Day 6: Different sessions, one goal: Leaving no one behind
On the second day of the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, various sessions were held to ensure that the delegates are equipped with the necessary tools, knowledge and skills to create action-oriented solutions that help achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the first session entitled “Empowering Youth to Take Action on the Global Refugee Crisis,” Firas Kayal, senior policy advisor at UNHCR, explained in his speech that the global refugee crisis is “the most challenging crisis of our generation” and mentioned that the international community isn’t able to solve all conflicts, not even prevent a new one.
“By the time we finish this presentation, there will around 2,000 people displaced,” Kayal said. Up to 85 percent of refugees are hosted in poor countries and that requires a global effort to solve this issue, according to Kayal.
Federica Scala, a legal officer at International Development Law Organization (IDLO), said that “the struggles of refugees do not end when we turn the TV off or we stop reading the newspaper.” We should, therefore, “look around and make sure that no one is left behind.”
As for Rabita Tareque, a global advocate at the Permanent Observer Mission of the OIC to the United Nations, she quoted Hellen Keller, saying: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
Alexandra Raymond, donor engagement manager at the International Rescue Committee, said: “Our goal is to develop an evidence-based solution, and data are showing us which actions are successful.”
Raymond added: “Flexible Funding allows us to provide better aid, not just cheaper aid.” She then ended her speech addressing the delegates: “I encourage you to give. Give your ideas, give your time and share with people. Challenge traditional thinking and challenge your own thinking.”
An invisible revolution is coming
Moving from social to technological topics, another session entitled “Technology as a Force for Inclusion” was delivered by Paul Edlund, chief technologist at Microsoft, and moderated by Antuan Santana, community manager at Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs, to show how Microsoft is currently using technology as a tool to ensure that no one is left behind.
In a very interactive presentation, Edlund indicated that “an invisible revolution is coming.” He first showed the delegates the automatic translation in real time, which proves that technology can be a force of inclusion by breaking language barriers. “Mixed reality can influence and transform learning and technology,” he said.
World Bank: Ensuring economical sustainability
Shifting to economy, the World Bank Group has also led a session about their work. Angelica Silvero, the head of Speakers Bureau at World Bank Group, presented the role of the World Bank in sustaining a global economic sustainability, saying: “Our goal is to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, drive rate of extreme poverty down to three percent of every country.” On advancing gender equality, she said: “If we can narrow the gender gap, we could potentially increase 14 percent of the GDP.”