New Bulgarian UN Youth Delegates to Promote Active Civic Participation

The promotion of active civic participation is the focus of United Nations activities, the new Bulgarian youth delegates Kosta Karakashyan and Alexander Yanev told BTA. The two won the national competition at the Bulgarian Youth Delegates to the United Nations programme, which was created and coordinated by the United Nations Association of Bulgaria, with the support of the Foreign Ministry.

Before the UN, Kosta and Alexander will present the challenges that young people people in Bulgaria face and will look for solutions together with their foreign colleagues to improve the living conditions of young people around the world.

Among the main topics traditionally addressed are education, health and ecology, they pointed out. Kosta Karakashyan, who is a director and choreographer, and Alexander Yanev, who works in the field of information technology, will use their professional experience to look at the problems from different angles.

“Access to education and employment is one of the leading priorities we have identified,” commented Karakashian. The issue of environmental protection is closely related to the very goals of sustainable development that the UN sets, he added, pointing out that in his practice as an artist this topic is often touched upon through partnerships with Green Peace and WWF.

“The most important goal is to reach as many young people as possible in all parts of the country, so that when we finish our mandate, they will be ready to start their own initiatives,” Karakashyan summarized.

Every year, a national survey is conducted among young people in Bulgaria, Yanev said. Through it, the youth delegates try to identify the priority issues and challenges. “Based on the results, we usually choose three leading priorities and focus our work on them,” he explained.

Youth delegates are sent to New York at least twice a year – for the UN General Assembly Third Committee and for a meeting of the UN Commission for Social Development. They negotiate the youth resolution, make speeches on behalf of Bulgaria, participate in accompanying events, said Todor Rogoshev, coordinator of the Bulgarian Youth Delegates to the UN programme. He recalled that at the United Nations Economic and Social Forum in February, Victoria Savova and Tsvetelina Garelova organized an event to ban unpaid internships.

Karakashian and Yanev assured that they will be proactive and listen to the voice of young Bulgarians. They aim to find the right solutions. It was this request of theirs that played a key role in their selection as youth delegates.

The idea of how the education system can become more open to creative ways of working excites Karakashian the most. He said he is interested in ways young people can become more active citizens and express themselves through art.

“I have an eye on the labour market, digital transformation and the introduction of artificial intelligence. These are usually topics that directly or indirectly affect the labour market and the perspective of young people in it,” said Alexander Yanev. He sees an opportunity in his role as a youth delegate to work on a vision of how innovations in business can be an opportunity for the realization of young people, and not a threat. Yanev believes that his professional experience can be useful in developing the relevant mechanisms for a better perspective for young people.

The newly elected delegates will have a passive mandate and for the first six months they will be guided by the current delegates, Victoria Savova and Tsvetelina Garelova. In their active mandate, which lasts 12 months, Kosta Karakashyan and Alexander Yanev will work on popularizing their chosen topics themselves. The competition also selected back-up youth delegates – Galin Kostov and Delyan Balev.