Leeds lad heads Stateside for United Nations meet-up
A politically charged teenager from Leeds has been tasked with taking the voice and views of the UK youth to the heart of the United Nations this year as he heads across the pond to New York City.
Minhaz Abedin was selected from thousands of young people throughout the country to act as one of the UK’s two official youth delegates at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September.
The 18-year-old former Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) student has been involved with politics ever since he was just 10-years-old when he lobbied his local MP.
In the years following, he has been engaged in community and youth work, both locally and regionally.
From speaking at the Dispatch Box of the House of Commons twice to representing the views of millions of young people via televised news reports and newspaper articles — his work as a Member of Youth Parliament has set the foundations for his journey to represent UK youth at the UNGA this September.
Speaking about the opportunity in front of him, he said: “I’ve seen how difficult it is to reach out to young people, because the Global Goals are a daunting topic for everyone.
“But if we break it down, we can let young people know that each Global Goal is independent. That is how we will make change, by allowing passionate young people to be the driving force.”
As well as attending the official UNGA, Minhaz will also help co-ordinate the visit of around 400 young people to the UN headquarters, as part of his work with the World Merit Organisation.
International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, said it was imperative that the UK’s youth have the opportunity to express their views on an international scale.
“More than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30, so we must invest in their future by creating jobs and growth across the world,” she said.
“The UK is leading the way in putting youth high on the agenda and other countries must now step up to the plate and take young people as seriously as we do in our global efforts to secure a safer and more prosperous future for all.”
Minhaz will be accompanied to the General Assembly with fellow youth delegate, 23-year-old Takyiwa Danso, from Tottenham.