PNG Youth Attends UN Youth ECOSOC Forum in New York
By Elizah Palme
The United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office (UNRCO) in Port Moresby has confirmed the attendance of a young Papua New Guinean recently to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum in New York.
The Forum cantered on the theme of the role of youth in poverty eradication, and promoting prosperity in a changing world. It had also discussed ways in which young people can actively implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
According to the press release from UNRCO, the youth delegate, Raylance Mesa, was selected as one of the Youth Champions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations in Papua New Guinea last year for her work with communities in Morobe Province.
Ms Mesa’s effort involved tackling issues ranging from climate change to education. Having been nominated as a representative to the Forum, she departed for New York after completing an induction course provided by the United Nations in Papua New Guinea.
It is understood the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) supported her travel to the Forum which eventuated on the 30-31 January 2017.
UNRCO wrote that Mesa shared Papua New Guinea’s experience, particularly in relation to Goal 2 of SDGs: Food security and sustainable agriculture, and Goal 13: Climate Change. She shared information about the Pacific, and was one of few delegates at the Forum from the Pacific region.
According to UNRCO, Mesa’s biggest takeaway from the Forum is the power of youth as agents for change.
“The forum has reconfirmed my belief on how crucial it is for the young generation to be part of implementing the Goals. To develop a nation requires more actors than just the government. As the SDGs aim at leaving no one behind, we cannot underestimate ourselves and need to work together to advance our nation’s development agenda,” says the young champion.
Mesa is currently planning to educate others in her community about the importance of advocating for and implementing the Goals with the help of three other UN Youth Champions for the SDGs.
The United Nations in Papua New Guinea believes that young people are valuable partners in contributing positive change to their communities, and also the entire country.
“Papua New Guinea is a very young country where almost 30 percent of the population is between the ages of 10 and 24,” says Mr. Roy Trivedy, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in PNG.
“These young people are active, creative, and innovative; we need to continue to engage with youth.”