Afghan Youth Representative to the UN is a year-long program, which was launched by APT in 2018. The program, in light of the resolution 2250 of the United Nations, will provide leadership opportunities to one youth representative every year by enabling him/her to act as an ambassador of peace who can influence policies on the national and global levels. The youth delegate will meet with other young people across the country, hear their voices, and convey their message to the international community. The person will also bring back to the country the knowledge and message of the international community and open up opportunities that will pave the way for the future development of Afghanistan’s youth. The UNAMA in Afghanistan and the Ministry of Foreign affairs have supported this program since 2018.
Young people need to speak for themselves. They need to decide their own future. The existence of a hierarchal system in Afghan society where youth have always been forced to obey what the elders say without any objective. This has suppressed their role and their capacity to act as the leaders of today and tomorrow. The Afghan Youth Representative Program is not only an important initiative at this pivotal juncture of the country, but a milestone to influence the policies and the current peace process that would benefit not only the young generation but lead this country toward peace, security and economic development. The delegate will take the message of Afghan Youth to the UNSC that Afghans want an end to the war now, and they want freedom, human rights and youth’s inclusion in deciding the future of their country from now on. The representative will also paint a different picture of Afghanistan in front of the global community, showing it that Afghans, including young men and women, strive for peace, and that women in the country have many achievements when it comes to education, business, sports, and the arts. In other words, this new generation is a partner to the international community and strives for achieving peace.
Prior to the trip to Berlin and New York, the Afghan youth delegate will travel to different provinces in Afghanistan to meet with other youth and organize round tables in order to hear their challenges, concerns and the message they want the international community to hear. Besides that, the delegate will have a discussion with youth from around the country in National Youth Jirga which will be organized by APT in the following months. The Jirga will bring 100 youths from 34 provinces in Afghanistan for a three-day event in Kabul. Additionally, the youth representative will host online campaigns on official social media pages of the program to reach out to a large number of youth in the country
In 2018, APT in collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy in Kabul designed a program to select the first-ever Afghan Youth Representative to the UN. Through a rigorous competition and selection process among 60 youth applicants who competed in public speaking events, Ramiz Bakhtiar was select as the first-ever Afghan Youth Representative to the United Nations in 2018. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) also assisted in the process of the selection.
In 2019, APT in collaboration with Embassy of Germany in Kabul designed a program to select the second Afghan Youth Representative to the United Nations. Through a rigorous competition and selection process, among dozens of applicants, Ms. Aisha Khurram a student of Kabul University won the nomination and became the Afghan Youth Representative to the UN in 2019. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) also assisted in the process of the selection.
APT will open a call for applications, which will run over a month. Active youth between the ages of 18-29 from across the country can apply. The selection committee will review the applications and will shortlist the best applicants based on the criteria. The shortlisted candidates will go through in person interviews and will take written tests. After the first round of interviews and written, the remaining candidates will go through the second round of the interviews. After this round of interviews, the finalists will be selected to attend a final round of selection. The finalists will have to attend a debate round, present his/her speech. Finally, the panel of experts will select the 2020 Afghan youth Representative.