The UNA Youth Platform is a collaborative national project bringing together all youth UNAs, MUN societies, and other relevant youth clubs, societies, and organisations across the United Kingdom.
Having been founded as an independent youth initiative at the UNA-UK's Together First Summit in November 2019 by five youth UNA branches - (Cambridge University UNA, Canterbury UNA, East Anglia University UNA, Oxford Brookes UNA, and Sheffield UNA) - wanting to establish the UN Youth Delegate Programme in the UK - we have since then grown to a network of 35+ youth UNAs & Model UN societies across the country.
Our historical roots trace back over the span of two decades, with our forefathers - UNA Youth - the UNA-UK's official youth wing up till its recent inactivity and disappearance in 2015-2016, and UNYSA-UK, which preceded and rebranded to UNA Youth in 2011, and originally campaigned for UN Youth Delegate Programme in the UK, a goal we most fervently share.
OUR CORE OBJECTIVES
As an organisation built for the purpose of bringing together interested in the workings of the United Nations, it serves three core functions within the broad spectrum of associations in the UK:
NATIONAL YOUTH DISCUSSION BODY
To provide a national landscape for the discussion of international issues relevant to youth, pertaining both to the UK, and to the international community. To this end, UNA-YP will host national events and campaigns to raise awareness of the United Nations and its remit. The launch of UNA-YP coincides with the UN75 campaign, a global initiative to initiate dialogues within and across borders, sectors and generations. This comes at a critical juncture where the very notion of international solidarity has been jeopardised by global crises and strident nationalism. UNA-YP will be a locus for discussion and debate for youth across the United Kingdom.
UN YOUTH DELEGATE PROGRAMME IN THE UK
To campaign for the establishment of the UK's official UN Youth Delegate Programme, and once established, take an active role in the selection process for a young person to join the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Delegation to the UN General Assembly. As a founding member of the United Nations, and a member with a permanent seat on the Security Council, UNA-YP believes that UK should set an example to others by including youth delegates in their missions.
SUPPORTING THE UK MODEL UN CIRCUIT
To position itself as a national body to discuss best practices, issues and developments pertaining to the UK Model UN circuit of conferences, and provide support by whatever means possible to local youth MUN and UN-related societies, associations and groups to aid their expansion and development. The UK MUN circuit has been a benchmark for informed, realistic simulations of international diplomacy, being home to renowned conferences such as London International MUN (LIMUN) and Cambridge University International MUN (CUIMUN).
The UNA-YP therefore commits itself to building national and international support for, and understanding of, global youth issues addressed through the United Nations and its agencies. It also undertakes to support UNA-UK by partaking in the Association’s national campaigns; educating and promoting greater understanding of the role, functions and potential of the United Nations, its agencies and its Charter, with special attention to the Sustainable Development Goals; furthering the ideals, principles and objectives of the United Nations and empowering youth to become involved in its realisation, reform and development.