The 6th annual International Youth Assembly convened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City from August 5-7th 2009. The event promoted youth participation in global issues and “recognized the artistic and diplomatic efforts of young people already involved in development and humanitarian initiatives.”
As an NGO that holds General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, BAPS sent a delegation of 18 youths to the Youth Assembly.
The 2009 Youth Assembly focused on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Adopted in 2000, the MDGs are common goals that UN member states hope to achieve by 2015.
The Millennium Development Goals are:
1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
2. Achieve Universal Primary Education
3. Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
4. Reduce Child Mortality
5. Improve Maternal Health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases
7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability
8. Develop a Global Partnership for Development
The conference attracted a diverse youth audience from all corners of the world. Distinguished speakers from NGOs and diplomatic delegations addressed the Assembly. The conference also hosted ‘Teach-Ins’ to highlight key organizations working to solve global issues at the policy and grassroots levels.
The BAPS youth were inspired and motivated by meeting like-minded youth who are committed to making a difference in their local communities. BAPS delegate Shreena Bhrambhatt mentioned that “one of the best parts of the experience was hearing about what different youths all over the world are currently doing with respect to humanitarianism, and how their lifestyles and views compare to my own.”