This morning kicked off the start of YA programs! Patrick Sciarratta, the executive director of The Friendship Ambassadors Foundation welcomed everyone to the 7th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations. Conference room 1 was filled with global youth leaders from all over the world who have come together in hope of changing the future.
Now, a Japanese soloist beautifully sang Sam Cook’s Change is Gonna Come. Ramu Damodaran, the Deputy Direct for Partnerships and Public Engagement read a welcome speech by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Ramu read a passage about a 19-year old prisoner in India, and questioned the youth delegates, how you they write their stories at age 19. Janne Talas, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Finland also spoke to the global leaders about the importance of the MDG’s.
The YA was honored to welcome Gillian Sorensen, Former Assistant Secretary General and current Senior Advisor to the United Nations Foundation. Ms. Sorensen offered advice for the delegates. She encouraged them to “become a future citizen that embodies change”. Furthermore, she offered some advice for them to take action, reminding delegates to think active, seek to join foreign diplomatic service and inform yourself now.
Joanna Sherman, from the Bond Street Theatre Company of New York, shared her work with the arts and the MDG’s. She told the audience the secrets to becoming the “essence of the real deal”. She views arts as communication and a way to teach collaboration. “Life is something you experience, trust your instincts”, she spoke. Joanna told delegates lessons from well-know author J.K Rowling; the benefit of failure and the importance of imagination. She ended her presentation by advising the audience to “imagine the world you want to live in”.
Francisco Eguiguren, the YA 2010 Program Director, told the participants a story about Maria Mandova, the former YA Project Director who used what she learned at the YA to make a difference in Venezuela and currently in Colombia.
We’re looking forward to the afternoon sessions!