International Solidarity Forum: The US, the UN, and the Journey of a Dream

Three weeks ago,DSCF0772 I participated as part of the Asia Pacific Delegation for the 2015 International Solidarity Forum (ISF) held at the World Youth Alliance Headquarters and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

I flew a long way from Jakarta to New York for approximately 24 hours onboard. But the jetlag never bogged me down as this trip marked one of the most monumental histories in my life fulfilling my two fairy-tale dreams into reality: stepping foot at the United Nations and the United States.

I was really honored to be a participant at the ISF. I learned how young people can be pioneers of positive change in development by active involvement in the WYA’s work.  The forum embraced several new perspectives on how the health issues should be address at the center of authentic development, and encouraged the participation of the youth as an educated group to be able to voice out the primary needs of young people in their country and region through a universal declaration.

Prior to the ISF, my university organization hosted an international event in Indonesia to promote the rights of person with disabilities and help promote the demands actualize an inclusive and equitable education for them. During the ISF I had the opportunity to represent Indonesia and express this same concern as well. It was such an honor for me to be able to contribute to the declaration.

Meanwhile my experience at the United Nations was tremendous. I was able to socialize with WYA Directors, Fellows, and Friends from all around the world and also have remarkable rendezvous with some key figures from the UN Diplomatic Community. I believe these experiences will play as the central parts in the pursuit of my study plan and career path in the following years. During the last day of our ISF at the UN, Nadja, a WYA Advocacy fellow toured us around the UN Headquarters to observe the diplomatic activities within each council. During that moment, I was able to witness directly the process of negotiation in the UN Trusteeship Council. I was really motivated and I realized that today modern diplomacy has already been set for youth.

I believe that after this involvement with WYAHQ and the ISF, I will be able to spread some positive energy to my country and my community for a vision towards a better world.

During my last two days in the US, I  spent some time going around New York with my co-delegate Graciella to see the marvelous Brooklyn Bridge and Wall Street. We also went to the iconic Times Square to taste some American cuisine. I completed my journey by visiting the famous Statue of Liberty.

I praised and never stopped praising to God for making this happen. Visiting this wonderful country and the United Nations, and being able to make friends with outstanding young leaders across the globe was a fairy tale dream come true. Today, with God willing, the momentum is picking up. As I write this article, I would like to thank all WYA members for receiving me in their home and making me a friend and  part of a family. I believe one day I will return back to the “Big Apple“ in pursuit of a greater dream.

By Satria Rizaldi Alchatib, former intern of WYA Asia Pacific. To read more about the ISF 2015, click here. To read the Declaration on Health and Education, click here.