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UK welcomes its 2016 youth delegates to the United Nations on International Youth Day

The UK will take 2 youth delegates as part of the UK’s official delegation to the UN General Assembly in September.

Takyiwa and Minhaz: UK youth delegates for UNGA 2016. Picture: Marisol Grandon/DFID
Takyiwa and Minhaz: UK youth delegates for UNGA 2016. Picture: Marisol Grandon/DFID

The UK will take 2 youth delegates as part of the UK’s official delegation to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September, and is calling on the international community to follow Britain’s lead in putting young people at the heart of development.

As International Youth Day is celebrated across the globe today (12 August 2016) in recognition of young people’s efforts to shape our world into a more secure and prosperous place, the UK welcomes its 2 new Youth Delegates, Takyiwa Danso, 23, and Minhaz Abedin, 18, who will accompany International Development Secretary Priti Patel to UNGA in New York.

Young people represent a huge proportion of the world’s population with around 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24. The UK youth delegates will bring a young voice to the decision making table, giving the future generation a real say in how we shape our world.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:

More than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30, so we must invest in their future by creating jobs and growth across the world. As Britain becomes more outward-looking than ever before, our future leaders, scientists and teachers will be central to maintaining and building upon Britain’s position as a major world player.

The UK is leading the way in putting youth high on the agenda and other countries must now step up to the plate and take young people as seriously as we do in our global efforts to secure a safer and more prosperous future for all.

This comes on top of the UK’s leading work to put young people high on the agenda by empowering them to make positive change in their communities and helping them access the services and support they need so they can reach their potential and help build a more prosperous future for all.

During 2011-2015 the UK:

  • helped 11 million children get a good quality education, including 5.3 million girls;
  • immunised 43.8 million children against preventable diseases; and
  • helped save the lives of 97,000 newborn babies.

Meet the UK Youth Delegates

Meet the 2016 UK Youth Delegates to the UN General Assembly

Minhaz Abedin, 18 years old from Leeds, got involved in politics from the age of 10. Ever since, Minhaz has been engaged in community and youth work, both locally and regionally. His work as a Member of Youth Parliament has set the foundations for his journey to represent UK youth at the UN General Assembly this September.

Minhaz said:

I’ve seen how difficult it is to reach out to young people, because the Global Goals are a daunting topic for everyone. But if we break it down, we can let young people know that each Global Goal is independent. That is how we’ll make change, by allowing passionate young people to be the driving force.

This is the second year youth delegates have attended UNGA, with the UK leading the way in 2015, sending a powerful signal of the UK’s commitment to putting young people at the heart of development.

Takyiwa Danso, 23 years old from Tottenham, London, volunteered with UK aid-funded International Citizens Service in Kenya and now works as a mentor through the IVO4ALL scheme, (International Volunteering Opportunities for All). Takyiwa was part of the ACTION/2015 UK Youth Panel throughout 2015, amplifying and advocating for the power of young people in achieving the UN’s Global Goals, before going to Paris as a climate activist to participate in the COP21 climate negotiations last December.

Takyiwa said:

Young people are part of the solution to tackling the biggest development issues. We’re not here to judge or blame the older generation, we just want to get on with it and lead the way to create a better society for our future generation – world leaders just need to give us the space to do so.

Published 12 August 2016