The Albanian Youth Delegate to the United Nations (AYD/UNYD Albania) is a program that aims to increase, as well as encourage the participation of the Albanian youth and their views in the decision-making process at the national and international level by annually including two young Albanians in the national delegation of the Republic of Albania to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Albanian Youth Delegate to the UN Programme was founded in 2018 and is being applied for the first time in 2019.
Today’s generation of youth is the largest that the world has ever witnessed. The United Nations has reaffirmed the need to develop and implement strategies that give young people everywhere real opportunities to enable their full, effective and meaningful participation in society. The United Nations has also recognized the crucial role that young people have in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Therefore, AYD/UNYD Albania aims at including Albanian youth in the decision-making processes thus bringing the Albanian youth closer to the UN and the UN closer to them, while ensuring youth empowerment and youth active participation.
AYD will consist of a gender balanced Delegate’s team of Albanian citizens between 18-28 years old, with a proven commitment to youth empowerment, youth representation, voluntarism and civic participation, demonstrable interest and knowledge of the United Nations as well as having innovative ideas on how to tackle contemporary issues. The two Youth Delegates are chosen through a rigorous and transparent selection procedure for a mandate of one year and a half.
AYD will conduct a process of national consultations with Albanian youth and youth NGO-s in different cities and regions in Albania, in order to equip the selected Delegates with a better insight of Youth needs and potential. The Delegates will also attend an internship at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and different trainings by former UN Youth Delegates in Europe. Following, the two selected Youth Delegates will participate in the 74th UN General Assembly as youth advisors, provide input to the Albanian delegation on issues related to youth and participate in the delegation’s general work through attending meetings, informal negotiations and addressing the Third Committee of the UNGA.
In order to ensure sustainability, upon their return, the Delegates of 2019 will share their experience through diverse public mediums, will be encouraged to actively follow and provide inputs for youth policies, and train the next year’s Albanian Youth Delegates through a subsequent tour of national consultations, various projects regarding youth and the SDGs, as well as a communication platform that is transmitted from one generation of youth delegates to another.
AYD believes in the potential of the Albanian Youth as the key factor that will bring change and development in the country. Our invested interest since the creation of the UN Association Albania, has been the empowerment, the enabling and the creation of role models for the youth to be active. This specific programme is an opportunity to contribute to forming civic role models, increase the participation of youth in political bodies in the international level, and provide a mechanism for them to be heard. AYD is considered to be a valuable contributor to enhancing democracy in Albania by providing an addition mechanism for the youth’s voice to be heard.
This project is based on the UN Youth Delegate Programme, a program that is implemented in 36 countries all over the world and is strongly supported by the United Nations system. YDP is established and run by United Nations Association Albania (UNA Albania) and it is supported by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Tirana (through the Small Grants for Democracy Commission) the UN Agencies in Albania and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden.
- Eligibility Criteria;
The Youth Delegates will be composed of two Albanian citizens, aged between 18-28 years old and reflecting a gender balanced team. They shall be two youngsters with a proven commitment to youth empowerment, youth representation, voluntarism and civic participation, with innovative ideas on how to tackle contemporary issues and who have a proven interest in the United Nations. The two youth delegates are chosen for a mandate of a year and a half. There will be an overlap period of 6 months, during which the gained knowledge and experience are transferred from the incumbent youth delegates to the new ones, in order to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
The eligibility criteria for youth delegates shall be the following:
- aged between 18-28 years old during the mandate;
- be fluent in English (knowledge of French or other UN official languages would be an asset);
- be resident in Albania for at least 12 months out of the whole mandate of 18 months;
- have a proven interest in the United Nations and knowledge of the UN system;
- have been living in Albania for at least 6 consecutive months in the last 2 years;
- have considerable experience and participation in voluntarism, youth-led/focused NGOs and/ other than political forums;
- be able to commit to the program’s requirements.
- Role of the Albanian Youth Delegate to the UN;
Before the General Assembly
Before the General Assembly, the Albanian Youth Delegates go through a series of preparatory meetings and trainings with UNA Albania and/or seminars and webinars organized by volunteers from European UNAs, incumbent youth delegates, public institutions, etc. Moreover, the youth delegates will be follow an internship program at the Albanian Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (“MEFA”). The youth delegates will conduct meetings in at least 5 major Albanian cities with as many young people as possible where they will gather opinions on the most pressing issues and possible solutions of the youth in that city/region, while also advocating for UN values and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They may conduct online surveys, online meetings and other forms of cost-effective research. Hence, the Youth Delegates’ priority areas will be constituted by the feedback of the youth meetings and Albania’s foreign policy priorities. Moreover, the youth delegates will create a Strategy and Action Plan with goals, priorities and events during their mandate and help manage the official website of the AYD/UNYD Albania and the relevant social network pages.
At the General Assembly
The Youth Delegates will be official members of Albanian national delegation and take part as youth advisers. The youth delegates will deliver a statement to the Third Committee and participate in informal negotiations on resolutions concerning youth. They also will organize a side event at the Albanian Mission (or other Member State’s Mission in case of a joint event) and write briefing reports on youth-related topics. The youth delegates will be at the General Assembly for an approximate 2-week time-table.
Post General Assembly phase
When returning home, the Albanian Youth Delegates will report to the MEFA, UNA Albania, and the relevant government agencies about their experience , activity and input. Furthermore, they will attend and organize different presentations and events with youth, presenting their experience, the latest UN youth developments and youth policies in the ambit of their follow-up national tour of consultations.
The events organized will be participation-oriented in order for the Delegates to fulfill their task as representatives of the youth. Events will include UN-learning and SDGs workshops, advising youth on pathway programs into UN involvement, as well as consulting with the youth on challenges that the youth are facing in Albania and in the global stage. In addition, the official Albania UN Youth Delegate website will be updated regularly with events, Delegates’ activities and engagement, notices about volunteer opportunities, and act as a platform where Albanian youth can highlight their causes in written format.
- Selection Calendar;
Considering the recommendations from WFUNA and the United Nations Programme on Youth, the Youth Delegates will be selected six months prior to their visit to the General Assembly in order to have enough time to prepare for their mandate.
The selection panel will have the following composition:
- 1 representative from Albanian Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs;
- 1 representative from the U.S. Embassy in Tirana;
- 1 representative from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden;
- 1 representative from UN Agencies in Albania;
- 1 representative from UNA Albania.
Youth NGOs will be invited to attend the 2nd and final stage of the selection procedure as observes.
The selection calendar would be the following:
Open call for application: 25 January – 25 February
Publishing the results of the first stage of the selection: Late March
Semi-final interview: April
Final stage, appointing the two Youth Delegates: April
Stay tuned for the next steps !