ECOSOC Youth Forum 2021

The Forum provides a global platform for a candid dialogue among Member States and young leaders from around the world on solutions to challenges affecting youth wellbeing. It also serves as a unique space for young people to share their vision and actions as well as to provide youth perspectives on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The 2021 Forum’s discussions will be guided by the overall theme of the 2021 ECOSOC and HLPF: “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. Consideration will also be given to the group of SDGs decided by Member States for in-depth discussions at the 2021 HLPF, namely, SDGs 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16 and 17.

more information and full schedule

DGC Co-organized side events


Thematic Session SDG17: Harnessing Partnerships, Resources and Science: Working Together to Get Things Done

7 April 2021

4.00 – 5:15 p.m. EDT


Concept Note

Intergenerational Dialogue on the UN Commitment to Meaningful Youth Engagement and the Promise of the UN75 Declaration

6 April 2021

9.00 – 11.00 a.m. EDT 


Concept Note


6 April 2021 Programme

Welcome and Overview

Hawa Diallo , Chief, Civil Society Unit, Department of Global Communications (DGC) 

H.I.R.H. Camilla von Habsburg-Lothringen , Chair of the International Young Leaders Organization (IYLO) Advisory Board 


The Global Situation of Young People Today 

Petrider Paul , African Union Commission Youth Advisory Council 

José Hernández, Youngest Member of the Central American Parliament 

Bryan Zhen Li, New York University 

Dennis Jansen , UN Youth Delegate, The Netherlands


Reflective Dialogue: Reimagining Youth Engagement to Realise the Commitments of the UN75 Declaration 

Moderator: Nipuna Ambanpola , IVolunteer International, Inc.; Youth Representatives Steering Committee, Department of Global Communications (DGC) 

H.E. Ambassador Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo , Deputy Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations in New York 

H.E. Ambassador Salim Baddoura , Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations in Geneva 

Vladimir Voronkov , Under-Secretary-General United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and UNCCT Executive Director

Nisreen Elsaim , Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG)

Dali ten Hove, Writer; UN 75th-Anniversary team; Researcher on memoirs of the f. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 


Interactive Conversation: Intergenerational and Intercultural Dialogue with Young Leaders

Moderator: Michelle Leon , World Development Foundation; Youth Representatives Steering Committee, Department of Global Communications (DGC)

Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely , Religious leader, pan-Africanist, writer, activist and humanitarian

Daniel Sichilongo, Secretary-General, Green Party of Zambia

Klaudia Klonowska , Researcher, Asser Institute; f. UN Youth Delegate, Poland 

Saffin Mathew, 1M1B; Youth Representatives Steering Committee, Department of Global Communications (DGC) 

Ahmad Saddauna Alli, Inter-religious doctorate student; Atlas for Development 


Closing Remarks and Call to Action

Lena Sykorova , Founder and Executive Director of the International Young Leaders Organization (IYLO), Initiator of the Global Initiative for UN Youth




Hawa Diallo , Chief of the Civil Society Unit at the Civil Society and Advocacy Section, UN Department of Global Communications has extensive United Nations experience in public information outreach and fostering civil society partnerships, with a particular emphasis on youth and women’s organizations. Ms. Diallo began her United Nations career in 1987 in the Department of Public Information and has served in two United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia and Somalia, respectively. She has also worked for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) in Nairobi, as an Associate Human Settlements Officer and as a Partners and Youth Officer. 





Camilla Habsburg-Lothringen , runs a PR company (Atmosphärische PR) in Vienna where she fosters value based concepts helping to create a good atmosphere of an understanding through a constructive dialog as also trying to advocate responsible thinking in our society, in politics, interreligious and intercultural dialog such as in ethics and in the environment. She has given speeches at international Conferences and Forums in the last years (England, Afrika, Aserbaijan, Turkey, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzogovina) and it is her wish to give impulsey in taking a positive move towards value orientated thinking and in taking action. Her deepest intention is to serve for the wellbeing of others through diplomacy and intercultural affairs, such as on the board of BLUE SHIELD/Austrian Comision for UNESCO or as a senior advisor to the board of International Young Leaders Organisation.




Petrider Paul is an African Union Commission Youth Advisory Council Member , Office of the AU Youth Envoy – she is a renowned youth , health and gender equality advocate, a Points of Light Awardee recipient from Her Majesty the Queen II 2018 for her voluntary work to campaign to end child marriage and Gender-based violence in the Commonwealth. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Dodoma and a Post-Graduate in Economic Diplomacy from the Center for Foreign Relations in the – United Republic of Tanzania. 





José Hernández was elected in 2019 as a substitute deputy at the central American parliament, representing the State of Guatemala. He is the youngest member of the parliament with 25 years, being elected when he was 24. He has supported and provided proposals for children, teens and youth at the Central American integration system. He is member of the political party Momiento Semilla (Seed movement) He was the youngest member of the party in been elected in the past elections in Guatemala, as part of his responsibilities at the political organization he is in charge of the National Sub secretary of Sexual Diversity, the Secretary of equity and plurality in the department of Guatemala. Also he cooperates as the national coordinator of youth from the global network of young politicians in Guatemala.




