After the WHO, we went back to the UN to have a meeting about the UNCTAD Youth Forum. UNCTAD introduced a special way to include young people in their negotiations, namely by having a Youth Forum. The first Youth Forum took place during UNCTAD 14 in 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The next Youth Forum will be in October 2018 in Geneva.
In groups, we discussed which topics should be discussed at the Youth Forum. Examples that we came up with are: mental health, cybersecurity, trade dependency, youth entrepreneurship and youth leadership. Hopefully some of us will join the Youth Forum in October! We discussed our outcomes with Vice-President of the Alibaba Group Brian A. Wong. He told us about his life story, how he works with Jack Ma and why young people are so important. He and the UNCTAD team will look at our best practices and ideas and will hopefully implement them at the Youth Forum coming October.
We started our second day with visiting the WHO in Geneva. We got the special opportunity to have our lecture in the so called Shock Room. We learned a lot about the different angles of WHO’s work. For example, how WHO eradicated smallpox and almost eradicated polio. On the other side, it makes policy and tries to provide education for all countries to prevent diseases from spreading. WHO focusses a lot on prevention rather than only on curing diseases. The office in Geneva works closely together with regional office countries around the world. All the participants really enjoyed the lecture since it shed a new light on diplomacy and foreign relations. Namely, in the offices of WHO all sort of people work, from lawyers to doctors and from diplomats to secretaries. This causes that many of our group members could do an internship or apply for a traineeship at WHO.
On the 16thand 17thof April, SIB Amsterdam I Dutch United Nations Student Association visited the United Nations in Geneva. We primarily visited the UNCTAD eCommerce conference. UNCTAD stands for: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. They merely deal with creating more trade opportunities and intensifying development around the world. UNCTAD is keen on including youth in their policy discussions and therefore was happy to host us for the tow days.
On the first day, we got the opportunity to meet the Secretary General of UNCTAD Dr. Kituyi. A former Kenyan minister. He believes young people should be able to be involved in the entrepreneurship and telling UNCTAD which direction it should take. Later that day, we as a group visited a real high-level dialogue where ministers would discuss the role of sustainable development in eCommerce. One of our participants, Rick prepared a question for the ministers. Unfortunately, the panel discussion did not finish in time which caused that Rick could not ask his question.