UNA-USA and U.S. Department of State Break New Ground with First-Ever U.S. Youth Observer at the United Nations

Boston College student will head to New York to make the U.S. youth voice heard on international stage

September 21, 2012
WASHINGTON – The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and the U.S. Department of State are giving one U.S. student the chance of a lifetime; a chance to see the United Nations in action, in person, during the UN General Assembly and other high-profile UN events. Brooke Loughrin, a student at Boston College and originally from the Seattle area, was named the first-ever U.S. Youth Observer at the UN; she will report on her experiences to peers and the entire world in the coming weeks.

“UNA-USA is launching an unprecedented program today that connects young people with the United Nations,” said UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden. “While other countries have sent youth representatives to the UN over the years, now young people in the U.S. will have a voice at the United Nations General Assembly for the first time. Today, the next generation of global engagement takes a huge leap forward.”

More than 730 people applied to be the U.S. Youth Observer; 47 U.S. states were represented, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Student applicants hailed from 236 different colleges and universities around the country.

The U.S. Youth Observer program is a new effort to empower young voices on the global stage. In addition to attending meetings, the U.S. Youth Observer will travel to speak to UNA-USA Chapters around the country, blog, tweet, and discuss their experiences with the media and the general public, and advise UNA-USA on potential future youth roles at the United Nations.

Loughrin will attend events in New York City during UN General Assembly week, as well as a number of side events around the Social, Humanitarian Cultural Affairs Committee (Third Committee) of the General Assembly in October. The U.S. Youth Observer position is a pilot program of the U.S. Department of State. For more information on the U.S. Youth Observer program, please visit www.unausa.org/usyouth.

 To schedule an interview with the Youth Observer, please contact Joseph Catapano at jcatapano@unausa.org, or 202.294.9322.

Watch the Youth Observer promotional video at http://youtu.be/UzO5j4uwm9k.

Tweet This: @unausa, @StateDept, @usun & @State_IO announce the first-ever @USYouthObserver at the #UN! Meet the winner: http://bit.ly/RqEC2s

Congrats to @USYouthObserver Brooke Loughrin from @BostonCollege at being named the 1st #USYouth Observer at the #UN! http://bit.ly/RqEC2s


Media Contact
Joseph Catapano


The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation. UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world. Learn more about UNA-USA’s programs and initiatives at www.unausa.org

In addition to the Youth Observer to the UN program, UNA-USA supports students’ interest beyond the borders of their neighborhoods, cities, and countries every year with the Global Classrooms Model UN program, which engages more than 25,000 students in UN simulations every year.


The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

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