75 for 75: The most comprehensive discussion on the role of global cooperation in building a better future for youth, 75 minutes for 75 years
From January 2020, which starts the 75th anniversary year of the Organization, the UN is working with partners to initiate dialogues within and across borders, sectors, and generations. The aim is to reach as many people as possible: to listen to their hopes and fears; learn from their experiences; and empower them to think and act globally.
YMCA is joining this initiative in partnership with the United Nations Kosovo Team by creating an open platform for stakeholders of the youth sector in Kosovo.
This is the first event of our series. Our first event is called “75 for 75” meaning 75 minutes of discussion for 75 years with the main focus on youth.
Our panelists will share their perspective for the future of young people and what their institutions are doing to support youth locally and globally.
#UN75 #YMCA #Kosovo
Mr. Besnik Leka
Experienced over the 15 years in Nonprofit Organizations, Youth Development, Gender Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion, with a higher focus on Men and masculinity.
In addition, part of his work includes fighting interpersonal and gender-based violence by improving gender equality.
Has a master degree in Sociology at the University of Prishtina and Professional Certificate on Women’s and gender studies at Dartmouth College. Leka has served as a steering committee member of MenEngage Europe and board member of Kosovo women’s network.
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. She is the youngest senior official in the UN and the first woman to hold this position. In this role, Jayathma works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security, and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General.
In November 2019 Jayathma was recognized by Time Magazine in the list of “Time 100 Next: Rising stars shaping the future”
Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation, and has played a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country.
Prior to taking up her post, Ms. Wickramanayake was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women in Sri Lanka named “Hashtag Generation”. Previously, she advocated for global youth development on an international level including as the first ever Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the United Nations and as the youth lead negotiator and member of the International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 where she played a critical role in mainstreaming youth in the Post-2015 Process and in the establishment of World Youth Skills Day.
Ms. Ulrika Richardson, Development Coordinator in Kosovo
The Development Coordinator is the highest-ranking representative of the United Nations Development System in Kosovo. The RC is the designated representative of – and reports to – the UN Secretary-General.
Ulrika has the overall role of team-leading the United Nations Kosovo Team (UNKT) and ensuring the coordination of UN support to Kosovo in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda, through strategic leadership and guidance. The DC is advised and supported by the Development Coordinators Office (DCO).
Ulrika is a Swedish nationality and worked within the UN system for over 25 years in different locations including, Cape Verde, Cuba, Turkey, and other locations.
Mr. Engelbert Zefaj, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports in Kosovo
Mr. Engelbert Zefaj holds the position of Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports - Republic of Kosovo.
From 1999 he worked briefly in the Italian international organization "CICA", where he had an administrative role in the program for services for people with disabilities. During the years 2000 and 2001, he worked as a civilian assistant and translator at the KFOR Command in Peja.
Since November 2001, he has been the director of the Venice Caritas mission in Kosovo, where for 12 years he has led youth integration and development programs. In November 2013, he started working in the executive of the municipality of Peja in the position of director for culture, youth and sports, which he held until his transfer to the post of deputy minister. He is an external lecturer at Dukagjini College - UBT in Peja.
He is certified in Information Technology by the CISCO Academy and ECDL and is certified by the OSCE and ICITAP / DoJ for Community Policing as an expert and as a coach.
Ms. Dorina Davies, National General Secretary of YMCA in Kosovo
Dorina has worked for various institutions such as the Youth Center, GPDC, OSCE, UNDP, and others and has 19 years of experience in the youth sector aiming to strengthen the role of youth in the country's strategic and international development policies with a special focus on investments and right to rights in non-formal education for youth.
Dorina from 2008 is the National General Secretary for the YMCA office in Kosovo and is part of the YMCA World representative team at the United Nations, specifically the Youth Forum of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York for a two-year term addressing the importance of investment and improving the lives of 1.8 billion young people worldwide. She also this year volunteered at the international organization Ys Men International as an International Director for Youth Involvement in various programs.
Ms. Marigona Shabiu, Executive Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo
Marigona Shabiu joined Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo (YIHR KS) in October 2017 in the position of Executive Director. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs with specializations in Nonprofit Management and International Development from Indiana University Bloomington. She has obtained her Bachelor degree in Political Science at the University of Prishtina and a Bachelor degree in Public Administration at the International Business College Mitrovica.
While doing her graduate studies, she completed a three-month internship at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In 2014, Ms. Shabiu co-founded the non-governmental organization KAND - Center for Social and Cultural Development, and held the position of Executive Director for three years. She has more than eight years of experience in the civil society sector working as a youth coordinator and youth worker with different local and international NGOs.
Ms. Shabiu is a certified educator on education for human rights with young people by the Council of Europe. Furthermore, she has attended many training courses, conferences, seminars, and workshops in the field of human rights, intercultural dialogue, peace education, peacebuilding, and social inclusion in Europe and Asia.