The DPI/NGO Youth Representatives orientation program took place Thursday February 28th from 9:45 am to 6pm. When the program first started, all the youth reps were asked to form a circle to participate in an ice breaker game. The task was to hold into the string and tell everyone who you are, where you’re from and what your NGO is. The point of the game was to show that everyone is connected.

The DPI youth reps are looking to make an impact, we can provide our proposals in writing to certain people that are our points of contact, one of which is Ahmad Alhendawi, the newly appointed Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.During first half of the orientation Mr. Alhendawi spoke about his position and what he hoped we as youth representatives would do as well as what his plans for the future were. What the UN is looking to gain from the youth members in DPI is to encourage other young members in our respective NGOs to get involved in the UN’s community service events and for the DPI youth members to communicate UN events and news that are taking place in New York to other UN youth members around the world.

The DPI Youth Representatives program started last year and it has been stated by the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, to make youth involvement in the UN a priority. As a result, they are looking for different ways to get the youth around the world more involved. One of the speakers mentioned that the UN is looking to develop young members to eventually take a leader role through field work and youth meetings.

Many speakers in the first half emphasized that youth representatives should always be “hands on” and participate in as many briefings and youth reps events as possible. The speakers strongly beloved that the youth in the world would be the ones to help change the world. The second half focused on social networking and how we could promote our NGOs as well as DPI/NGO in general. Lastly we all moved to the resource center and split into groups to come up with projects to work on through the year. During the first half of the day the secretary generals youth envoy spoke a bit about how important it was to the Secretary General to educate children while they are young about different countries. Both Ahmad and the Secretary General believe that many disputes and wars could have been prevented if they had learned as children about other countries and had the chance to interact with them. There are youth briefings every Thursday and there will be an NGO orientation for new associates in the NGO in April. We are not required to attend these events. DPI youth also have social group gatherings a few times a year and we are encourage to invite the youth members of our NGOs as well.