Youth Advisory Council

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.

WFUNA Youth Advisory Council

At the 3rd WFUNA Global Youth Forum, which was held in conjunction with the 42nd WFUNA Plenary Assembly in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the WFUNA Youth Advisory Council representatives were elected by the youth delegates to serve a three-year term. WFUNA's Youth Advisory Council is comprised of 9 youth leaders from various regions around the world with the objective of advising the Secretary-General on youth issues, by brainstorming pragmatic, innovative, and cost-effective programs for WFUNA's local, regional, and global networks. The Youth Program Officer and the Youth Advisory Council are in charge of disseminating information about these programs to WFUNA's youth constituents.

You can get in touch with the representatives of the Youth Advisory Council by sending an email to yac@wfuna.org

Youth Advisory Council Profiles

Africa

Reon Van Der Merwe - South Africa

As a youth associate of the UN Association of South Africa (UNASA) I have been actively involved in the work of UNASA for the past 4 years. I hold an undergraduate degree in politics, philosophy and economics and will be completing my second degree in development studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT) at the end of this year.

I've served on the executive committee of the UNASA chapter at UCT for the past 2 years, including as elected chapter chairman and as an ex-officio member of the UNASA board. During this time the key projects I spearheaded include UNASA's representation at international WFUNA youth initiatives such as WIMUN New York, WIMUN Brazil and the 2017 WFUNA Youth Seminar on UNSCR2250 in Uganda, the establishment of a Sustainable Development Goals Education program at UCT as well as launching a pilot UN Clubs program in local high schools drawing inspiration from the WFUNA Mission Possible initiative. I've also served as UNASA youth liaison for the Cape Town Orange the World Youth Summit in 2017 on "Ending Bullying and Sexual harassment in Schools" as well as liaison and speaker at the African Leaders of Peace Summit 2018.

Though I consider myself a global citizen my heart will always be in Africa. I have a vision to see youth across the continent, from city to countryside, stand up and make our voices heard in the international community. Africa's greatest resource and its future lies in its young people and UN Associations under the umbrella of WFUNA can and must provide the platform to achieve this vision in the 21st century. 

As a representative of both UNA South Africa and potentially Africa on the WFUNA Youth Advisory I hope to use the knowledge and experience I have acquired through my work at UNASA and with the organization's executive to advise on both the unique contributions and challenges that African youth face in engaging with WFUNA and the work of the United Nations. I believe that more opportunities for inter-UNA collaboration and networking on the continent as well as greater support and inclusion of young people from Africa and the global south into WFUNA programs is vital to ensuring that the work of the organization remains effective, equitable and sustainable.


Sakhile Ndingindwayo - Zimbabwe

My name is Sakhile and I am a young, vibrant 27-year-old woman. I have a Bachelors degree with honours in Peace and Governance from Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe. I am passionate about upholding the rights of all, especially those of the vulnerable groups such as the disabled, elderly, women and children. I have deep interest in reading, social research and following current affairs. I am a volunteer Human Rights Officer at UNA Zimbabwe.


Asia

Fahmida Faiza - Bangladesh

Fahmida is a law graduate mostly known for her work on the area of youth policy advocacy, peace building and empowerment. She has served the 2016-2018 term of the WFUNA Youth Advisory Council as the first ever Bangladeshi being elected for the Asia Region. As part of the YAC, she has contributed to initiate meaningful youth engagement across the UN Associations around the world with platforms such as "WFUNA Young Leader of the Year". She was the focal point of UN Women Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality. With support of UN Association of Bangladesh, she has also contributed to facilitate meaningful youth engagement and collaboration. She represented WFUNA at 1st UN Forum on democracy, human rights and rule of law, Geneva and at 1st Asia Regional consultation on Youth Peace and Security progress study. She was a facilitator at WFUNA Youth Seminar, Kuala Lumpur and also served twice as trainer at WFUNA Youth Camp Korea. Fahmida is a known face in Model UN community and also been a part of WFUNA International MUN secretariat since it is an inaugural session. As a social activist she has been one of the front liners in her country running own non-profit youth led organization. She also has led successful projects with government collaboration and been the voice of Bangladeshi youth at many international platforms for high level representation. Apart from her work with UN youth and OIC youth, she has also been involved with Commonwealth youth agenda putting her vision forward for an inclusive Asia regional youth integration mechanism. Her expertise is sure to bring some engaging opportunities for the youths and her past experience as a YAC member will ensure greater efficiency with unique offerings.

BBC Bangla featured her as one of the "100 Women" of the year 2015 and also recognized her work with youth. She received recognitions from several platforms for her exemplary contribution and she wants to serve, connect and engage with more youths. She was "Voice of the Youth" of International Youth Day of 2018 organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Bangladesh hosting the UN Secretary General's Envoy on Youth for the first time. Fahmida aims to improve the YAC involvements with the youth chapters across UNAs and envisions to take the peace and security agenda forward while focusing on SDGs parallel to WFUNA's mission. 


Eshaan Menon - Malaysia

I’m Eshaan from the United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM) Youth.

