Which issues do you care about? Climate change? Violent extremism? Human rights? If so, you’re in luck: The United Nations cares too, and it wants to hear from you and the 1.8 billion young people in the world today.
If you don’t know how to get involved, Donya Nasser, the U.S. youth observer to the U.N., has some advice: Reach out to your country’s U.N. delegation and ask what you can do. “They’re looking for young people to … offer their voice and perspectives,” she says.
Give your country’s youth a voice
More than two dozen countries have a youth representative like Nasser in their delegations to U.N. forums. The youth delegates or observers — as they are known — represent young people in global policy dialogues.
Contact your foreign ministry to find out how you can apply to be a youth delegate. If your country doesn’t have a youth delegate program, work with youth organizations to advocate for creating one. The U.N. Associations of many countries have youth sections that can help.
Walk in world leaders’ shoes
Every year, thousands of students from dozens of countries find out what it’s like to be a diplomat by participating in Model U.N. — a simulation where students role-play as U.N. delegates. You can too.
As you deliver speeches and negotiate international treaties, you’ll build the knowledge, skills and relationships needed to have a global impact. And with more than 400 Model U.N. conferences around the world, it’s the perfect opportunity to see new places!
If you are a university student, you might even be eligible to apply for a U.N. internship. University graduates can consider serving as a U.N. volunteer or applying to the U.N.’s Young Professionals Programme.