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UN Youth Envoy embarks on mission in Greece


New York/Athens, 8 October 2019 —The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake, is arriving in Greece – for her first visit to the country – on a four-day visit from 8 to 11 October. to take part in the Athens Democracy Forum.

Ms Wickramanayake is invited to Greece to participate in the Athens Democracy Forum to share her perspectives on the state of democracy and young people with elected leaders and institutions. This forum brings together senior New York Times journalists with policymakers, academics, business leaders and other stakeholders to discuss the state of democracy and what actions are required to challenge democratic issues.

During her stay, the Envoy on Youth will visit the municipalities of Athens and Thessaloniki, meeting with local and national government officials, the UN system, YMCA volunteers, youth activists and youth organisations to discuss the status of youth in Greece and the region, with an emphasis on the inclusion of young people in decision-making processes.

Ms Wickramanayake will also take the opportunity to visit a number of programmes for young refugees organised by YMCA Thessaloniki, UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency, Municipal level authorities and others. This visit is an opportunity to raise awareness of the crucial role young people play in humanitarian action, particularly in light of the continuing flow of refugees faced by Greece and other countries in the region. Such engagement is also of particular importance to Youth Envoy’s work, in connection with the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action – which is a global call by 53 organizations, governmental and non-governmental members to prioritize the needs and rights of young women and men, girls and boys affected by disaster, conflict, forced displacement or other emergencies – and Youth 2030, the United Nations’ Youth Strategy.

The United Nations’ Secretary-General Mr António Guterres has appointed Ms Wickramanayake as his Envoy on Youth in June 2017 – at the age of 26. The role of the Youth Envoy is crucial to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which depends on the empowerment of young people as rights-holders and agents of change. In September 2018, the United Nations adopted “Youth 2030”, its first-ever Youth Strategy, which aims to scale up global, regional and national actions to meet young people’s needs, realise their rights and tap their possibilities as agents of change.


More information on the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth can be retrieved at the following link: https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/

For media inquiries related to the Envoy on Youth’s visit in Greece:

  • United Nations Information Centre:

Dimitri Fatouros – Communication Officer for Greece and Cyprus

+32 2 788 8468, fatouros@un.org

  • United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth:

Nicholas Ceolin – Communications Officer

+1 917 367 8575, nicholas.ceolin@un.org

  • YMCA Thessaloniki: 

Emma Symeonidou – International Relations Officer

+30 6980556144, e.symeonidou@ymca.gr


Follow news related to the UN’s Youth envoy on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @UNYouthEnvoy

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