(Bryan) Zhen Li is a member of the International Young Leaders Organization (IYLO). He previously volunteered at a local social work service department in China and successfully completed a summer school programme at Fox Leadership International and English Programs, University of Pennsylvania. Li is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Global Affairs at New York University.



Nipuna Ambanpola

Nipuna Ambanpola is the Founder & Executive Director of IVolunteer International, a 501(c)3 tech-nonprofit organization in the United States. As Executive Director, Nipuna joins a variety of global coalitions and agencies to advocate for and increase volunteer awareness, volunteer mobility, and impact. Nipuna is a TEDx speaker, a program advisor at Humanitarian Affairs Asia, and a Rotaractor. Nipuna is also a member of the United Nations Department for Global Communications Youth Steering Committee. 





Dali ten Hove is an international affairs consultant. He is currently affiliated with the Igarapé Institute and was formerly part of the UN’s 75th-anniversary team. He was the researcher on the forthcoming memoirs of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Resolved: Uniting Nations in a Divided World,” due out in June. Dali is a board member of the UN Association of the Netherlands and a former trustee of the UNA-UK. He has a master’s degree in international relations from Oxford University





H.E. Ambassador Salim Baddoura is the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva. He began his diplomatic career in 1999, holding posts at Lebanon’s embassies in Korea, Nigeria, Austria, and Lebanon’s permanent missions to the UNESCO in Paris and to the international organisations in Vienna. Ambassador Baddoura chaired the TDB/UNCTAD 2018-2019 in Geneva, presided over the Committee of the Whole of the ILO that adopted the Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work in June 2019. His Excellency also won the title of “Negotiator of the Year ” during the “World Negotiation Day”, organised by UNITAR and the AND Group on 25 September 2019. 





H.E. Ambassador Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo , Deputy Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations in New York. Mr Mabhongo holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, USA. He joins the Agency from The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) in South Africa where he was Group Executive for Corporate Services and spokesperson since March 2014. Before that, Mr Mabhongo was for four years Permanent Representative of South Africa to the IAEA, Member of the Board of Governors of the IAEA and Ambassador of South Africa to Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia. Mr Mabhongo was the President of the 57th session of the IAEA General Conference.





Mr. Vladimir Voronkov was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism on 21 June 2017, established by General Assembly resolution 71/291. He brings to the position more than 30 years of experience within the Foreign Service of the Russian Federation, working primarily on United Nations affairs, with responsibilities ranging from public diplomacy and social and economic development issues to intergovernmental affairs. Prior to his appointment, he was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the International Organizations in Vienna. Under his leadership, the Permanent Mission launched several flagship projects with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and developed successful collaborations with the UNODC Antiterrorist Branch. Mr. Voronkov also served on the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), during which time he led several delegations of the Russian Federation to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Prior to serving in Vienna, Mr. Voronkov was Director of the Department of European Cooperation (2008-2011), during which time he served as the Head of the Russian Delegation during the Russia-European Union negotiations on the visa-free regime (2010-2011). He started his career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989 and has served in various capacities, among them as Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna (2005-2008), Deputy Director of the Personnel Department (2002-2005) and Minister Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Russian Embassy to Poland (2000-2002). Mr. Voronkov holds a PhD from Moscow State University. He has authored various scientific publications on international issues. 



Nisreen Elsaim , Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) is a climate activist and a junior negotiator with the African Group of Negotiators in technology transfer, focusing on the policies of countries regarding climate change and renewable energies. She wrote several policy papers in climate change, renewable energy, and gender and youth empowerment. Furthermore, Nisreen is the chair of the UN Secretary General Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change and president of the Sudan Youth Organization on Climate Change, being an organizer of the 2019 Youth Climate Summit. She holds a Physics and Renewable energy degree from the University of Khartoum and has actively been involved in youth climate activism since 2012.


Michelle Leon

Michelle Leon is currently a Political Science major at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and works as an intern for the World Development Foundation. As being apart of the foundation she also plays a role in the subcommittee for the NGO Reporter. Michelle first became apart of the UN at 15 years old, when she spoke at the 2016 Youth Assembly as an Ecuadorian youth advocate for the work she had been doing during the 2016 Ecuadorian earthquake. She then went on to win two international pageant titles where she dedicated her platform to peace-building by promoting Goal #16 of the Sustainable development goals. In the past years, she worked with Foundation Eye Sight for Everyone to donate thousand of wheelchairs and eye sight surgeries to those in dire need of help in Ecuador. She has a passion for equality, human rights, and maintaining peace. With many years of experience in public speaking, she hopes to graduate this upcoming year and further her career in International Relations.




