Wed | Oct 28, 2020

Earth Today | Jamaican to participate in ‘youth takeover’ of UN

Published:Thursday | October 1, 2020 | 12:07 AM

JAMAICAN JHANNEL Tomlinson has been selected to represent the island as a youth delegate at the inaugural YOUNGA Forum this fall.

The event is being billed as ‘a first-of-its-kind global youth takeover of the United Nations’, promising an inclusive, forward-looking, youth-driven dialogue that will be live-streamed globally.

YOUNGA is intended to connect young people directly with influential decision-makers and industry leaders to co-create solutions for a more inclusive, sustainable world. Programming will be delivered virtually using emerging VR and XR (mixed reality) technologies allowing all stakeholders to participate safely from their location of choice.

Tomlinson is a long-time youth advocate who has made it her business to champion youth participation in sustainable development discussions, including on issues such as climate change and the environment. She has represented Jamaica globally at a number of events, including a number of international climate talks.

Organised by BridgingTheGap Ventures, YOUNGA will connect 1,500 youth delegates from youth-led and youth-serving organisations with top-level decision-makers and influencers to co-create solutions to global challenges like the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Speakers will include senior -level leaders from the World Health Organisation, UN Foundation, UNAIDS, The World Bank Group, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and celebrity mentors.

“Though a lot of activities now have to be virtual, we have to make use of the platforms being afforded to us. Advocacy, especially in the face of a pandemic, is critical,” said Tomlinson.

YOUNGA youth delegates have the important role to represent the voice of young people, along with their region, in key dialogues and interactive sessions. They have access to a free, bespoke four-week programme throughout October, including 36 hours of top-notch leadership and advocacy training, along with curated career advancement and networking opportunities.

Throughout October, delegates will, among other things, participate in hackathons, skills workshops and policy roundtables focused on five thematic tracks that align with youth priorities and UN75 topics: climate action and sustainable living, equality and inclusion, future of education and work, mental health and well-being, and peace and justice.