UNA – Uganda partner’s with CRISP – Germany on ‘Africa Unitednations youth delegates program 2023 -2024’

Youth, particularly from the South are hardly represented at the global decision making stage, especially at the United Nations. This is despite the fact that member states of the United Nations have taken steps aimed at ensuring that UN member states involve young people at all levels of decision making including at the United Nations by including youth representatives in national delegations. These forward looking decisions are found in General Assembly Resolutions A/RES/50/81and A/RES/62/126 among others. In paragraph 53 of Agenda 2030, it is stated that: “The future of humanity and of our planet lies in our hands. It lies also in the hands of today’s younger generation who will pass the torch to future generations.” Furthermore, in 1995 when the United Nations adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), it provided a policy framework and guidelines to strengthen commitment to young people as well as their involvement. This commitment was expanded in 2007 when specific areas of action for the youth were laid down. These areas of action, inter alia include: education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment, substance abuse, juvenile justice, leisure-time activities, girls and young women, youth participation in society and in decision-making, globalization, information and communication technology (ICT), HIV/AIDS, armed conflict, and intergenerational issues. Indeed, in the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, it was resolved and the General Assembly: “…Urges Member States to consider including youth delegates in their delegations at all relevant discussions in the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and its functional commissions and relevant United Nations conferences, as appropriate, bearing in mind the principles of gender balance and nondiscrimination, and emphasizes that such youth representatives should be selected through a transparent process that ensures that they have a suitable mandate to represent young people in their countries.” It is in the above framework that CRISP and UNAU are partnering in having an active and transparent Africa UN Delegates programme 2023 – 2024. The programme is regional in nature and will have young people from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Ethiopia coming together to learn and prepare themselves to be delegates for their countries at the UN General Assembly in September 2023. The United Nations Association of Uganda in collaboration with CRISP – Germany; undertook Uganda’s National Educational Assessment Workshop at the Grand Global Hotel – Makerere from 10th to 14th March 2023. The workshop followed a series of other activities in which more than one thousand Ugandan young men and women competed to be considered to be delegates at the coming UN General Assembly in New York. The workshop was constituted by only 20 best selected youths. From among these 20 youths, the best 2 will be selected as delegates preferably to be embedded with the Uganda National Delegation to the coming UN General Assembly in New York, USA. The two selected young people will undergo further training together with their counterparts from Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and Ethiopia in further preparation for their mission as youth representatives at the UN General Assembly. Trainings will take place in the different countries of origin of these delegates. Closing the workshop, Ms. Susan Namondo – the UN Resident Co-coordinator in Uganda; who graced the occasion, urged the young people to take serious interest in the work of the United Nations, understand how the United Nations system works, think of how it can be improved and position themselves to provide the necessary leadership when their time comes. She urged them to participate in implementing the SDGs and not to be cowed by the challenges the countries have gone through as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic and the recent Ebola disease challenge that Uganda had gone through. She emphasized that all countries go through challenges but through resilience, humanity always prevails. She thanked the UNA Association of Uganda and CRISP for the work being done with the youth and generally linking the population with the United Nations.