Unveiling Boundless Horizons: My Unforge5able Journey at the AFS Intercultural Youth Assembly in New York City

New York City, known for being the city that never sleeps, showcases an extraordinary blend of human ingenuity and limitless energy. Its towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and diverse cultural landscape serve as a testament to the marvels of modern urban living. Little did I know, an enlightening journey awaited me at the AFS Intercultural Youth Assembly, nestled within this bustling metropolis. This experience deepened my connection with the city and honed essential skills such as public speaking, communication, and self-confidence.

Upon my arrival to the vibrant streets of New York City, a wave of exhilaration and eagerness washed over me. I had journeyed there to participate in the 28th Youth Assembly as a delegate, an event that united youthful intellects from across the globe. The assembly’s theme, “Igniting a Breakthrough to a Better Future through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” struck a chord with my fellow participants. Despite our varying origins and traditions, we all held a shared dream that bound us together. This instilled in me a feeling of being a part of something potent and significant.

The atmosphere in the assembly was electric as delegates worldwide united with a common purpose. Guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a palpable sense of hope and determination filled the room. This exceptional gathering demonstrated the power of young global citizens joining forces to effect positive change in their communities and beyond.

One of the most unforgettable experiences of our journey was touring the United Nations headquarters. As an individual with a deep interest in Politics and International Relations, it was an incredible opportunity to visit such a historically significant location. Observing global diplomacy in motion and wandering through the corridors profoundly impacted my outlook.

The AFS Youth Assembly was a truly engaging experience, featuring captivating workshops and stimulating discussions. As the event progressed, I became fully immersed in sessions that expanded my understanding of global issues and honed my communication skills. Collaborating with others in workshops like the IOM, we gained practical knowledge on tackling complex challenges young people face today. These workshops brought to life the assembly’s mission of empowering young minds to develop practical solutions.

I was particularly impressed by a workshop dedicated to the UN Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Under the guidance of a UN Representative, we delved into the intricate details of implementing this agenda, touching on key themes such as localization, gender-sensitive budgeting, and feminist foreign policy. This interactive experience challenged us to craft inclusive policies that can effectively dismantle systemic obstacles while promoting advancements in areas such as human rights, decision-making, and peace negotiations.

It reminded me that working towards a common goal can inspire positive change wherever I go.

The AFS Intercultural Youth Assembly was a source of hope in a world facing countless obstacles. Our forward progress is fostered by the coming together of diverse minds working together to create a better world. This transformation journey affirms the ageless adage that united efforts can produce monumental change, no matter how modest. Reflecting on my time in New York City, I am reminded that we can strive for a brighter tomorrow by breaking through barriers as a team.

Saba Malik

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