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Regional Training in Addis Ababa

AUNYD at the New Flower: Fostering Youth Empowerment and Engagement

The African United Nations Delegate (AUNYD) program recently held its third regional training in Addis Ababa from the 25th to 29th June 2023, Ethiopia, hosted by the United Nations Association of Ethiopia. The event, which was opened by Mr. Samuel Fekade, the Executive Director of the association, featured a session by Ms. Chido Mpemba, the African Union Youth Envoy, who highlighted the AU youth envoy’s efforts to empower young people and promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063 through meaningful participation. The training focused on sharpening outreach campaigns and integrating them into the delegates’ demands, ultimately to be presented at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Delegates from six East African countries gathered to present their outreach campaigns and establish connections to align their demands. The goal was to collectively strengthen their mandates, which would later be presented at the UN General Assembly. In addition, a session on international law, including the UN’s criteria, rules, procedures, and power dynamics, was conducted by Isabel from CRISP (Crisis Simulation for Peace). The delegates honed their mandates and identified entry points for engaging with various stakeholders during their time in New York.

An actor mapping session was organized to differentiate between two groups: one attending the high-level week of the General Assembly and the other participating in the third committee, which focuses on tackling youth unemployment in the East African region and promoting meaningful youth participation. The participants discussed strategies to enhance engagement and developed an overview of the two-week stay in New York. They identified conferences to attend, side events to host, and meetings with individuals and entities crucial to their cause.

Sudanese mentors from AUNYD provided valuable guidance on the roles and activities ahead for the delegates. They specifically emphasized effective storytelling techniques for pitching and presenting mandates to various individuals, organizations, and think tanks in New York. To enhance their pitching skills, delegates participated in a session called “What Animal Would You Think Would Rule the World?” The activity allowed them to discover unique traits in animals and apply these insights to refine their mandates’ pitches.

Delegates from six East African countries gathered to present their outreach campaigns and establish connections to align their demands.

At the conclusion day for the training, esteemed guests; Mr. Mesay Bezuneh from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Ambassador Seleshi Umer from Safe Light, and Mr. Yared Abera, a climate negotiator for loss and damage, among others, attended the sessions. Delegates presented their demands and mandates to these guests, seeking valuable feedback and opportunities for collaboration. The input received aimed to refine their approaches and gain support for their causes.

While in Addis Ababa, the delegates had the opportunity to explore the city’s beauty, including its landscapes, historical sites, and parks. Notably, the Friendship Park, officially known as Sheger Park Friendship Square, captivated the delegates with its stunning water dancing fountain and tranquil flower-adorned stairs. Additionally, they indulged in the rich Ethiopian cultural experience at the Ethiopian Cultural Ambassador restaurant, where they enjoyed traditional dances, cuisine, local juices, and admired artworks and sculptures. Exploring local shops allowed them to appreciate the cultural attires, ornaments, sculptures, and traditional instruments, broadening their knowledge of diverse traditions and cultures.

The AUNYD training program exemplifies the growing presence of young people in international spaces and their commitment to addressing challenges in their communities. The platform provided by UNAs, CRISP, and mentors allows youth delegates to develop solutions and create meaningful change. This dedication to youth empowerment and engagement fosters a sense of greatness and optimism for the future.

The AUNYD regional training in Addis Ababa showcased the commitment of young African leaders to driving positive change and advocating for the empowerment of youth. The delegates’ sharpened mandates, enhanced pitching skills, engagement with stakeholders, and exploration of Ethiopian culture have prepared them for their upcoming participation in the UN General Assembly in New York. With the platform provided by AUNYD, these young leaders are poised to make a significant impact on international agendas, contributing to the realization of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.

Amasegnalehu.

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