Honoring HE Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka

photo_1_360Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 – New York

On the second floor of the UN Church Center, which serves at the location for the monthly NGO Committee on Sustainable Development meeting, the World We Want 2015 team and Policy Strategy Group, presented its first ever award for “People’s Voices Champion” to H.E. Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations.

This award was created to wish Ambassador Kohona a fond farewell as his term here at the United Nations comes to an end. It was also to recognize his career long dedication to the inclusion of global citizens, specifically youth, to use their skills to strengthen the processes within the United Nations system. Amongst this lifetime of achievements, Ambassador Kohona’s pledge to engage 1 Million youth voices in the MY World 2015 survey, stands as the single highest effort by any MY World partner to exclusively engage youth, and serves as a great example of how youth can meaningfully be included, in the MDG and SDG process.

This historic certificate was endorsed by Ms. Margo LaZaro & Ms. Yvonne O’Neal, the Co-Chairs of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development Executive Board; along with Mr. Ravi Karkara & Ms. Rosa Lizarde, UN and Civil Society Representatives along with Co-Chairs respectively, of  the World We Want 2015 Policy Strategy Group.


Mr. Juan Chebly the World We Want 2015 Coordinator, and Mr. Austin Schiano the World We Want 2015 Coordination Associate, were also able to present the United Nations Millennium Campaign’s “7 Million Voices Report” to several influential figure. The report includes the results of the Millennium Campaign’s vast global outreach to both citizens and their governments. They presented the report to Ambassador Mary Flores Flake of Honduras; Ambassador Caleb Otto of Palau; Patrick Sciarratta, Adviser to the Mission of Sao Tome and Principe and the Executive Director of Friendship Ambassadors Foundation; and last but certainly not least, Ornesha Reagan with the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

This ceremonial presentation occurred at the culmination of what was an enlightening conversation by several of the presenters on the virtues and developments being made in regard to eco-tourism. It included the efforts which are being steadfastly undertaken to ensure that the natural beauty of this world can be enjoyed by all, including preventing the exploitation of, or danger to, flora and fauna by visiting individuals. From the ancient temples that nurtured Buddhist philosophy and untouched forests of Sri-Lanka, to the magnanimous reefs and marine life off the coast of Honduras, this was truly a beautiful and enlightening discussion.  It was especially touching to hear the presenting Ambassadors express and describe the unmatched heritage and geography of their homeland, creating a personal connection that is rarely present in ministerial discussion.

The World We Want 2015 recognizes the fantastic efforts and dedication of the NGO Committee for planning this event, and looks forward to the future promotion of other such congratulations.  It is precisely this sort of event, which allows for us to complete the crucial task of ensuring that the voices of citizens, are brought to their representatives.

-Blog by Austin Schiano, World We Want Coordination Associate

MY World reaches 5 MILLION votes – The Celebration!

September 25, 2014, NEW YORK

Blog by Caya Johnson, Global Youth Advocate



If you were unable to attend, please enjoy the web-stream and picture album of the celebration

_MG_6890The evening of 25th of September during the UN General Assembly week brought together MY World friends from far and near, in person and via live web-stream – and these MY World friends had 5 million reasons to celebrate!

The hard work of dedicated MY World partners brought the voices of 5 MILLION PEOPLE from 194 countries into the United Nations.  MY World has had very extensive support from a range of partners, over 700 organizations, including NGOs, heads of state, faith groups and youth movements who are still currently participating in its roll out and this collective achievement provides the perfect backdrop for a MY World Partner Recognition Event and MY World Award Ceremony which took place in New York during the UN General Assembly week.

This global survey, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of all is now the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken.

Continue reading “MY World reaches 5 MILLION votes – The Celebration!”

Road to Rights Launches the #MYWorldStreetCampaign

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By Ashan Perera, Road to Rights 

The Road to Rights (R2R) is a youth-led movement initiated in 2012 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with the intention of promoting human rights education and awareness. It has a wide-spread global network within 14 different countries in Asia and Africa, with chapters in Sri Lanka , Nepal, Bangladesh , India , Pakistan , Nigeria, and Rwanda . Road to Rights launched the MY World Campaign at the 2013 International Youth Day celebration and now is a Global Partner of the campaign. So far R2R has conducted the survey and workshop in schools, institutions, governments and at the grassroots level.

