Category: Featured news


Run Local: A Conversation with the Young New Yorkers Changing Our Politics

Join the Robert F. Kennedy Young Leaders & the UN Youth Envoy’s Not Too Young To Run campaign for an evening of lively discussion featuring young people engaged in local politics! They’ll be speaking on the importance of civic engagement, the unique power that millennials bring to our democracy, and what it takes to dive in and get involved!

Date and time

Wed, April 5, 2017

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT


Wall Street Plaza

88 Pine Street

Suite 801

New York City, NY 10005

Panelists include:

PIERRE GOODING, candidate for New York City Council

MELISSA JANE KRONFELD, candidate for New York City Council

JOSH THOMPSON, former candidate for New York City Mayor & Senior Advisor to Mayoral Candidate Paul Massey

Moderated by: LINARA DAVIDSON, a rising star in NYC government and national campaign management.

The call for a new generation of leadership is louder than ever. It’s time we answer it. Join us!

Drinks & snacks provided.

See you there!

Register here!

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Young Leaders is a diverse community of young professionals who share a commitment to effecting change in creative and meaningful ways.

The Not Too Young to Run campaign is an open source campaign that advocates for young people’s rights to run for elected office–we believe that if you’re old enough to vote, you’re old enough to run!


MPs from IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians at the ECOSOC Youth Forum

The contribution of young people and their participation in decision-making is necessary if we are to eradicate poverty. That was one of the key points made by members of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians at the United Nations ECOSOC Global Youth Forum, held this year on The role of youth in poverty eradication and promoting prosperity in a changing world.

The young MPs participated actively in the Forum and led debates on the crucial role played by parliaments in eliminating poverty and addressing youth-specific needs and interests.

Using data from IPU’s report on 2016 Youth participation in national parliaments, which shows that less than two per cent of world parliamentarians are under 30 years old, MPs called for enhanced youth representation and participation in parliament, including through the adoption of youth quotas and opening up political deliberations to young people.

“Young women and men face significant obstacles to achieving prosperous lives, such as unemployment, inequality, discrimination and lack of access to quality education,” said Saeed Alremeithi, President of the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians. “Through the IPU Forum of Young Parliamentarians, we have sounded the alarm on the need for greater investment in youth, as well as the need for greater inclusivity of youth in political processes to help spur this effort.”

The ECOSOC Forum, held in New York on 30-31 January, was also an opportunity for young MPs to advocate the lowering of eligibility ages to run for parliament through the Not Too Young to Run campaign led by the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), IPU, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) and the European Youth Forum.

Source: IPU


Not Too Young To Run Interactive Workshop

73% of countries restrict young people from running for office, even when they can vote. We believe that if you’re old enough to vote, you’re old enough to run.

Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, 31 January, for an interactive workshop on the recently launched Not Too Young to Run Campaign to hear directly from young elected representatives and learn how you can launch a local chapter of the campaign in your community!

Workshop: Not Too Young to Run
When: Tuesday 31 January, 13:00-14:30 EST
Where: Conference Room 11, United Nations Headquarters

The event will feature presentations by the campaign’s key partners, introducing a brief workshop on localizing the campaign, as well as the case study of the Not Too Young to Run campaign in Nigeria, including the campaign’s approach, roadmap, advocacy strategy, and network of young supporters.

Learn more about the Not Too Young to Run Campaign here!

Register for the event at


Launching Global Campaign Promoting Right of Young People To Run for Public Office

Today the global campaign Not Too Young To Run was launched at the first United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law taking place at United Nations Geneva.

The campaign, launched by a partnership consisting of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the European Youth Forum (EYF) and the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), aims to elevate the promotion of young people’s right to run for public office and address the wide-spread issue of age discrimination.

“Young people have every right to be active participants in civic and public life and it is time to ensure they no longer face arbitrary barriers to run for public office – whether at the local, regional or national level,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi. “Through the Not Too Young To Run campaign, my office will work with partners around the world to raise awareness about the issue of age discrimination and promote and expand the rights of young people to run for public office.”

In a rapidly changing world where more than 50 percent of the population is under 30, but less than 2 percent of elected legislators are, the campaign highlights that the active participation of young people in electoral politics is essential to thriving and representative democracies worldwide. The campaign emphasizes young people’s rights to engage fully in the democratic process, including the right of young people to run for office themselves.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said: “Younger generations are not adequately represented in formal political institutions such as Parliaments, political parties and public administrations. This leads many to feel leadership and policymaking are reserved for an élite. A society that does not fully respect everyone’s equal right to participate is fundamentally unsound. The right to express opinions – including criticism – and to participate in public affairs are essential to ensuring state institutions are accountable, grounded in service to the people.”

“If young people are not too young to get married, to serve in the military or to choose the parliamentarians who will represent them, they are Not Too Young To Run,” said IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong. “IPU calls for the age at which people may run for political office to be aligned with the legally permitted voting age. IPU Member Parliaments agreed to this in 2010 when they adopted a resolution on youth participation in the democratic process. If more young MPs were elected, there would be more role models from whom young people could take their lead and engage in politics. The time has come to increase youth representation in politics and we are happy to join forces with the United Nations Envoy on Youth in this endeavor,” he added.

The campaign brings to scale the movement of the same name that was started by YIAGA in Nigeria. The campaign will showcase young leaders in elected positions and inspire young people to run for office themselves.

Over its course, the campaign will gather inputs and ideas from young people around the world through a series of online activities and engagements, while providing a platform and resources for national campaigns to flourish.

Johanna Nyman, President of the European Youth Forum, said: “We’re delighted to support the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth’s in the Not Too Young To Run campaign. Young people bring the fresh ideas and innovation to politics that are sorely needed! In an era when young people are turning away from traditional politics, we must all work together to increase youth participation in politics and to encourage political parties to welcome younger candidates and young people to run for political office. If the last few months of global political upheaval have taught us anything, it should be that politics needs young people more than ever and that young people do care passionately about the decisions made about their future.”

Samson Itodo, the Executive Director of YIAGA, said: “Any country guided by the principles of inclusion, freedom, equality and justice must ensure the full participation of young people in the electoral process. The passage of the #NotTooYoungToRun bill in Nigeria is the first step towards ensuring democratic consolidation and sustainable development.”

The campaign kicked off at a side event at United Nations Geneva during the first Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, which this year focuses on the theme of “Widening the Democratic Space: The Role of Youth in Public Decision-making.”

Follow the conversation online with #NotTooYoungToRun!

For media inquiries, please contact: Trevor Gowan:

Source: UN Youth Envoy