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PIA Press Release

NYC official makes history as first Filipino youth representative to UN Assembly

by Angie Costelo

Cebu City (October 15) -- After being recognized in Japan last month as one of the Outstanding Young Persons in an international search and conferred as one of Haribon Foundation's Ambassadors for Conservation, the National Youth Commissioner Michael Francis Acebedo Lopez, NYC Commissioner-at-large, made history as the first youth representative to the 62nd United Nations General Assembly held in New York recently.

The said official was part of the Philippine Delegation headed by President Arroyo who was in New York last week to address the opening of the 62nd UNGA.

Lopez's Letter of Credential, presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon by Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary Franklin M. Ebdalin, said that Lopez would be attending as Adviser of the Third Committee Plenary Session on Social Development, including questions relating to the World Social Situation and to Youth, Ageing Disabled Persons and the family on October 8-14, 2007.

The 24-year-old Cebuano official who is President Arroyo's youngest appointee has made history as the Philippines' first actual Youth Representative to the UN General Assembly. The participation of youth representatives from UN member countries to the General Assembly and other high level meetings of the UN is underscored in the UN World Programme of Action for Youth to 2000 and Beyond (WPAY) and is reiterated in several major UN resolutions and documents.

Lopez is one of the youngest in history to be a member of the Philippine Delegation to the annual UN global meeting. This is also the first time in over a decade that an official of the National Youth Commission has been sent to sit in the UN General Assembly.

Joining Lopez is Secretary Amina Rasul, NYC's very first Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer. They are the only officials of the NYC to have ever participated in the UNGA.

Last August, Lopez was also invited by the UN to represent the country in the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) Youth Policy Seminar held in Seoul, Korea to present the Philippine Country Paper on Health relative to the implementation of UN's WPAY.

When he returns from New York, he vows to develop policy as well as to seek funding for the continued participation of qualified, competent, and deserving Filipino youth in the annual UNGA and other important UN meetings and summits as mandated by the UN WPAY ad UN Resolution 60/2. (RMC/PIA 7/NYC) [top]

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