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REPORT ON THE FOURTH ANNUAL GLOBAL YOUTH DIPLOMACY CONFERENCE, TOGO 2019 (GYDC 2019)

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Date: August 7 – 11, 2019
Venue: Centre Diocesain Monseigneur Seshie, Kpalime – Togo

The National Executive Management Team of the Togo branch of the International Model Diplomats for Integrated Development (IMDID), which is headed by Dr. Koffi Abotchi, and Dr. Damien Kouvahey serving as their patron hosted the 4th Global Youth Diplomacy Conference 2019 (GYDC 2019) at Kpalime – Togo from the 7th to 11th of August, 2019; under the theme – Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This year’s conference hosted 119 residential and non-residential invited and selected participants including speakers, officials, delegates, volunteers, performers and other auxiliary staffs from Togo, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Sudan, The Gambia, Mali and Guinea. International delegates were welcomed at the conference venue on 6th August, 2019.

The Kpalime Conference was successful with the immense support, partnership and presence of organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme, TechAide Global, Bluhen Management Services, NEM Engineering Company Limited, Kingdom of Hope Foundation, NK Photography, Togo Television, African Business School, Morgan International Community School, The Office of the Former Prime Minister of Togo, and The Office of the District Council of Kpalime providing police security to ensure the safety of participants at the event.

IMDID as a youth volunteering organization is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth and the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth. As such, the organization involves ideas from these organizations to ensure the effective planning of each event which is geared towards youth development and capacity building.

This important event aims to achieve the following specific objectives:
Provide an interdisciplinary platform for tertiary students, young employees, researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of diplomacy and corporate leadership.

To exchange, share experience and build lasting network among participants, and promote collaboration and professional interaction among delegates.

Discuss ways in which participants can accelerate progress and instill thinking, writing, dialogue, cooperation, friendship, and other social practices.

Encourage people to actively engage in the community work and inspire, educate and connect young global leaders.

Call on delegates to unite in order to solve any problem, reach any goal, and achieve great new heights—together.

Identify, recognize, and award young Africans who are pursuing excellence, and to create a platform that recognizes, promotes and rewards young achievers because they represent the future of Africa

Day One (1)
On Wednesday, August 7, 2019 domestic delegates, official and volunteers arrived at the conference venue and went through the necessary registration process for their conference materials and allocated rooms for accommodation.

At 2:30 p.m., conference officials held a brief meeting, followed by training for delegates on the United Nations General Assembly procedures and orientation on all activities of the event. As part of the activities on the 7th August, 2019, the Festival of Peace which is also a ceremony to welcome participants took off at 7:00 p.m. This ceremony was chaired by Mrs. Sokhna Maryama Thiam, the CEO of African Business School, Mali and co-chaired by Dr. Linus Annobil Addo of the Kingdom of Hope Foundation in Ghana. The host country Director, Dr. Koffi Abotchi in his welcome speech expressed his joy to have participants from 10 countries in Togo to experience the culture and lifestyle of his country. The Conference Director, Ms. Patricia Tinkorang took the chance to introduce partners and countries that was present; showing her profound appreciation for their presence. The Festival of Peace was very colorful, full of cultural and artistic performance from the host country to showcase their culture, geopolitical presentations and speeches advocating and challenging participants to stand for peace. As part of that program, candle lighting in a solemn moment in memory of people who have perished in wars and civil conflicts was led by the Executive Director of IMDID, Mr. Gilbert Reinall Addo with a consolidated speech on international peace and solidarity to show the unity and peace within and among member countries. The festival ended with a dance performance by each of the 10 countries present at the event.

Day Two (2)
The Grand Symposium on August 8, 2019 featured guests speakers for diplomatic and leadership lectures including Professor Komla Messan Nubukpo – the former Minister of Higher Education and Research in Togo, His Excellency Kwassi Klutse – the former Prime Minister of Togo who was represented by his assistant Mr. Kokou Oganto Ananze, Mr. Macta Fall – the Deputy Director of the United Nations Development Programme in Togo who was also represented by Mrs. Jeanne Bougonou, Mrs. Sokhna Maryama Thiam – the CEO of African Business School in Mali, and Dr. Linus Annobil Addo, who’s the CEO of Kingdom of Hope Foundation in Ghana.

In a welcome speech delivered by the Executive Director of IMDID, Mr. Gilbert Reinall Addo, he stated the story of Africa’s worrisome youth unemployment which is often told alongside the story of the continent’s fast and steady economic growth. He added that six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in sub-Saharan Africa, and the unemployment rate for that region is 6%, according to the AfDB. While concluding, he challenged the youth to be fearless, unbiased and undistorted to make Africa work again.

The guest speakers at the symposium each addressed key areas for partnership and collaboration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the engagement of community leaders and the role of the youth in ensuring it achievement. Professor Nubukpo in his presentation cautioned participants to be mindful of the complete adaptation of certain cultures and values which influences them negatively to go astray. He added that education is a tool to develop an individual and the renewed awareness collection – developing critical thinking, is about generating ideas to use those tools to change circumstances. He announced the need for adjustment due to the fact that one change comes and pushes out the other one because of modality.