The MY World Street Campaign is a new concept and initiative from R2R to reach out to the general public and create awareness about the campaign rather than collecting votes. Eventually encourage the public to complete the survey either through online or offline methods. The online survey is conducted using iPads, tablets, mobile phones, laptops whereas the offline campaign is paper-based. The campaign is carried out entirely by a set of passionate and enthusiastic young volunteers.

The MY World Street Campaign started on the 1st of September and will be conducted till 26th of September. Within the span of almost one month, the period has been split into 4 week intervals, where each week the volunteers will specifically discuss four priorities out of the 16 stating the history, background, relative current issues etc. of each priority. In each week, the volunteers will educate the people they approach on the current situation of these issues and encourage them to share their opinions on the issues:

  • Week 01 – “Good education”, “Better job opportunities”, “Reliable energy at home”, “Phones and internet access”
  • Week 02 – “Protection against crime and violence”, “An honest and responsive government”, “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans”, and  “Better healthcare”
  • Week 03 – “Political freedoms”, “Affordable and nutritious food”, “Freedom from discrimination and persecution”, “Action taken on climate change”
  • Week 04 – “Equality between men and women”, “Better transport and roads”, “Access to clean water and sanitation”, “Support for people who can’t work”

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The importance of the MY World Street campaign is that we intend to approach those who are rarely focused on, especially in the urban communities, such as shop owners, employees, street sweepers etc. R2R volunteers are very energetic and passionate about this task, hence we have already been able create a fair amount of awareness within the urban community.

R2R volunteers will also be traveling outside of urban areas and reaching out to those who are in marginalized communities to include their voices in the process, making the street campaign more effective and productive.


  • JOIN the Campaign! http://vote.myworld2015.org/?partner=RTR
  • VISUALIZE the results! http://data.myworld2015.org/?partner=RTR
  • PROMOTE the Campaign with the #MYWorldStreetCampaign and #RoadtoRights
  • FOLLOW R2R on Twitter, Facebook, and visit their Website: www.roadtorights.org

Sri Lanka renews commitment to achieving 1 million votes

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development in Sri Lanka takes pride to announce that Sri Lanka is currently one of the leaders in the MY World Global Survey. Hon. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma pleadged one million votes from Sri Lanka at the 68th UNGA in 2013.

Sri Lanka currently has 554595 votes. Almost 100% are youth 16-30 years old.

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Watch the video below with interviews with Hon. Minister Dullas (Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development), Subinay Nandy (UN Resident Coordinator, Sri Lanka), Ravi Karkara (Expert Adviser, Children and Youth), Amila Rajapaksha (Global Youth Advocate, Sri Lanka), Shehara Herath (MY World Focal Point, Sri Lanka)

youth advocates team


Sri Lanka: 1 million vote pledge and ‘Colombo Declaration on Youth’

Last year, Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development of Sri Lanka, Dulles Alahapperuma pledged up to 1 million votes in the MY World Survey. Currently, Sri Lanka tops the MY World Survey country list with 488593 votes, and more are gathered every week.  As such, they are responsible for 23.1% of the total votes casted on the MY World Survey. In an unprecedented move, almost 100% of all the votes have been cast by young people between the ages 16 and 30.  Sri Lanka’s commitment to the MY World survey and empowering youth culminated at the World Conference on Youth where many activities were planned to further promote the survey.

Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, Corinne Woods, via twitter said that she is “amazed by the Sri Lankan governments mobilization of youth for My World 2015.”

The top six priorities are reflected by youth in Sri Lanka thus far are “A good education,” “Better healthcare,” “An honest and responsive government,” “Access to clean water and santiation,” “Affordable and nutritious food,” and “Protection against crime and violence.”

Continue reading “Sri Lanka: 1 million vote pledge and ‘Colombo Declaration on Youth’”