"It's great that we can have a real impact in the UN and speak on behalf of our country" Tollaksen says. "We can show that youth is not only those that will inherit the world in the future, we also live and want to change the world today" Katanasho continues.
Margrete Bjørge Katanasho is vice president in Press, Save the Children Norway's youth organization and Jarle Aarbakke Tollaksen is vice president the Norwegian Young Christian Democrats. They are representatives for the Norwegian Children and Youth Council, who each year selects two delegates from their 100 member organizations. The official Norwegian youth delegates to the UN are appointed through a nomination process. One is chosen from the political arena and the other from other youth organizations.
Katanasho and Tollaksen are Norway's official youth representatives at the Norwegian mission to the UN General Assembly, and will focus on human rights and youth participation in political processes in their stay in New York.
The two youth delegates from Norway will observe the work of the General Assembly's third committee, who works with human rights issues. Katanasho and Tollaksen will give a statement on behalf of Norway, stressing the important work on migration and especially focusing on the rights of LGBTI-persons and child migration and their right to education. The theme is chosen and statement is written by the delegates themselves, and giving the statement in the General Assembly hall will be one of the highlights of their stay. "We are proud to represent Norwegian youth in international fora" says Tollaksen.
They are in New York to gain insight and learn more about the United Nations, as well as to share their knowledge, experience and view-points on relevant issues of the Third Committee's work. "We look forward to seeing how the UN think and work on how to include youth in the United Nations" Tollaksen says. During their three weeks in New York they will follow the debate in Third Committee and attend a number of side-events, in addition to meeting the Secretary-General, "we really look forward to meeting Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi" says Katanasho. The delegates are also excited to learn more about the UN in general, "we are also excited to see how the Norwegian Mission and the member states work at the UN" Tollaksen says.
Both Katanasho and Tollaksen are active on Twitter, and will share their experiences of their stay with the organizations back home, as well as the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and Norwegian Children and Youth Council.