UN Youth Rep Blogs

    In August 2017, Samuel Witt (son of Susan Stanley-Witt, AWC Hamburg) began his FAWCO UN Youth Rep experience. 

    Youth Assembly 2016 Vali and Sammy

    From May - August 2017, Paige Higbie was FAWCO's UN Youth Rep in New York. Paige's mother is UN Rep Erica Higbie (FAUSA) and her brother Gavin was FAWCO's first UN Youth Rep. Now enrolled in a Master's program studying international relations in Berlin, Paige serves as FAWCO's UN Youth Rep Coordinator.  

    Paige Higbie photo

    FAWCO's UN Youth Rep 2015 - 2017 is Vali Mitsakis from AWO Greece. Vali is studying in New York, and as a former Model UN participant, is excited to be a FAWCO UN Youth Rep. 

    Valia Mitsaki






    In 2014, FAWCO had its first UN Youth Rep, Gavin Higbie, son of Erica Higbie (FAUSA), FAWCO UN Rep in New York and former Chair of the Human Rights Team. In August 2014, Gavin attended the Summer 2014 Youth Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City. He also attended the Winter 2014 Youth Assembly, and posted blogs about his experiences.

    Gavin Higbie 2

    Gavin Higbie, FAWCO UN Youth Rep 


    Valia and Emily at ECOSOC Youth Forum

    Valia Mitsakis and Emily Lavallee at the ECOSOC Youth Forum in January 2018


    “It may be noisy messy and complex in an ever expanding room of stakeholders but I can assure you it is exactly where we are supposed to be” said Salina Abraham, President of the International Forestry Students’ Association about the ECOSOC Youth Forum.

    At the Forum...

    ECOSOC Youth Forum, January 2018, by Valia Mitsakis

    There is one universal truth about youth: we are not included in the decision making processes of our countries or the international community. Thankfully, there have been some steps taken to enhance youth participation; governments have started to include youth in councils and pass legislation to better their lives, and the United...

    ECOSOC Youth Forum, January 2018, by Emily Lavallee 

    On the first morning of ECOSOC’s Youth Forum, I arrived early to receive my grounds pass. There were people in various lines in front of the United Nations and across the street. Rush hour, in conjunction with the rush of UN visitors, and Youth Forum attendees, mirrored my own frenzied excitement. However,

    By Sammy Witt

    Mental Health is a popular topic among the progressive, post-structuralist left. These people are the ones often times dominating the feminist discourse in the West; this is also true for some parts of the UN. Many of the representatives from other feminist NGOs like talking about how significant the discussion surrounding mental health is. And they’re right!

    By Sammy Witt

    Last Monday I got to engage in a dialogue between NGO Reps/Civil Society and Louise Arbour. The event, which took place at the Church Center for the UN, a space many NGOs use, was a discussion built around an interview with Louise Arbour.

    Louise was the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2004 until 2008. She...

    By Paige Higbie, UN Youth Rep Coordinator 

    The United Nations has gotten much savvier about bringing private science and technology partners into the conversation about the Sustainable Development Goals. One of the major venues for this conversation is the Science Technology and Innovation Forum held at UNHQ every year.

    An issue people may not be aware of, which I was...

    By Paige Higbie, UN Youth Rep Coordinator

    A critical addition to the 2030 agenda has been the introduction of an annual report on the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals. Notorious as the not-for-profit sector is for lacking 'key performance indicators', the Annual Progress Report provides a notable exception. It is the annual report card on the global progress made...

    By Sammy Witt, UN Youth Rep

    Since last month, I have been attending the NGO Comittee on Migration meetings. This relatively new and very active group has several subcommittees. I’m a member of the Committee on Climate Induced Displacement. Working with, and talking to, this group has inspired me to write this text.

    Thirty four people recently died due to...

    By Sammy Witt, UN Youth Rep

    In the WHO’s Constitution, it is stated that, “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” 1 Nevertheless, 800 women die from preventable maternal related illnesses every day.2

    Improving maternal health was...

    By Sammy Witt, UN Youth Rep

    If, in the eighties, someone had said that AIDS would someday be as easy to treat as diabetes, for example, they would have been considered insane. But, now with antiretroviral therapies it is becoming that easy! But only if you have access to the right treatments.

    Efficient treatment, however, doesn’t mean an end to...

    By Sammy Witt, UN Youth Rep

    The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991 (or ICTY) held their twenty-fourth and last ever annual review at the General Assembly of the UN last week, and I had the opportunity to attend.

    This was...

    By Sammy Witt, UN Youth Rep

    The UN wants to be a forerunner in political trends and social developments. Thus, Human Trafficking, a great problem, is moving up on their agenda. Seventy-five percent

    of trafficked humans are females, which makes the subject even more relevant to feminist and female-focused NGOs such as FAWCO.1

     Human trafficking is a very uncomfortable subject...

    August 7, 2017

    Sammy Witt - New FAWCO UN Youth Rep

    As many of you probably already know, there are different women representing FAWCO at the United Nations in New York City and assorted cities in Europe. Aditionally, there are also UN Youth Reps, who do not necessarely need to be female, just FAWCO affilliated. I, Samuel Witt, am the new FAWCO UN...

    By Gavin Higbie

    Day three of the International Youth Assembly has unfortunately come and gone. However, it was, of course, an incredible day. Just like the two that came before it. Our day began with a presentation by the young and extremely talented Jake Schwarz, CEO and founder of General Assembly. He explained his background and the rather precarious and...

    After eight hours at the United Nations day two of the International Youth Assembly has come to an end, and apparently the inspiration will continue to be unrelenting. From the opening minutes to the end of the day, the program presented us the delegates with engaging speakers who were not only experts in their fields but also demonstrated a clear...

    Our afternoon session was a lot more hands on. After lunch, there were a variety of workshops that could be chosen by the delegates. One particular workshop caught my attention. It focused on the Post-2015 Development Goals. For those of you who don’t know, the Post-2015 Development Goals are an initiative currently being negotiated by the United Nations that target...

    Okay everyone, I'm back! After a semester abroad in Chile I am finally back in New York City to represent FAWCO at the International Youth Assembly. Exciting times for me, I wish you could all be here. As you may know I attended the Youth Assembly in February as well (sorry for hogging it from everyone else). It was an...

    Alright, day two. You will be happy to know that weather was certainly nicer. Yesterday's snow, sleet, and over all demonic weather front was replaced by sunshine and a balmy 29 degrees (Fahrenheit that is).

    As for the Youth Assembly, it picked up where yesterday left off. It started with a beautiful introductory song by a Japanese singer whose name unfortunately...

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