Chiswick student chosen for UN General Assembly

Frederick Bernas will become UK's first youth delegate


Frederick Bernas

UN Youth and Student Association for the UK

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The UK is sending youth delegates to a United Nations General Assembly for the first time this year. Three youth delegates have been selected to represent the UK at the 60th UN General Assembly in October.

Frederick Bernas, 18, who is in the Sixth form at Chiswick Community School, has been chosen as one of these three delegates. Frederick has just taken his A-levels in English, History and Politics and hopes to go to Bristol University to read Politics in October 2006, having taken a gap year.

The three young people, selected by the Foreign Office to attend the New York event, will represent the UK when the UN reviews the progress made in implementing its World Programme of Action for Youth – ten years after its adoption.

The programme outlines the role that member states need to play in supporting disadvantaged young people, tackling youth unemployment and increasing young people’s participation in decision making.

The youth delegates were recruited via a web site set up by the UN Youth and Student Association UK and through interviews with Foreign Office staff. The delegates have met Foreign Office officials to discuss how they can gather the views of their peers to take to the assembly, as well as provide feedback to them on their return.

‘This is more than just a gesture, they’re going to be working very hard,’ said a Foreign Office spokesperson. ‘We’re developing a full role for them to play, not just when they get to New York, but in the run-up to the event also.’

In the words of Frederick Bernas, ‘"I think the way young people are portrayed is unfair and I am trying to show that we are not just a bad lot."

July 19, 2005