Author Archives: Warime Guti, Papua New Guinea

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation meets in Geneva

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation (L to R) Ms. Kleber, Ms. Rakoto and Mr. Guti

The core group of the LWF Youth delegation to the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met last week (1st-4thOctober 2012) at the Ecumenical Center, in Geneva, with the outgoing LWF Youth Secretary Rev. Roger Schmidt. The core group consists of the three co-leaders of the expected 10 LWF Youth delegates to the COP18: Ms. Tsiri Rakoto from Madagascar, who is now doing her internship at the LWF Human Rights and International Relations Office, Ms. Raquel Kleber from Brazil  who is about to complete her undergraduate degree in International Relations and me, Mr. Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea one of the LWF Council member as a youth.

It was a challenging task to brainstorm ideas on how to prepare the delegation before  COP18, and to think about our strategies and perspectives during the conference and what what is generally expected to be the output by mid 2013.

The core group’s meeting this week brought together ideas and we strategically set up four main goals this delegation is aimed to achieve by mid 2013. The four goals are:

  1. By mid 2013 the delegation members have mobilized 300 young people from at least 8 member church to be active on Climate Justice in their respective context
  2. By mid 2013 the leadership of at least 8 member church have heard about the urgent and continuing importance of Climate Change
  3. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully contributed to civil society and ecumenical coalition
  4. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully accompanied and advocated in the UNFCCC process

In order to prepare the whole group before attending the meeting in Doha we have planned to facilitate two webinars. The two webinar will be co-facilitated by the three of us with Roger. Basically the webinar will look into deepening the understanding of the delegates about Climate Change in general, UNFCC processes, the COP meeting itself and explore more into understanding respective delegate’s local context of how Climate Change is dealt with in the local church and the country.

COP18 and the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol will be held from 26th November to the 7th December 2012 in Doha, Qatar. For the Conference we have we have strategies to facilitate our delegates to understand more into the process of discussion in the two major areas; MITIGATION and ADAPTATION. We are also expected to join ecumenical and civil society’s coalitions to advocate on specific issues that are in line with the values and visions of LWF. The time there in Doha will be hectic and we are also expecting last minute planning and strategies depending on what we see there on the ground.

And now after the meeting each one of the delegate is expected to develop a concept of what they will be doing back at their local churches in order for us to achieve our four main goals by mid 2013. As co-leaders we hope to facilitate with the rest of the delegates during the stay in Doha to develop ideas so delegates grasp what they can do effectively back at their respective context.

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation meets in Geneva

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation

LWF Youth Core Group for the UNFCCC COP18 delegation (L to R) Ms. Kleber, Ms. Rakoto and Mr. Guti

The core group of the LWF Youth delegation to the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met last week (1st-4th October 2012) at the Ecumenical Center, in Geneva, with the outgoing LWF Youth Secretary Rev. Roger Schmidt. The core group consists of the three co-leaders of the expected 10 LWF Youth delegates to the COP18: Ms. Tsiri Rakoto from Madagascar, who is now doing her internship at the LWF Human Rights and International Relations Office, Ms. Raquel Kleber from Brazil who is about to complete her undergraduate degree in International Relations and me, Mr. Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea one of the LWF Council member as a youth.

It was a challenging task to brainstorm ideas on how to prepare the delegation before COP18, and to think about our strategies and perspectives during the conference and what what is generally expected to be the output by mid 2013.
The core group’s meeting this week brought together ideas and we strategically set up four main goals this delegation is aimed to achieve by mid 2013. The four goals are:

  1. By mid 2013 the delegation members have mobilized 300 young people from at least 8 member church to be active on Climate Justice in their respective context
  2. By mid 2013 the leadership of at least 8 member church have heard about the urgent and continuing importance of Climate Change
  3. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully contributed to civil society and ecumenical coalition
  4. By mid 2013 the delegation members have meaningfully accompanied and advocated in the UNFCCC process

In order to prepare the whole group before attending the meeting in Doha we have planned to facilitate two webinars. The two webinar will be co-facilitated by the three of us with Roger. Basically the webinar will look into deepening the understanding of the delegates about Climate Change in general, UNFCC processes, the COP meeting itself and explore more into understanding respective delegate’s local context of how Climate Change is dealt with in the local church and the country.

COP18 and the Meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol will be held from 26th November to the 7th December 2012 in Doha, Qatar. For the Conference we have we have strategies to facilitate our delegates to understand more into the process of discussion in the two major areas; MITIGATION and ADAPTATION. We are also expected to join ecumenical and civil society’s coalitions to advocate on specific issues that are in line with the values and visions of LWF. The time there in Doha will be hectic and we are also expecting last minute planning and strategies depending on what we see there on the ground.

