WAGGGS delegate, Pippa Gardner, speaks on behalf of youth at UN high level political forum on sustainable development

26 September 2013

On Tuesday 24 September 2013, the first meeting of the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development took place at the UN headquarters building in New York. With only two speaking slots reserved for civil society, WAGGGS delegate Pippa Gardner was selected by the Major Group of Children and Youth to deliver their statement.

Pippa, 23 and a Girl Guide from the UK, represented WAGGGS at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and at a meeting of the High Level Panel for the Post-2015 Agenda in London last year. It was this prior experience and her engagement in the Post-2015 process as a WAGGGS Ambassador that earned her the prestigious speaking opportunity.

Pippa representing WAGGGS at the UN General Assembly 2013“I was honoured to be selected to speak at this momentous event! There are countless active young people taking part in this UN process and so I didn’t think I had a chance of being selected. I was a little nervous in the run up to giving the speech, but I feel it went really well from all the positive feedback I’ve received. I think I succeeded in waking up the room and making them listen to the ideas of youth towards the latter stages of a very long agenda.” – Pippa Gardner

A transcript of the speech can be found here. It was collaboratively written by participants in the Major Group of Children and Youth which is open to anybody under 30 who wants to advocate in the sustainable development process. Within the speech they called for more opportunities for youth to engage in the decision making process and in return pledged to work with governments and other stakeholders to deliver the development agenda.

The High Level Political Forum formed part of the first week of the United Nations General Assembly session where WAGGGS delegates have been participating in a variety of different events. The young women have been writing about their experiences and you can get an insider's view of their progress by reading their daily updates, as well as their delegate biographies.