Brazilian young people attend the UN Youth Forum in New York

Daniel Canabrava é um dos brasileiros que participarão do Fórum da Juventude do ECOSOC. Foto: UNODC

Brasilia, 26 January 2018 - Two young people from Brazil will attend the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum,  to be held on 30-31 January 2018 in New York. Lorenna Vilas Boas (Salvador - BA) and Daniel Canabrava (Gama - DF) are former students of the Youth Ambassadors Programme, a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) initiative. The youth pair will lead an activity on urban mobility, organized by the representation of the UN office in Brazil, which will also attend the meeting.

The UNODC team in Brazil will coordinate one of the panels that take place in parallel to the Youth Forum. A round of talks led by Lorenna and Daniel, will be managed by UNODC and will address the urban mobility challenges faced by young people in Latin America. For the first time a UN agency from Brazil coordinates one of the activities carried out within the framework of the Forum.

The panel will take place on 31 January at 4:15 pm GMT-2 (Brasilia time) and will be broadcast live on the United Nations webpage.

The ECOSOC Forum's theme for this year is the young generation's role in building sustainable and resilient urban and rural communities. Resilience is the ability of communities to adapt and grow, even in the face of natural disasters and problems such as inefficient transportation systems, corruption, violence and high unemployment rates. This event has become one of the most important forums of the UN System on subjects related to youth. More than 500 advocates for youth are expected at the meeting. Government ministers and UN officials will also attend it.

Brazilian participation

Among the young Brazilians participating in the Forum, the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development in Brazil has selected two former participants of the Youth Ambassadors Programme, a UNODC initiative in cooperation with Caixa Seguradora Institute.

Lorenna Vilas Boas, 19, is a resident of the Candelas neighborhood, metropolitan area of Salvador. She has been engaged with social technology and robotics projects since childhood. As an Electrical Engineering student at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Lorenna has already represented Brazil during the Intel International Science Fair 2017 in Los Angeles. She is presently representing the "iamtheCODE" movement, an international initiative that mobilizes social actions to enable female participation in robotics and programming.

Daniel Canabrava, 24, holds a master's degree in Urban Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and lives in Gama, Federal District. Daniel has participated in urban environmental infrastructure projects, also for precarious settlements, integrating local communities in urban planning.

The Youth Ambassadors Programme was created in 2016, aimed at training young people in contexts of social vulnerability, on topics related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The course has already formed more than 70 young people in three editions. Daniel and Lorenna attended the 2017 edition in Brasilia and Salvador.

"It is an honor for me to be able to report Brazilian youth's voice in this Forum, especially from young black women, who are still underrepresented in many spheres of our country", says Lorenna.

Lorenna and Daniel will lead the UNODC panel, which will be organized as a roundtable discussion with young Latin Americans, experts and decision makers. The discussion's aim is to reflect horizontally on the challenges faced by Latin American countries in promoting sustainable urban transport systems. Dialogues will seek clarification on how the young generation has been placed at the center of this subject.

The UNODC activity will be supported by the Organization "100 Resilient Cities", from Rockefeller Foundation.

Rodrigo, Youth focal point of the UNODC office in Brazil and the debate moderator in New York, highlights the importance of the panel. "For the first time, we have placed Latin American youth in a prominent area in the Forum. This great step reinforces the potential of our young people for playing a key role in consolidating more coherent, safe and efficient cities for future generations";.

This is the third edition of the Forum, which will be attended by young Brazilians, chosen by UNODC. In 2017, Alexandre Carvalho, 25, Fatima Moreira, 22, and Jade dos Santos, 22, attended the sixth edition of the Conference. They were also formed by the Youth Ambassadors Programme.

Information to the press:

Rodrigo Araujo - Youth focal point of the UNODC office in Brazil

(61) 99847-1005

 We thank our UN Online Volunteer, Camila Luchini, for her contribution to the translation of this article.  Camila is an online volunteer mobilised through

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          Lorenna Vilas Boas will attend the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum. Photo: UNODC