Former UEA student represents young people at United Nations General Assembly

A former UEA student has beaten hundreds of other applicants to represent the country’s young people

A former UEA student has beaten hundreds of other applicants to represent the country’s young people at the United Nations. Takyiwa Danso, 23, studied international development at UEA, and now has the chance to accompany the International Development Secretary Priti Patel to the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. - Credit: Marisol Grandon

A former UEA student has beaten hundreds of other applicants to represent the country's young people at the United Nations.

Takyiwa Danso, 23, studied international development at the UEA, graduating in 2014.

And now she has the chance to accompany the International Development Secretary Priti Patel to the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Alongside 18-year-old Minhaz Abedin from Leeds, Miss Danso was selected for the role after a rigorous application and interview process.

Her task while she is there will be to ensure the voices of UK young people are heard at the decision-making table on the world's biggest issues, a subject Miss Danso is passionate about.


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Miss Danso, from Tottenham, will attend events focusing on tackling extreme poverty, boosting women's economic empowerment and strengthening global security and will demonstrate the power of including young people in the decision-making process to world leaders at the Summit.

She said: 'Young people are part of the solution to tackling the biggest development issues. We're not here to judge or blame the older generation, we just want to get on with it and lead the way to create a better society for our future generation – world leaders just need to give us the space to do so.'

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It's not the first time Miss Danso has taken part in development activism. In the past she volunteered in Kenya with the International Citizens Service programme, which is supported by UK Aid, and she travelled to Paris last December to participate in the COP21 climate change negotiations.

She now wants to make sure as many young people from all backgrounds have the same opportunities available to them and is a mentor through the International Volunteering Opportunities for All scheme, encouraging young people to be more engaged in decision-making.

This is the second year youth delegates have attended UNGA.

It was opened on September 13 and Miss Danso will be in New York until Sunday. She has been tweeting throughout the assembly, and can be found on Twitter @Tatch09.

Head of School for International Development at UEA, Dr John McDonagh, said: 'Takyiwa was a great student to have in the School of International Development, extremely motivated and hard working. We are thrilled to learn that she has been selected over so many other applicants to join this delegation. We are certain she will do an excellent job of representing the UK and UEA in these meetings'

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