium Youth Ambassadors Stephen Reid, Rebecca Taylor and Leo Gilmartinat the launch event for the new UN Youth Delegate Programme.
Young people in Ireland have an important role to play in shaping the new Sustainable Development Goals, and they are part of the first generation that can end poverty. Those were the messages today (26.05.15) from United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, addressing a group of 100 Irish young people at the launch of Ireland’s first United Nations Youth Delegate Programme held in Iveagh House, Dublin.
The UN programme, coordinated in Ireland by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) with the support of Irish Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will see two young people aged 18 to 25 join Ireland’s delegation to the United Nations in New York in September 2015.
Speaking at today’s event Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General said: “In establishing this programme, the National Youth Council of Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are showing the importance they place on incorporating the voice of Irish youth into decision-making. By including young people in its national delegation, the Irish Government will benefit from youth perspectives while helping young people gain a better understanding of the complexities of international negotiations. I look forward to welcoming the first Irish youth delegates to New York in the coming months.”
He also reminded those attending that they have a central role to play in making history this year: “Yours is not only the largest generation of young people the world has ever known. You are also the first generation that can end poverty. And you are also the last generation that can avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The world needs you to step up this year and beyond – for people and the planet.”
Ireland and Kenya are chairing the global negotiations to agree the new Sustainable Development Goals.
Mary Cunningham, Director of the NYCI said: “These new goals will be agreed in September by world governments at the United Nations in New York. As they are set to be in place for the coming 15 years, it is clear that young people today will have a vital role to play over the lifetime of these goals, both in shaping them and monitoring their implementation.”
As well as officially announcing the new UN Youth Delegate Programme for Ireland, the event also included a panel discussion on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The interactive session gave over 100 young people in attendance the chance to question the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon; Minister Sean Sherlock, TD; and UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors Evanna Lynch and Donncha O’ Callaghan on the goals.
The SDGs are a proposed set of targets relating to future international development. They are to replace the Millennium Development Goals once they expire at the end of 2015.
Would be UN Youth Delegates have until June 5th to apply to represent Ireland. See www.youth.ie for more.
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. www.youth.ie