And now after the meeting each one of the delegate is expected to develop a concept of what they will be doing back at their local churches in order for us to achieve our four main goals by mid 2013. As co-leaders we hope to facilitate with the rest of the delegates during the stay in Doha to develop ideas so delegates grasp what they can do effectively back at their respective context.

An Experience at the UN High-Level Meeting on Youth

1. Introduction

UN-Headquarter-NY
Among the 400 NGO’s who were registered to attend the UN High-Level Meeting on Youth from 25th – 26th July 2011, LWF registered three of us as its representatives to this event. Daan Leker from Netherlands, Matt Wertman from USA and I, Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea. Daan Leker and I represent two of the ten (10) LWF Council members under the age of 30 while Matt represent Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) youths as the current president of the ELCA Youth.

2. Our participation at the meeting

When we were selected to attend the meeting, it was still unclear for us of what we will actually do. As we were getting into the meeting it all came clear that we were more of observers to this UN General Assembly meeting on youth.

There was a drafted “Outcome Document” from all our inputs. The inputs came from both civil societies and the governments. LWF Youths also submitted a statement that was registered and used as a source for the drafting of this outcome document. The theme of this draft outcome document is “Dialogue and Mutual understanding”.

3. The UN High-Level Meeting on youth

UN GA Hall, looking down from 4th balconyThe two days meeting was all about this draft outcome document of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding.

Day 1 (25th July 2011) was focus on the theme of the draft document “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding” while Day 2 (26th July 2011) was focus on the whole draft outcome document.

At such UN High-level meeting only the government delegates speak while all other delegates observe. We were more of being observers and advocators.

To be honest I am not sure what the UN will act next after this meeting. I know that the UN General Assembly adopted the draft outcome document but then what is the visible thing that we all can visualize as the outcome of this meeting. Maybe a UN Youth Agency will be set up or UN will push that each member state has to at least have one youth delegate at all its UN meetings. I am not sure, the meeting just ended when the last country gave his speech. The closing plenary wasn’t closed with a resolution moved by the government delegates or something so I am not sure. You can check it out on the UN webcast

5. Other world youth organisations

Faith based youth delegatesAt this meeting we also have the opportunity to meet members of other world youth organisations. The outspoken world youth organisation is the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisation (ICMYO). It was the first time for the three of us to come across ICMYO.

ICMYO gathers membership-based, democratic, representative, and accountable international youth NGOs and regional youth platforms. The main objectives of ICMYO are: 1) to strengthen cooperation among youth organisations at the regional and global levels and 2) the coordination of political inputs to global youth policy processes. You can learn more on ICMYO at http://www.icmyo.wordpress.com.

Some of the affiliated members of ICMYO include International Falcon Movement-Social Education International, World Alliance of YMCAs, World YWCA, Pax Romana, World Student Christian Federation, Youth Forum CPLP (Portuguese Speaking Countries Community, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, European Youth Forum, World Organisation of the Scout Movement.

LWF Youth is not a member of the ICMYO.

On 26th July 2011, the ICMYO organized a press conference and invited all the NGO youth organisation to attend. It was quite interesting that many of the other non-members of ICMYO also did not know anything about ICMYO. It was the first time we were all exposed to ICMYO.

Instead of discussing the content of the press conference which the ICMYO presented many were eager to know about ICMYO. People were asking about its work/programs, also there was this discussion on youth’s age range and language barriers among multi-cultures.

6. While the world is talking about Youth Participation, LWF has already implemented it at the global Level

It was interesting to learn that; while the UN and other organisation were talking and striving to achieve youth participation; we (LWF) have already implemented it at the global level of LWF. That is; 20% of every decision making bodies of LWF is made up young people under the age of 30. And now, I believe, LWF’s focus will be to achieve youth participation to the regional and all the way to the local member churches.

Also just recently, at the LWF Council meeting in June 2011, we the young council members push and made youth participation a cross cutting priority in the LWF Strategic Plan 2012 – 2017. We (LWF) were a step ahead from what the others are striving to achieve, that’s what i think. It is my prayer that the new LWF Strategic plan 2012-2017 will capture a model for “youth participation” because “youth participation” is now considered a cross cutting priority; that other organisation can learn from.

LWF representation at this meeting was unique indeed; most of the other youths who attended were either a members of a youth organisation or representatives of their organisation or a member of a Youth Council of their country or they are experience advocators for youth participation in their organisation. However, we (Daan and I) were actually representing the 50 LWF Council members at this meeting to observe and witness the UN’s effort to work with the youths.

