So, You Want to be the Next High Commissioner? 2014

Day 1 - 21 July 2014

  1. Our UNA Youth Human Rights training started off with a welcome from our team and a speech from our Education Officer, Aziel Philippos-Goulandris, who presented our goals and objectives for the five-day training. He laid emphasis on the participatory approach of the sessions and recalled the importance of civil society and United Nations Associations for the promotion of human rights to make a better world.

  2. After introducing themselves through an icebreaking game led by Alessia Barachetti, our Development and Education Associate, participants attended a UN Tour, where they could visit the highlights of the magnificent Palais des Nations.

  3. Following the lunch break at the UN cafeteria, Irene Martinetti, the Director of Programs, held a session entitled "Building a Culture of Human Rights." Potential next High Commissioners conducted several exercises to define the values revolving around human rights, such as respect, transparency, accountability and openness. Another exercise sought to question traditional understandings of "human" and "rights" and participants brought interesting insights from their perspectives.

    Participants were then treated to two guest speakers: Peggy Brenet Gueynard, from the United Nations Federal Credit Union, who underlined the importance of financial aspects of project development, and Pooja Patel, from the International Service from Human Rights, an international NGO based in Geneva and New York.

    Ms. Patel thoroughly discussed the role of NGOs within the Human Rights Council and exposed the possible avenues and challenges for human rights advocacy. She also highlighted human rights defenders' brave initiatives with successful examples from Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

  4. After the guest speakers, participants resumed the session on culture and Human Rights, before finishing Day 1 with a quiz and a wrap-up from our Education Officer.

  5. Both participants and the WFUNA team were enthusiastic about the outcome of Day 1 and we are looking forward to tomorrow's activities!

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