22 October 2019, New York, USA – UNITAR jointly with the International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Atlanta (CIFAL Atlanta) hosted 50 Academic Fellows from the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).  The Fellows visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York to learn about UNITAR’s capacity building initiatives in support of sustainable development and to hear insights from a private sector executive on how to build partnership to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the U.S. and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community.

This four-week, intensive programme consists of a four-week academic residency on Kennesaw State University (KSU) and CIFAL Atlanta campus examining civil and human rights through the lens of the U.S. civil rights movement, and a one-week educational study tour examining present-day international civil and human rights issues including immigration issues, diversity and inclusion, women’s rights, and LGBTIQ issues.

Welcome remarks were provided by Mr. Marco Suazo, Head of UNITAR New York office who highlighted the importance of youth engagement in international dialogues and in contributing to develop solutions that address sustainable development related issues.

Dr. Binbin Jiang, Director of CIFAL Atlanta introduced the programme and welcomed the young professionals visiting from Brunei, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Singapore, and the US.

Ms. Pamela Cornes, Director of Human Rights and Communities Affairs at AB InBev shared about the need for multi-stakeholder partnerships to advance the SDGs and how to build successful partnerships in support of development. Ms. Cornes also presented specific examples on how the company is implementing initiatives that promote human rights and the development of start-up projects in local communities. 

Ms. Estrella Merlos from UNITAR shared about the work of the CIFAL Global Network in strengthening capacities of local authorities and communities to promote sustainable development. Also, presented UNITAR’s road safety global initiative that aims to contribute to reduce road traffic crashes through education and capacity building. 


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