The United Nations Youth Assembly Winter 2017

Building Leadership Capacity

HaitiLeve executive committee sponsored five emerging Haitian leaders to attend the UN youth assembly conference in February 2017, in New York, as part of our mission to create a new generation of leadership for a long-lasting change in Haiti. The selected youth were actively involved with the organization. Travel and all expenses were covered, the coordination of this project was handled by Natacha Jeannot, CFO and vice president along with Cassandre Nereus executive secretary. All the planning was uneventful and we continue to benefit from, this project

From the moment the HaitiLeve delegation started off at the 2017 UN Youth Assembly Open ceremony we knew that this effort was noteworthy, and of high accomplishment. Tidbits from the ceremony such as “Peace is not an opportunity, but an obligation” still resound loudly among us as we desire, to be free. Freedom from the poverty trap, freedom from unethical leadership, and freedom from the stagnant growth as it pertains to the Island nation of Haiti. The UN Youth Assembly inherently served as a catalyst for work done outside the confines of the UN. The assembly gave perspective to those in need of guidance and sharpened those in the mist of their passion.

Discussion of topics such as education, poverty, sustainability and climate change at the Assembly were impactful and need more pages to describe the many tangents associated with. For instance, the topic of education was connected technology adapt, innovation, and inclusiveness especially as it pertains to ethical gender access. Other endeavors such as discussions on SDG goal 1 “No poverty” which implicitly would result in better jobs for youth. Presenters discussed how solutions involved creating jobs through entrepreneurship, and attendees debated ceaselessly on the feasibility of a civilization of absolutely no poverty. People seemingly renounced or supported established conflict theories and utopian.


Criticism of the UN is due, as this experience which stimulates in the deliberations and esprit of authentic members of the UN, it shows that the UN can be very idealistic and lofty in their goals. Second, the participates of the UN or the actual people who are able to be in New York, New York are seemingly detached from the world they are trying to change. Can top government officials or students of law and theory truly empathize with grinding hunger, lack of education, and poverty? It is an intriguing sight to see many vocal, proud, and imaginative individuals from around the world, who come from the comforts of a ubiquitous western world of capitalistic and commercial culture.

Recall that our mission at this assembly was to inherently promote HaitiLeve, bringing awareness to HaitiLeve’s mission, goal, and objective to the UN platform. However, this Youth assembly showed how hard it is to get things done in a diplomatic format. When the UN is inundated with all types of platforms, all which has substance at times it is hard to recognize the signal among noise which may very well be why most things are simply taken into consideration. To state it even clearer, one does not simply raise their hand, state a wonderful idea and see action based on that as subjectivity and self-interest ensues. Also, the inherent notion of an assembly is that there is an of dynamic a speaker communicating to a large audience which prevents true dialogue.

There are young leaders throughout the world energetically looking for solutions of societies’ ills. Being in a space with youth trying to do just that change was refreshing allowing exposure and networking.

During the UN youth assembly, HaitiLeve team was able to network with youth from Haiti and from different nations, and that’s how we met Francois Wilguy who is in the middle a young student of diplomacy in Haiti. Francois has a very inspiring story and he is currently heading HaitiLeve branch in Haiti due to his effective leadership.

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