2016 WFUNA Young Leader is Zimbabwean
Peter Tanyanyiwa Cool Lifestyle Correspondent —
Zimbabwean youth Bernard Bebe has been selected as the World Federation of United Nations Associations Young Leader of 2016 following his outstanding contribution towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16.
Bernard, of the Zimbabwe United Nations Association ZUNA, was selected after a rigorous process supported by an evaluating committee composed of three members of the WFUNA Youth Advisory Council in addition to WFUNA secretariat staff.
The top three nominees were interviewed based on their contribution to the development of the UNA Leadership qualities, overall work on peace and security issues and their strong understanding of elements contained in UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.
Bernard had been actively involved in the field of peace for a year In 2013 he joined UNA-Zimbabwe whilst he was a second-year student at Bindura University of Science Education.
He is in the national team responsible for organising Peace Day in Zimbabwe through a coalition of peace activists from both civil society and the Government.
Currently, he is working to proactively counter religious conflicts through a programme called Religious Tolerance in which he is working mostly with different religious groups in Zimbabwe to cultivate a culture of peace.
Bernard works mostly with youths from high schools and universities. He has also been actively involved in ending gender based violence against women and girls.
He is also a trained human rights activist who has a keen interest in promoting women rights.
Speaking after the nomination Bernard said he was humbled by the recognition from such a renowned world body.
“This shows that the world is now appreciating the efforts of youths and at the same time taping into their potential,” he said.
“UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security has empowered us youths to step up our efforts in bringing about peace in our community therefore I will continue towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal number 16 which focus on promoting peace, justice and strong institutions.
“My message to other youths out there is that lets use our time to volunteer and bring positive change to our community especially in as far as these sustainable development goals are concerned because we are the SDG Generation,” said Bebe.
WFUNA supports and encourages youth engagement and participation in the United Nations Associations and United Nations Youth Associations around the world through the WFUNA Youth Network.
Every year, WFUNA sets a theme and calls for nominations for young people from the WFUNA Youth Network working within that theme.
From the nominations, the WFUNA secretary-general and WFUNA youth advisory council select three young leaders to be interviewed.
After each nominee is interviewed, a final candidate will be selected as the WFUNA young leader of the year. A WFUNA young leader of the year has to be able to inspire other youth to be involved in global issues.