In 2015 UNA Sweden hosted UNg15, the largest annual event for youth members from all over Sweden, at Sida Partnership Forum in Härnösand. Over 60 youth members and pupils from our UNA certified High Schools gathered to discuss human rights and democracy over four intense days. The participants got to meet UNA Sweden’s Secretary-General, Linda Nordin, and President, Aleksander Gabelic, and talk about ISIS, an independent Swedish institution for human rights among other things. Our officer for human rights, Johanna Wiklund, joined us for the weekend and talked about the Universal Periodic Review, led a model UN about CERD and discussed the rights of refugees. We also got to meet staff from Sida as well as other lecturers from UNA Sweden and LSU.
The participants also joined a scenario at a refugee camp, set up and managed by one of our UNA certified Scools, Räddningsgymnasiet Sandö. The pupils at Räddningsgymnasiet learn about crisis management and this scenario was part of their examination. In four different tents the participants discussed what traits are valuable when one wants to work within crisis and conflict management, as well as a short visit to a temporary health clinic that dealt with cholera, and discussed dilemmas that can arise, such as how to help a mother-to-be in a refugee camp when they are not allowed to treat her.
On the Saturday night we celebrated UN 70 years with a nice dinner at a hotel in Härnösand. Our goodwill-ambassador Anna Bergendahl, artist and songwriter, visited UNg15 and talked about her visit to our project Girl in Ethiopia together with UNA Sweden last fall. Anna has been passionate about girl’s rights and been engaged with UNA Sweden for several years. In the evening there was another great opportunity to celebrate, as Sweden and Måns Zelmerlöw won Eurovision Song Contest!
The weekend was a great opportunity to meet more of our youth members, raise interesting questions and discuss relevant issues for human rights. The group was very engaged, talkative, and eager to discuss the topics on the agenda. As a project leader it was a lot of fun to see the joy, energy and warmth that the participants spread over four days!