At exactly 02:00 p.m. conference delegates after lunch and brief siesta, and dressed in their unique conference T-Shirt moved to the conference hall for the SDG Group Sessions. Delegates were placed in divided group of 17, with each group working on one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To effectively begin the implementation of Agenda 2030, access to knowledge and information will be essential for delegates and leaders to design well-informed and effective policies and strategies. Profiting from the presence of a broad range of participants attending the GYDC, the SDGs Learning, Training and Practice sessions – a capacity building, networking and experience-sharing event, with group leaders and to discuss crucial topics related to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs. The group session was aimed to provide a strategic vision and practical knowledge to participants on how to find effective sustainable solutions for their community, be it a country, city, village or neighbourhood.

The Mentorship Session at 05:00 p.m. received Mr. Maxwell Beganim – the International Relations Director of IMDID and an educationist, Mrs. Sokhna Maryama Thiam – the CEO of African Business School and a communication consultant, Mr. David Gathe – the CEO for Gathe Works Institute, Professor Camille Agbati – the Director of TMSU and a professor in renewable energy and environmental science in Togo, Mr. Ferdinand Kpomgbe – a youth counselor and Dr. Linus Annobil Addo – an accountant, lecturer and the CEO of Kingdom of Hope Foundation in Ghana. Delegates were once again divided into six groups, each group having a mentor and moderator. This session is an informal conversation between a moderator and an invited mentor, with attendees in a traditionally casual setting. Delegates were given the chance to ask questions related to lifestyle and career.

Day Three (3)
At 08:00 a.m. on August 9, the CEO of TechAide Global who is also a board member of IMDID and a trained mathematician, Mr. Kafui Prebbie arrived with a practical presentation on how to “Build Resilient Infrastructure, Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Foster Innovation and Technology.” He noted that people access others based on what they publish on the internet using technology; adding that it is necessary for everyone to make their digital presence known in a positive way.

The 4th Session of the 4th General Assembly commenced at 09:30 a.m. after breakfast with an opening speech by the Executive Director of IMDID, Mr. Gilbert Reinall Addo. The General Assembly was presided over by Mr. Nuels Ehun, and Mr. Maxwell Beganim modeling as the Secretary-General and Ms. Patricia Tinkorang as the Under-Secretary-General. The session received a speech on immigration which was delivered by Sire Dia, a delegate from Mali and the regularities of Sudan was also presented to the assembly by Omsalama M. Awadelkarim. An hour after the Secretary-General’s report at the 4th Session of the 4th General Assembly, the President adjourned the session. Committee Sessions began at 11:00 a.m. Delegates were assigned specific committees and topics to deliberate and present realistic resolutions to member states for consideration and action.

DISEC – General and complete disarmament with special reference to relationship between disarmament and development.

ECOFIN – Agriculture development. Food security and nutrition.

SOCHUM – Rights of people’s self-determination.

SPECPOL – Comprehensive review of special political missions.

UNESCO – Internal related issues including access to information, knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy and ethical dimensions of information society.

UNHRC – Prevention of genocide.

CCPCJ – World crime trends and emerging issues and response in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.

UNEP – Working towards balanced and inclusive green economy.

After lunch, the committees presented their various resolutions on their topics at the 5th Session of the 4th General Assembly, urging delegates to take action and ensure implementation of the draft resolutions.

On the eve of Friday, exactly 08:00 p.m. the Award Ceremony began, where Certificates of participation were given to all delegates and officials, with Atat Charles, a delegate from Nigeria representing the United States of America being ranked as the overall best delegate and Koffi Abotchi as the best official for this year’s conference in Kpalime. The International Leadership and Volunteerism Awards followed; recipients includes; Muhammed L.W Kanyi from the Gambia – Youth Development Award and Corporate Volunteer Award, Osnia Gbankoto from Benin Republic – Excellence Award, Koffi Abotchi from Togo – Janet Owurani Fellowship Award, Fuseina Awaudu from Ghana – Flame of Hope Award.

Day Four (4)
At 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, all delegates and officials joined the keep-fit and aerobics session at the forecourt of CDMS which was led by Ruth Thankgod, Atat Charles and Lena Lare. The participants undertook a general cleaning exercise at the conference venue. Delegates took the chance to socialize and visit tourist sites within Kpalime.

At 4:00 p.m. delegates and officials gathered in the dining hall for a discussion with Mr. Sessi Yao Sefiamenou, an international peace expert and the President of Speed International in Togo, on the topic “Access to Justice for all, and Building Effective, Accountable Institutions at all levels.”

Day Five (5)
The Heroes Dawn Revolution at 05:00 a.m. on August 11, 2019 – Celebrating and unifying the fight against colonialism and imperialism. This activity portrays and celebrates the legacy of anti-colonial struggles for liberation and the role of revolutionary leaders in a dramatic movement. There was a melodrama on the fight against the Portuguese governance in Angola by Queen Nzinga. This was the last day and activity of the 4th Global Youth Diplomacy Conference, Togo 2019, and after taking breakfast, delegates and officials checked-out of the conference venue.

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