The Estonian foreign ministry and the Union of Estonian Youth Organisations have announced a competition to find a UN youth delegate – the programme allows one young person from Estonia aged 18-24 to see the work of the Estonian delegation in the United Nations up-close and represent the voice of the young in resolving global issues.
The volunteer UN Youth Delegate will be an official member of the Estonian UN delegation and participate in the UN General Assembly, committees and the Economic and Social Council. As Estonia will be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020 and 2021, the Estonian UN delegation is expecting two years of very intense work.
The youth delegate will also provide input on issues concerning young people. In Estonia – a member of the UN since 17 September 1991 – they would act as an ambassador for the UN and bring the international organisation closer to the young.
Solving global issues
Paul Teesalu, the undersecretary for political affairs at the foreign ministry, said in a statement that the UN Youth Delegate will have a unique opportunity to see Estonia’s actions in solving key global issues up-close and explain them to their peers in Estonia.
“In the next two years, Estonia will be at the table where the most important security issues are resolved and will make its significant contribution to easing human suffering across the world,” he said. “The youth delegate can be the voice of the young on these issues and, in turn, explain in their homeland why the UN continues to be one of the most important organisations when it comes to ensuring peace and resolving conflicts and what can a small country like Estonia do about these matters.”
Karl-Ander Aleksius, the current delegate, said in a statement that the UN programme helped introduce the perspective of young people in discussions on global issues – such as the climate and human rights.
“The platform of the youth delegates at the UN has such weight that I have been able to represent the youth of Estonia when important decisions have been made,” he explained. “I have spoken about the views of the young people of Estonia with global leaders, the prime minister of Norway, the ambassador of Japan, as well as the president of Estonia, to tell them about the ideas of young people.”
Cover: United Nations General Assembly Hall in the UN Headquarters, New York. Photo by Basil D Soufi (Wikimedia Commons).