Antigua and Barbuda is one of the nations that has been selected to participate in the first-ever President of the General Assembly’s Harnessing Opportunities for Promoting Empowerment of Youth Fellowship (the PGA’s Fellowship for HOPE).
The unique Fellowship was launched by His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, the 76th President of the UN General Assembly.
The PGA’s Fellowship for HOPE is designed to promote youth engagement in multilateralism and support the next generation of diplomats, particularly from underrepresented countries at the United Nations. In this vein, President Abdulla shared, “… as a small-islander who has seen and experiences the struggles of so many countries in keeping up with the rest of the world on the diplomatic state, I know that they will walk away with knowledge and skills to support their nations as true multilateralist”.
The chosen young diplomat from Antigua and Barbuda is Mr. Javier Spencer, who presently serves as a Foreign Service Officer within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade of Antigua and Barbuda. Along with seven other young diplomats, he was selected by an independent three-member selection panel consisting of one member state, a representative of the UN system, and a representative of the Civil Society Organization.
Mr. Spencer arrived in New York in early January and was welcomed by H.E. Aubrey Webson, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations, the team from the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA), and the team from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Upon official commencement of the Fellowship, Mr. Spencer expressed his profound gratitude to UNITAR and the OPGA for the opportunity.
“I hope that this fellowship will allow me to learn and contribute to the work of the United Nations”, Spencer said. In turn, Ambassador Webson echoed similar sentiments. “I am pleased with Antiguans and Barbudans getting access to programs like the HOPE Fellowship. This would expose young nationals to work of the UN and multilateralism and further strengthen our country’s foreign service”, Webson emphasized.
The PGA’s Fellowship for HOPE is the first of its kind that was developed in collaboration with UNITAR. The Fellowship will allow all of its participants to gain a deeper understanding of the United Nations system through their work in the Office of the PGA. Fellows will work on a wide range of thematic issues affecting the world today. T
hey will be attached on a rotation basis with the teams of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA) – Peace & Security; Human Rights; Humanitarian; Sustainable Development; Reform, Legal & Budget; and Communications.