UN Youth Delegate Programme

Supporting young people from Ireland to be represented at the United Nations

What is UN Youth Delegate Programme?

Since 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and NYCI have partnered to provide the opportunity for young Irish people to participate in the UN Youth Delegate Programme.

Each year, two UN Youth Delegates are chosen to form part of Ireland’s official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. The aim of this public diplomacy initiative is to provide a platform for young people from Ireland to be represented at the United Nations, and to facilitate greater engagement with Irish youth on national and foreign policy issues. This is a unique opportunity for those wishing to get involved in developing policies that affect young people.

Goal of Youth Delegate Programme

Young people are empowered to be active global citizens contributing to building a world of justice, equity, and dignity.
The UN Youth Delegates are supported to be agents of change through active engagement in the United Nations.

Since 2015 the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has sponsored the UN Youth Delegate Programme in partnership with NYCI.

In previous years, Ireland’s UN Youth Delegates have worked with young people at home and abroad to bring the issues that matter most to them to national and international attention. UN Youth Delegates have worked closely with DFA staff and have accompanied the Tánaiste and Ministers of State to events to help ensure that the voice of young people is heard.

  • UN General Assembly Ireland’s UN Youth Delegates have addressed the Third Committee at the UN General Assembly in New York on issues affecting young people.
  • UN High Level Political Forum
  • UN Commission on the Status of Women
  • Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Forum
  • European Youth Forum
  • UN Commission for Social Development and ECOSOC Youth Forum
  • Web Summit
  • BT Young Scientist Exhibition

If you would like to learn more and stay up to date with news and information about the UN Youth Delegates work, you can follow at the DFAT and NYCI Twitter and Facebook accounts or on the NYCI website.

The aims of United Nations Youth Delegate Programme Ireland

  • To directly involve young people from Ireland in the international development policy and decision-making agenda;
  • To hear and include the voice of young people on development and global citizenship issues at local, national, and international levels;
  • To promote development and youth policies among young people in Ireland;
  • To familiarise young people in Ireland with global development issues and opportunities for involvement they have in this regard;
  • To support global citizenship activities and development initiatives in Ireland.

UN Youth Delegates 2022-2023

Jessica Gill

David Giles, from Newcestown in West Cork, is a 22-year-old BCL Law and Business student at University College Cork.

In 2019 he was named the All-Ireland Youth Volunteer of the Year in the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. He has acted as a representative for the youth of Ireland at European fora, nominated by the National Youth Council of Ireland.

He is passionate about climate action and sought to promote the realisation of equal access to justice for all in Ireland.

Jessica Gill, from West Cork, is a 21-year-old BA International Relations student at Dublin City University. She has also completed a Global Gender Studies programme at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Since 2020, Jessica has been a member of Plan International Ireland’s Youth Advisory Panel, representing Irish youth at a national level. Jessica has also advocated for gender equality at an international level, speaking about online gender-based violence at the United Nations Human Rights Council as a part of the Universal Periodic Review process.

She has a background in NGO work having previously held the positions of Development Education intern at Plan International Ireland, Digital Marketing Intern at LGBT Ireland, Communications Volunteer with ActionAid Ireland and ONE Youth Ambassador. She was also the Chairperson of the DCU Amnesty International and St Vincent de Paul societies.

Jessica_Headshot

David Giles

Jessica Gill, from West Cork, is a 21-year-old BA International Relations student at Dublin City University.

Since 2020, Jessica has been a member of Plan International Ireland’s Youth Advisory Panel.

She has a background in NGO work and was also the Chairperson of the DCU Amnesty International and St Vincent de Paul societies.

David Giles, from Newcestown in West Cork, is a 22-year-old BCL Law and Business student at University College Cork.

Throughout his time in secondary school and university, David has engaged extensively in volunteering and community-based activism and in 2019 was named the All-Ireland Youth Volunteer of the Year in the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. He has acted as a representative for the youth of Ireland at European fora, including at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and at conferences as an EU Youth Delegate for Ireland, nominated by the National Youth Council of Ireland.

He is passionate about climate action and has steered the direction of the Youth Climate Justice Fund and worked with the US Embassy Young Leaders Council on climate-based position papers. Additionally, through his work as Chairperson of the UCC Free Legal Advice Centre and in drafting policy with FLAC Ireland, David has sought to promote the realisation of equal access to justice for all in Ireland.

