Culminating in a keynote speech for the United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum, Rakoen has traversed all levels of youth engagement. With his youth leadership experience and contacts in United Nations youth platforms at the local level, national level, and international level, he is here to give unique insights into the best practices for a thriving Youth Platform and its long-term strategic planning. Rakoen provided the initial spark of the idea of a Youth Platform and Youth Delegate Programme in the UK, and has had a key founding role since the beginning. He is now here as an advisor to help this project grow and to get it established in a sustainable fashion with long-term focus, as well as to make sure it is connected to the international opportunities through WFUNA and UN youth engagement initiatives.
As an NGO representative of the World Esperanto Youth Organisation and the Universal Esperanto Association to the United Nations, Rakoen has had leading roles in multiple United Nations youth platforms. He has been an active contributor in and liaison between UNAs in Belgium, the Flemish Youth Council, the European Youth Forum, the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations, the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee, and the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum. He worked together to organise side events during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development of the United Nations together with UN Youth Delegates of several countries. Rakoen also co-founded Ghent Model United Nations and was its first Director-General. Aside of his United Nations activities, Rakoen is pursuing his PhD in Psychology at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the influence of misinformation and the creation of a ‘cognitive vaccine’ against fake news. He has a particular interest in depolarisation and intercultural understanding, and has a keen interest in the appreciation and conservation of nature and culture. He is currently Vice President of External Affairs at CUUNA, the Cambridge University United Nations Association.