During my term as Youth Program Director at UNAM Youth we focused on expanding the reach of UNAM Youth through a digital membership platform as well as campus activities such as fundraisers and Town Halls. We organised the WFUNA Youth Seminar 2016 in Kuala Lumpur under the leadership of Hafidzi Razali, who was a member of the Youth Advisory Council. 

Malaysia is running again for the Youth Advisory Council to continue our legacy of contribution to WFUNA and to bring together UNAs through sustainable collaboration between their UN Youth associations across Asia and beyond. 

There is a lot we can achieve together with a sustainable framework for collaboration among young leaders regionally and globally through WFUNA. Today’s world is in need of the capacity to develop the leadership of tomorrow’s leaders. So that tomorrow, we do not live in a world that lacks leadership.


Europe

Angela Scicchitano - Italy

I'm Angela Scicchitano, National Coordinator of MSOI - the United Nations Youth Association of Italy
I have been active on youth engagement and communicating UN values for more than five years now, volunteering for the UN Youth Association of Italy first as Board member and Secretary/Head of the Board of the association's local chapter based in Naples and then as UNYA Italy's National Coordinator for two terms (2016/2017-2017/2018). 
Along with SIOI, the UN Association of Italy and my incredible team I have contributed to the success of numerous international youth events, such as WIMUN in 2014, ROMUN2015, ZEROHackathon 2016 and 2018 and One Arctic 2017. 
I'm currently pursuing a Master in International Cooperation and Development at "La Sapienza" University of Rome, while I have already earned a bachelor degree in Political Science and International Relations at the "Federico II" University in Naples. Moreover, I also hold a master's course diploma in "International Relations and Protection of Human Rights" from SIOI. Professionally, I have just completed a six-month internship at the Italian Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria; previously I had completed a six-month traineeship at the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
I'm running for this position to keep working on the enlargement and deepening of this inspiring network, bringing all UNYAs together. This is something I have done myself last December, when I organised the "EUNYA meeting" which brought to Rome representatives of numerous UNYAs from the European region. If elected, I intend to engage with an even larger number of national associations, institutions and international organizations. 

Inessa Pambukhchyan - Armenia

I believe in strong youth leadership and representation. Over the the past two years, I have been deeply involved in working to advance Youth, Peace, and Security both locally and regionally. I had the pleasure of sharing some of our best practices during the 42nd Plenary Assembly.
 
My educational background includes the completion of both a Bachelor and Master's degree in oriental studies. I have a variety of professional experiences, including an Arabic lecturer and a part-time project assistant at UNA Armenia. Above all, I am a deeply committed youth advocate working to advance youth issues reflecting UN values - human rights, sustainable development, peace, and security. I also work to engage young people with disabilities in this important mission and work. 
 
As a Youth Advisory Council Member, I hope to expand training opportunities for young people around the world and providing a platform to unify UNAs internationally with the intention of building our overall ability and capacity achieve the global goals and leave the world in a better place than we found it.

The Americas

Adil Skalli - Canada

Adil Skalli is a Program Manager at the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) where he oversees the International UN Internship program as well as a variety of youth-oriented educational programming in diplomacy, entrepreneurship, negotiation, climate change action, and other professional skills. Adil, born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, is a graduate of Carleton University in Communications and Political Science and is passionate about the work of the United Nations, notably in terms of youth engagement and capacity building. As a cautious optimistic on the future of the world, the majority of Adil's work at the UNA-Canada is in youth civic engagement and professional development. He has led and managed a number of Model UN Conference and continues to facilitate youth-led workshops, trainings and roundtables on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and youth civic engagement.


Claudia Taboada – Dominican Republic

Claudia Taboada, native of the Dominican Republic. She graduated from veterinary medicine at the National University Pedro Henríquez Ureña and studied law at the same university. She completed her master's degree in Design, Direction and Management of International Cooperation Projects. Currently doing a masters in Diplomacy and Consular Service at the specialised institute for higher studies at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. She has worked in the management and implementation of educational simulations for more than five years. She currently owns a company dedicated towards educational travel which promotes meaningful learning experiences for students.


Oceania

Jessica Herne - Australia

I'm Jessica, from United Nations Youth Australia. As National President of UN Youth Australia, I oversee all of our organisation's operations. I'm currently 24 and have been volunteering for my UNYA for six years now. I'm eager for Australia to be a more active participant in conversations with other UNYAs and WFUNA. 

We run conferences that bring students together within Australia, discussing issues such as diplomacy, economics, human rights, and security. This year, we ran six international programs that took young Australians overseas, educating them about issues such as peace building, indigenous rights, diplomacy and international development. We also are involved in the Australia's Youth Representative to the UN program, where one young person travels the country, collecting data on the views of young people to present to our leaders and to inform their presentation at the UN General Assembly. I'm really proud of the work these programs do in creating informed and active young citizens who are connected with the values of the United Nations. 

Last year I ran UN Youth Australia's communications, including social media and traditional press. I've also just about to complete my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Media and Communications, as well as having majored in Politics and International Studies in my undergraduate degree. I want to bring these skills to the Youth Advisory Council, as well as my knowledge of project management and education program development.

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