7. LWF’s effort to empower us young decision makers not to just be representatives but be good participants and advocators in the LWF Council.

When I was elected as a Council member of LWF, it was because of the fact that I am under the age of thirty (30), a layperson, a male and I am member of a LWF member Church. It was not because I am a social worker of any nature related to youth issues or other ecclesiastical matter.

My appointed to the council made me a representative of the region which I come from but leaves me with the question of my participation in the LWF Council. I am by LWF constitution, a legal decision maker of the LWF Council but then there is this gap of my experience and exposure to LWF and its mandate to serve the world. These include a good understanding into all the LWF vision, structure etc… and also knowledge of the external agencies that LWF works with and the issues LWF’s work centers around.

I am thankful to the effort the LWF youth desk has done so far in building our capacity as young LWF council members. During our fist council meeting in June 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland; there was a youth pre-council meeting organized where we (young council members) get to be oriented into many of the LWF structures and the process and systems of the LWF Council meeting. Through that pre-council meeting I get to have a good understanding of LWF and its meeting processes.

Now with my attendance to this UN meeting, I have gained some firsthand experience to UN systems and processes of meetings.

8. Conclude

To conclude, I would like to thank the Lutheran Office of World Community (LOoWC) at the UN Plaza, New York, especially to Dennis Frado and Christine Mangale for all their efforts in making this event possible for us. As our LWF agent working closely with UN matters, they have been so helpful with everything. I pray for God’s blessing upon their lives.

Also I would like to thank Roger Schmidt for all his work in preparing us young council members to be good participants and decision maker in the LWF Council meeting and not just being representatives of the youths in our regions.

Blessings!

Day 2: UN High-Level Meeting on Youth

Yesterday unlike Day 1, Day 2 (26th July 2011) of the UN High-Level Meeting on youth, there wasn’t such a long queue to get through all the process of security check and issuing of entry pass to have access into the 4th balcony of the UN General Assembly Hall.

The Day 2 event consist of only Formal plenary meetings. The plenary was opened by the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Joseph Deiss at 10am. In his opening remarks, the Mr. Deiss acknowledged all the stakeholders who have contributed to the formation of this Draft Outcome Documents that is to be adopted by this General Assembly: 112th plenary meeting – High-level Meeting on Youth

After Mr. Deiss introduced the plenary, each country’s government delegates were given time to speak on the Draft outcome document. There were two sessions; from 10am to 1pm and from 3pm to 6pm. There were more than 100 country’s who were on the list to speak. By 6:30pm the meeting was suspended though there were many other who did not have their turn to speak.

It was quite interesting to hear all the government delegates speaking about their efforts to work with their youth’s respectively.
• There are some governments who have Youth Councils recognized formally by the government,
• while others have a youth department in the government
• while many have a good youth programs coordinated by the government.
• And even interestingly three government delegates to this meeting were youths; they were from Australia, Germany and Sweden and they get to speak representing their country.

In most of the government delegates speeches they either
• Present their effort to work with their youths
• the challenges and achievements of their efforts
• reaffirming the Draft outcome document
• and provide some recommendations for UN to consider in its effort to work with the youths.

Two recommendations from some of the speakers I can recall are:
• to set up a UN agency for youth and
• to respective government’s to include youth delegates to such meetings

You can see all the speeches from Day 1 and Day 2 on the UN Web cast site at:

Day 1 : UN High Level Meeting on Youth

Post by Warime Guti, Papua New Guinea

“Are we doing enough for the Youth!”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked
“NO”, delegates responded
“Are we going to do something now!”,  Ban Ki-moon asked again.
“Yes”, delegates responded

That was Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s, the Secretary General of United Nation’s closing words moving the delegates to respond with zeal in his statement at the opening plenary.

It was a long and interesting day for us at the UN High-Level Meeting on Youth yesterday at the UN Headquarter, New York. We began in the nice cool morning at 8:30am on a long queue outside the UN main gate to go through the security checks and to collect our delegate pass into the UN General Assembly Hall. With about 400 youth groups registering, it took quite a long time on the queue before we got through the process.

By 10:15am we gained access into the fourth balcony of the Assembly Hall. From the fourth balcony we were looking down to the main Assembly Hall where each of the countries were labeled on desks put in rows. The Government Delegates are the only permitted people to sit there.
The meeting started with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the two recent terror attack in Norway on Friday where 75 people were killed; that included the young people as well.
“I am particularly saddened that this murderer singled out young people keen to engage meaningfully in the future of their country,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks to the gathering. “This atrocity stands in stark opposition to the theme of this meeting, which is dialogue and mutual understanding.”