David_Headshot

UN Youth Delegates 2021-2022

Diandra Ní Bhuachalla

Diandra Ní Bhuachalla is an MSc International Public Policy & Diplomacy student at UCC, having graduated from UCC’s LLB and BSc Government (Hons) degrees respectively. As a Thomas Whalen Scholar, she interned for Assemblymember Deborah Glick in the New York State Assembly in 2018.

Diandra has held various representative roles while in UCC, and was the recipient of the Employability Star Award in 2020. She is currently the Director of HR & Talent for the ISCG, a Legal Researcher with IRLII, a COLR Editorial Board Member, and a WIP Forum Fellow.

Diandra Ní Bhuachalla is 24, from Cork, and a student of the MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy programme at University College Cork. She is also a UCC graduate, completing her LLB degree in 2021, and BSc Government (Hons) degree in 2019. Diandra was a Thomas Whalen Scholar in 2018, interning with Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick in the New York State Assembly. She also represented the interests of Irish youths at the European Youth Event in Strasbourg in 2016.

Diandra is currently the Director of HR and Talent with the Irish Student Consulting Group, a Legal Researcher with the Irish Legal Information Initiative, an Editorial Board member of the Cork Online Law Review, and a Forum Fellow with the Washington Ireland Program. She previously held the positions of Academic Representative for her LLB class, Postgraduate Representative for the 91st session of the UCC Law Society, Chairperson of the UCC Europa Society, Co-editor of “The Government Times” UCC, and Chairperson of Cork County Comhairle na nÓg. Diandra is proud to have completed UCC’s Bystander Intervention training to help prevent sexual, relationship, and gender based violence, and Suicide Awareness training through Ohana Zero Suicide. Diandra was named the UCC Employability Star Award recipient for 2020, after receiving 6 UCC Works Awards. The award was recognition of her commitment to student life, entrepreneurship, and internships, following the development of her transferable and interpersonal skills.

Diandra is passionate about advancing the rights of women and children, eliminating inequalities, and promoting peace and security. She is honoured to be fulfilling the dream of her 18-year old self, of representing the voices of Irish youths as a UN Youth Delegate for Ireland for 2021-2022.

Treasa Cadogan

Treasa, from Cape Clear Island (Oileán Chléire) Co. Cork, has a degree in International Development & Food Policy at UCC, where she Co-founded the UCC Fighting World Hunger group. In 2020 Treasa was awarded the Climate Ambassador Outstanding Achievement Award.

She is passionate about creating sustainable meaningful youth engagement and has spoken at Rural Youth Project, GirlsUp India, European Commission events on youth engagement and hosted UN Food Systems Summit Independent Dialogues.

Treasa Cadogan is from Cape Clear Island (Oileán Chléire) in County Cork. She has recently completed her studies in International Development and Food Policy at University College Cork (UCC), where she Co-founded the UCC Fighting World Hunger. An initiative to raise awareness and create action around access to affordable, nutritious food on campus.

Treasa is passionate about creating sustainable meaningful youth engagement and has been invited to speak at Rural Youth Project Scotland, GirlsUp India and European Commission events on youth engagement. She has organised a number of UN Food Systems Summit Independent Dialogues. Treasa has spoken at meetings in the European Parliament on the importance of youth participation in rural development policy. In 2020 Treasa was awarded the Climate Ambassador Outstanding Achievement Award for her contribution to climate action in Ireland.

Treasa is a sustainable food systems advocate, co-founding Cape Clear Farmers Market to support smallholder farmers and producers and encourage consumers to buy local, in-season and sustainably produced products. Currently, Treasa is SDG2 European Regional Focal Point for the UN Major Group for Children and Youth. She was part of the project team organising the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit youth event and is a board member of her local rural development co-operative.

UN Youth Delegates 2020-2021

Tara Grace Connolly is 22. She is currently studying a masters degree in International Relations at Queen’s University Belfast, where she graduated with a degree in Law with Politics in 2019 . Tara Grace has spent a decade advocating for youth participation in all aspects of decision-making.

She has served as chairperson of the Northern Ireland Youth Forum and the Belfast Youth Forum, and is a graduate of the Washington Ireland Program Class of 2017. She co-founded and coordinated youth anti-Brexit campaign Our Future Our Choice Northern Ireland and addressed a million people at the March for a People’s Vote rally in London.

