Media Advisory

2016 Winter Youth Assembly at the United Nations brings together various sectors to examine youth’s role in UN SDGs

Ambassadors, UN senior officials, celebrities, youth advocates, and leaders from civil society and the private sector among speakers


Media Contact: Jeanina Casusi,


WHAT: The 2016 Winter Youth Assembly at the United Nations – a unique platform for discussions between youth, civil society, the private sector, and the United Nations – explores the role of youth in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

WHEN & WHERE: 17 and 18 February 2016, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. General Assembly Hall and Conference Rooms, United Nations Headquarters, New York City

WHO: H.E. Mr. Milan Milanovic, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Serbia to the UN and H.E. Mr. Virachai Plasai, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the UN jointly promote the importance of youth engagement for the UN as lead endorsers of the event. H.E. Ms. Simona-Mirela Miculescu, Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UN Office in Belgrade, former Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations, now champions the role of youth in the SDGs as the Youth Assembly’s Honorary Chair. With the leadership of FAF’s Acting Executive Director Yin-Chu Jou, 2016 marks the first year that the assembly receives stronger endorsement and direction from high officials in the UN system, since the program’s inception in 2004.

Ambassadors, UN senior officials, and staff who will be addressing the youth delegation include:

H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th Session of the General Assembly (Video Welcome); Dr. David Nabarro, Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon); H.E. Mr. Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations and President of UN ECOSOC; H.E. Mr. David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations and Co-Facilitator for Post-2015 Development Agenda Negotiations; Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations; Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth; Ms. Daniela Bas, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD), UNDESA; Mr. Ravi Karkara, Senior Adviser Strategic Partnership and Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women

Advocates and celebrities include:

Monique Coleman, Actress, Global Youth Advocate, and GirlUp Champion; Claes Nobel, Founder, National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS); Asher Jay, Creative Conservationist and National Geographic Explorer; Cheri Kaufman, Vice President, Kaufman Astoria Studios

Leaders from civil society and the private sector include:

John Farmer, Director of Technology and Civic Engagement at Microsoft; Oliver Libby, Chair and Co-Founder of The Resolution Project; Matt Smith, Director of Food For Good at PepsiCo; Vanessa Cardenas, Director of Latino Outreach and Climático Project at World Wildlife Fund; Brigitte Griswold, Director of Youth Programs at The Nature Conservancy; Mike Kelleher, Adviser, World Bank’s office on the 2030 Agenda, UN Relations, and Partnerships; Molly Bangs, Associate Special Projects Editor at The Huffington PostAkshaya Kumar, Deputy UN Director, Human Rights Watch

With esteemed speakers and presenters from:

1+One, AIESEC, Amnesty International, Brighter Today, buildOn, Do Something, EF Education First, Everyday People Initiating Change, Global Health Corps, ManUp, Microsoft YouthSpark, Million Dollar Scholar, MIT, Restless Development, SDG Action Campaign, SOKO, The Simply Co., The World We Want 2030, Three Dot Dash, Transfernation, UN Foundation, UN-Habitat, UN Women, UNA-USA, Yale International Relations Association, and Young Minds for Gender Equality

View the complete speaker lineup here.

In partnership with: Microsoft YouthSpark, The Resolution ProjectThe World We Want 2030, The Huffington Post, The World Bank Group, UNA-USA, and NSHSS

View the program agenda here.

WHY: As we gear towards achieving a more sustainable world in 2030, youth gather at the General Assembly Hall to examine the role they play in the recently-adopted sustainable development agenda, amidst the challenges they face, such as unemployment, education, health, and poverty. UN senior officials, celebrities, advocates, and leaders of civil society and in the private sector will weigh in on the conversation.

MEDIA INFO: The two-day conference is open to the media. UN media accreditation is required for this event. Please RSVP on or before February 15th using this form:

Confirmation emails will be sent with further details on February 15th. For interviews with the speakers, please contact Jeanina Casusi,

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow the hashtag #YouthAssembly and @YouthAssembly on Twitter. For more information on the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, go to our website.

The Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations® is a project of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Inc. (FAF). FAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to build friendships, advance mutual understanding, and promote global cooperation and development through transformative intercultural exchanges, youth leadership, humanitarian volunteer service, and artistic programs, which often support the United Nations and its development goals.