WYA Releases New Declaration on Good Governance and Human Flourishing

March 25-28, 2019 NEW YORK CITY – World Youth Alliance recently concluded its 16th International Solidarity Forum on Good Governance and Human Flourishing at the World Youth Alliance and United Nations Headquarters.

The International Solidarity Forum (ISF) is WYA’s annual training event. The ISF brought together 43 World Youth Alliance members from Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, and North America. The 2019 theme “Good Governance and Human Flourishing” opened discussions on the Foundations of Good Governance, Education and Health for a Thriving Society, and the relationship between Human Dignity, Good Governance, and Inclusive Development. After listening to the experts, WYA delegates then negotiated an outcome document articulating WYA’s views on the topics mentioned above.


Caroline Shisubili Maingi is currently pursuing a Masters of Applied Philosophy and Ethics (MAPE) at Strathmore University, and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences degree majoring in Political Science. Caroline developed an interest in philosophy and languages while working for the World Youth Alliance, Africa chapter, of which she was the founder. She has worked on policy matters at the UN and in Kenya. She is a junior scholar passionate about understanding the ontological foundation of social issues and has major interest in family and children issues. Her current research projects are on the same. She is fluent in English and Swahili. She also has basic knowledge of French and Spanish. Aside from academics, Caroline engages in book clubs, moderates family development courses and plans and coordinates events.

Mark Shiffman is the Chair of the Department of Humanities at Villanova University, where he teaches interdisciplinary courses in the humanities, including classical studies, social and political theory, and philosophy. His researches focus on the transformations of the disciplines of knowledge in the west from the Greeks to the present, in both the practical (moral, economic and political) and theoretical (metaphysical, natural scientific and mathematical) fields of inquiry. He is the translator of Aristotle’s De Anima (Focus Books) and has published on Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Augustine, William of Ockham, John Locke, Simone Weil, Ralph Ellison, Wendell Berry and Rémi Brague.

Dr. Maria Sophia Aguirre is an Ordinary Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the Catholic University of America. She is the founder of the Integral Economic Development Programs at this Department. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and joined Catholic University in 1994. Professor Aguirre’s professional background also includes degrees in accounting and banking finance, earned in Argentina. She earned her undergraduate degrees, CPA and MBA in Argentina as well. Dr. Aguirre also held appointments at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Economics Department.

Nadja Wolfe joined WYA as Director of Advocacy in 2015. She oversees the organization’s advocacy efforts and serves as the main representative to the United Nations. She is a graduate of Washington and Lee University, where she majored in Russian Area Studies and Theatre Arts, and William and Mary Law School. She is a native of Massachusetts and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

Paul Catipon is the current President and CEO of Netpro Communications Inc., a security system integration company based in NY, providing CCTV surveillance, intrusion detection, and network security solutions to the major transportation companies such as the NY city subway, Metro North and Long Island Railroad, and Amtrak. Prior to leading Netpro Communications, Mr. Catipon worked as the Assistant VP and IT Manager at First Federal Bank of California, and as the Network Manager for the Brooklyn/Queens Catholic Medical Centers during the 1990’s. Mr. Catipon is a member of the commission of New Humanity’s Economy of Communion project and the Focolare Movement. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from California State Univ. at Long Beach, an MBA with concentration in Telecommunication from Keller Graduate School of Management, and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

Gabrielle Jastrebski holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She first encountered the World Youth Alliance while writing her undergraduate thesis on intersection of human dignity and international development. Her experience traveling through Europe and eastern Africa served to form her understanding of human dignity and solidarity. Before joining the World Youth Alliance team, she devoted two years to service, working for FOCUS, the Fellowship of University Students. Serving with FOCUS, she worked as a missionary to train and mentor future leaders on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. She is currently Fertility Education and Medical Management’s (FEMM’s) Global Program Officer.

Mary Imbong has helped build a culture of life, hope, and creativity through her ventures and engagement with various arts and civic action-focused organizations. She graduated in 2013 from the Ateneo de Manila University where she studied Communications and Philosophy. She started her journey with WYA as a volunteer at the WYA Asia Pacific (WYAAP) office and thereafter became a Marketing and Communications Intern at the WYA headquarters in New York City. In 2014, she worked in the creative industry with McCann Worldgroup Manila while juggling independent design and paper art projects. In 2015 she was appointed Regional Director of the WYAAP office. Outside of work, she continues her love for arts and design and enjoys spoiling her furry friends, Ninja and Gigi (cats).

Hrvoje Vargic is originally from a small town of Ðakovo in the eastern part of Croatia, but moved to Zagreb when he was 18 to pursue his studies. He holds a BA in Business and Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Zagreb. Prior to being selected as WYA Europe Regional Director, he worked as project manager for a business consultancy company. He also holds a second BA in Philosophy and has finished the MA Philosophy Program of the University of Zagreb. Hrvoje was one of the founders of the WYA Croatia Chapter in 2012, and was part of several other civic initiatives in Croatia. He has given several speeches in different symposia and conferences, published a scientific article in a peer reviewed journal, and co-authored a book on EU project management. He is happily married to Maja, who is his greatest supporter.

Countries Represented:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Guatemala
  • Kenya
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Mexico
  • the Philippines
  • United States of America

ISF Highlights

Experts in the field of the theme, including activists, businessmen, researchers, and scholastics, presented global issues to the participants. The positions expressed by the lecturers in the ISF greatly influenced the declaration made. Hosting the ISF at United Nations Headquarters allowed participants to learn about the UN system by experiencing it through attendance at concurrent UN Commissions and other meetings. As a diverse group of people from different parts of the world, delegates experienced different cultures and shared a part of themselves at the negotiations. The discussions tackled topics reflecting insights from their respective regions.

Many thanks to the Permanent Mission of St. Lucia to the United Nations for their support of this event!

The Declaration on Good Governance and Human Flourishing is now available on WYA’s Declarations page.