The theme of the meeting is centered on “Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”. This High-Level Meeting on Youth is to mark the end of UN International Year of Youth from August 2010 – August 2011.
The opening plenary began with Statements made by President of the General Assembly, Mr. Joseph Deiss, the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, International supermodel, humanitarian and author (UK/South Sudan) and YMCA (Brazil), Mr. Romulo Dantas.
After the opening plenary we went straight into the “Thematic panel discussion One” and continued on to “Thematic panel discussion two” after lunch. The panels were made up of UN Representatives and Civil Societies Representatives. Between the two panel discussions we had Side Events.

The panels were lead by a co-chairperson. Each person in the panel were given turn to speak on the theme and later the Government Delegates were asked to respond. The government delegates include Presidents, Prime Minister, Politicians and/or Government Bureaucrats from the respective countries.

Reflection:
Generally, almost every person in the panel and the government delegates who were speaking; spoke positively supporting the theme. In fact all the four points in our Statement we sent earlier were captured in at least one of the person who was speaking during the two thematic panels. The four points on our statement were 1. Youth Participation, 2. Education 3. Access to the job market 4. Religious freedom and understanding.

Most of the speakers began their talk by passing their condolence messages to the people of Norway for the loss of their young future leaders on Friday.

Meet Ms. Dika Napkai who is the first youth female as a district youth Coordinator of one of ELC-PNG’s 17 Districts.

Ms. Dika Napkai

Ms. Dika Napkai

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG) has a membership of about 1 million and about 600 parishes throughout the country. Each of the district has a youth desk where a district youth coordinator is appointed by the respective 17 ELC-Districts at their district’s Council meeting to administer the youth programs within their respective districts. For more than 50 years since ELCPNG was established there has not been a youth female who has hold a position of such responsibility. It is a privilege for the first time to have a young female being one of the 17 ELC-PNG district Youth Coordinators.

Throughout this week the ELC-PNG National Youth office is running a review workshop on its programs. Among the other 16 male district Youth Coordinators who participated was Ms. Dika Napkai who is currently the Youth Coordinator of Papua district. Papua district is one of the few Urban Church district of ELCPNG. I caught up with her and asked her some questions.

Tell me more about yourself personally?
I am 26 years old and I come from a mixed parentage of Siassi (in the Morobe Province) and Hanuabada (in the Central Province). I come from a family of 7 of which I am the second born and the eldest daughter. My family resides in Port Moresby City and we attend the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, English Congregation.

I work as the Administration Officer for iTEL (PNG) Microtech, a nationally owned IT Firm. I enjoy baking, traveling and taking pictures of the natural environment.
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Lutheran Student Congregation launches new website

LSC-UPNG outreach team carrying out an awareness at the Markham Valley
LSC-UPNG outreach team carrying out an awareness at the Markham Valley

The Lutheran Students Congregation (LSC) of the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) has just launched its new amazing website.

LSC-UPNG is a unique congregation that is made up of mostly students and few University staff. These are the Lutheran students of one of Papua New Guineas two main Universities which is the University of PNG.

The LSC’s congregational activities and programs are all run by these committed students. The congregation is now formally recognized by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG), Papua district as one of its member congregation under its hierarchy.

As faithful fellow Christians in Jesus Christ, LSC always have made it part of its life to abide by the Holy Scriptures and teachings of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Among everything LSC members do as a student congregation, they have made it a commitment to make the heart-beat of God (that is to see people saved and enter into the kingdom of God) as their core vision of existence.

By this year 2010, among the normal worship programs of a congregation; LSC has instrumentally taken the initiative to launch a Children Ministry where they reach out to Children of the University’s lectures and staff, a Country Outreach program where they team up during the end of the year school holidays and go out on adventurers mission to remote rural villages in the country to worship and fellowship with the local people and carrying out educational awareness on social, climate, church, political, environmental issues etc…

All the cost of travelling through land, sea and air for these outreach are mostly met by the students themselves. Their commitment is a real inspiration to many local Papua New Guineans in the local congregations when they visit. Some congregations are very remote that hardly no government officer or church rep normaly visit. The students have touched many local people’s lives.

Currently they are pushing on a project to buy themselves a new Truck which they have already initiatively been carrying out fundraising activities for the cause. The main purpose of purchasing the truck is to help them reach out to more villages during their school holidays carrying out awareness and fellowshipping with the local people.

Read more on LSC by visiting their new website designed by one of its own members at http://www.lscupng.org.pg.