Youth and Diplomacy: My Experience as the U.S. Youth Delegate
Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life
For the first time in the Boisi Center’s twelve-year history, on February 6 we hosted an undergraduate speaker at one of our headline events. We were delighted to hear BC junior Brooke Loughrin describe her experience as the first Youth Delegate in the United States’ mission to the United Nations.
Appointed in 2012 for a one-year term, Loughrin attends international conferences, connects with young people through social media and has even addressed a full meeting of the UN General Assembly—all while managing her heavy courseload as a Presidential Scholar at BC. Loughrin said she has been deeply inspired by her encounters with young people during her travels to India, Iran, and Tajikistan, and is keen to promote youth involvement in international politics. Over fifty percent of the world population is under the age of thirty, yet youth often have little influence on international decisions that profoundly affect their lives. Through the Youth Delegate program, Loughrin joins representatives from forty countries committed to giving the world’s young people a voice at the UN.
During General Assembly Week in September 2012, Loughrin spoke on panels and attended meetings alongside prominent international leaders including Hillary Clinton and Bill Gates. She was even able to address the full General Assembly on behalf of American youth. Although the world’s youth face major challenges today—education and employment among them—Loughrin expressed optimism for the future of her generation. She announced that the U.S. Youth Delegate program will continue next year, a sign of the program’s success in improving American youths’ involvement in UN discourse. She encouraged eligible young people to apply to serve as the youth delegate in future years.