Ahmad Saddauna Alli is a 22-year-old doctorate student based in Rabat, Morocco and a member of an NGO called Atlas for Development. He is passionate about diplomacy, debating and public speaking and has participated in a number of events, such as the Model United Nations Morocco, Young Mediterranean Voices, Euro-Med Online Debate Competition 2019 as a debater and again in 2020 as a team leader. Alli also earned “Honorable mention and Best delegate” at the Model United Nations Morocco and won the title of “Best Debater” at the National Debate Forum 2019.




Daniel Sichilongo , is the Secretary General of the Green Party of Zambia and at 25, Daniel became the youngest Secretary General of a Green Party in Africa. A Program for Young Politicians in Africa (PYPA) Alumni, Daniel is a Board Member and one of the founding members of the Center for Young Leaders in Africa (CYLA), a youth governance organization that champions the political participation of young people. He advocates for sustainability through the Green Ideology that champions climate justice in addition to environmental, economic and social justice. He has represented Youths at UN High Level Political Forum, UN General Assembly 74, UN Climate Summit and Other High Level Continental and Global Engagements. He’s also the Co-founder of the Ku’Shanga Green Network – a social enterprise focused on redressing climate change through tree planting and environmental education. Daniel advises the Naleli Women’s Initiative which moves to empower vulnerable women in Zambia with entrepreneurial skills and is a member of the Africa Youth SDGs Youth Alliance 2030. He is passionate about championing Youth Leadership, Sustainable Development Goals and Environmental Activism. Daniel’s goal is to see increased meaningful participation and contribution of young people as change makers through mentorship volunteerism. 


Saffin Mathew.png

Saffin Matthew, Program Director, 1M1B & Member, Youth Representatives Steering Committee, Department of Global Communications (DGC). At 1M1B, Saffin oversees the conceptualization and management of the programs bringing youth together to achieve the SDGs using new age tools and technologies. He works closely with global leaders and organizations to mobilize and engage youth for global impact. His passion to propel youth from intent to action has resulted in coaching and mentoring of over 15,000 students as part of the 1M1B programs with the help of his team. Saffin has pioneered the AI Youth Skills program for 1M1B which aims to accelerate the UN SDGs by activating youth to create AI powered solutions. Currently he is on a mission to activate 100,000 climate action champions across schools in India to address the climate crisis our world is facing through the 1M1B Climate Action Clubs.





Dennis Jansen , UN Youth Delegate, The Netherlands, is one of two Dutch UN National Youth Representatives on sustainable development at the NJR (Dutch National Youth Council). In this position he is tasked with representing Dutch youth at United Nations conferences such as the COP. While COVID has altered the course of his mandate somewhat he has already participated in a few international events since his election six months ago such as the Climate Adaptation Summit. Within sustainable development he is especially passionate about climate justice, recognizing how climate change affects global inequalities. Having recently finished a degree in International Studies he will continue his education with a master in sustainable development. 





Klaudia Klonowska is a Junior Researcher in Public International Law within the Research Strand Human Dignity and Human Security. Her research focuses on the nexus of technology with international humanitarian and human rights law. At Asser, Klaudia coordinates two Global Counter-Terrorism Forum initiatives on maritime security and terrorist travel, and the terrorist watchlisting practices. Additionally, she conducts her research in the context of the project titled Designing International Law and Ethics into Military AI (DILEMA).  Prior to joining Asser Institute, Klaudia worked at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS). Her research was centered around two topics: the governance of Robotic and Autonomous Systems (RAS) within the military context and the military strategic planning for behaviour-oriented operations. She is an author of three HCSS publications. Klaudia also worked extensively at Amnesty International. There, she deep-dived into the issue of surveillance technology exports and the European Union fundamental rights. Klaudia holds a BSc in International Relations and Law from Amsterdam University College and a LL.M. in International Technology Law at Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam. During the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations, Klaudia represented and spoke on behalf of the Polish youth in her position as the UN Youth Delegate of Poland. In this position, she advocated for greater youth participation and representation in governmental decision-making. Klaudia is fluent in English, Polish, Spanish, and Chinese.



Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely   was appointed by the Ashanti Kingdom as Queen Mother of the African Diaspora and served as a Roman Catholic nun at age 15. She is the Community Mayor of Harlem and founder of New Future Foundation Inc. a NGO with ECOSOC status at the United Nations and accredited by the DGC.






Lena Sykorova is the Founder and Executive Director of the International Young Leaders Organization (IYLO). She also co-founded The Fair Internship Initiative (FII) in 2015, an initiative working towards increasing inclusivity and geographical representation of young people working within the UN system. Lena has held numerous positions as a youth advisor, including her position as the External Advisor to the President of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Her positions have led to key contributions to UN documents, including the UN’s Youth Strategy and the Voluntary National Review of the Slovak Republic on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda. She has also worked for the Academic Council on the United Nations System, UNODC, UNOV, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Vienna School of Negotiation, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Born in Czechoslovakia, Lena speaksvSlovakian, German, and English.  Lena’s passion lies in empowering young people, in addition to her love for the arts and music.




Groups audience: 

Civil Society


6 April Event Scenario

Local category: 

Youth Events

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Global category: 

Communication and Mass Media