Tara has presented at the UN Committee of the Rights of the Child in Geneva as a peer advocate with the Children’s Law Centre, and is a member of the US Embassy Dublin Young Leaders Council. She was named Belfast’s Celebrated Citizen in 2015 and was awarded the 2016 Voice of Young People Award. She has also been active in campaign work with Trócaire, Friends of the Earth and the Irish Development Education Association (IDEA), and has been active in Queen’s University’s SU and debating society.

Tara-Grace

Conn McCarrick is 25 and is studying law at Trinity College Dublin. He has over 10 years experience in youth activism. Conn is a former Chairperson of the National Youth Parliament – Dáil na nÓg, President of the University Philosophical Society and Research Assistant at the Department of Education and Skills. Conn has a background in NGO work. In 2014, he founded a charity called the Kenyan Child Foundation, that provides free primary education to over 250 students in rural Kenya. He has also been delivering educational workshops across the country since 2015 with the LGBT+ charity, Shoutout. 

He has addressed two Oireachtas Committees, seeking greater inclusion of young voices in political decision making processes and was selected to represent Ireland at the Youth Assembly in New York City. This year, Conn was chosen as one of Ireland’s SDG Advocates by Development Perspectives and Irish Aid. Conn is really looking forward to representing young people at a local, national and international level as a UN Youth Delegate.

Conn-McCarrick

UN Youth Delegates 2019-2020

Valery Molay is from Dublin. Her passion for tackling inequalities and working to encourage youth civil participation influenced her choice of studies. Valery completed a BA honours degree in Politics, International relations, Philosophy and Social justice. She also recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Environmental Policy from University College Dublin.

Valery was the Irish Youth delegate to cycle five of the EU Structured Dialogue, a European Commission initiative to include young people in decision making. She was part of the last youth delegation to the EU-AU Youth Summit where she served on the Environmental Cluster.

Valery has previously sat on the steering group committee of the youth section of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (Y-Factor) and the expert group on membership, diversity and inclusion for the European Youth Forum. She has additionally had the privilege to be the Chairperson of the European Network Against Racism Ireland (ENAR Ireland).

Valery believes that neither climate change nor poverty can be dealt with if we do not address the economic inequality in our society. She believes that restructuring our economy and education system centred on the household can help us achieve a better world for all. Moving away from the scarcity model, she believes, will give young people the opportunity to regain their critical agency and spar innovations that are necessary for our survival today.

Jack O’Connor is from Kilcolman, County Limerick. Jack is an undergraduate student studying International Business in the University of Limerick and KEDGE Business School, Marseille.

Jack is the founder of Moyo Nua, a social enterprise initiative aimed at improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and their families in crop-dependent, developing regions worldwide. Jack’s experiences to date have taken him across Ireland, Malawi, the USA, and México. Here, Jack has formulated international development strategies for both students and employees, and has delivered his thoughts and understandings of business, politics, and sustainable development through a variety of keynote speeches, roundtable discussions, and one-to-one meetings.

Jack is a strong advocate for harmonising business work and humanitarian work to achieve global progress for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, winning awards such as the World Trade Centers Association ‘Peace through Trade’ World Cup and the Science for Development Award at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition for his efforts in this field.

In January 2019, Jack was invited to speak at the MIT & Higher Education Authority’s ‘Future of Work Summit’ in Dublin Castle. He spoke to international business and policy leaders about the importance of a youth-focused outlook on tackling global issues such as reducing economic inequalities and becoming environmentally conscious in business activities.

Jack is passionate about youth activation, and in ensuring that the youth of today are adequately prepared to become the leaders of tomorrow. Jack believes that inclusive collaboration across all demographics and regions are vital in ensuring that the world’s most challenging issues are addressed, and actively engages in work relating to youth empowerment, development education, and climate action.

UN Youth Delegate Publications

Sustainable Development Goals And Youth

World leaders have agreed a new set of Global Goals – or Sustainable Development Goals – to end extreme poverty, fight inequality, and address climate change. […]

Global Rights, Noble Goals: Refugees, Migration, The Sustainable Development Goals And Youth

The resource seeks to put the plight of refugees and the drivers of migration into a wider political context with the SDGs as a tool providing […]