2022 American Youth Priorities Report

Since starting my journey as your Youth Observer to the UN in August, I have worked to elevate the powerful voices of my fellow youth in spaces of global policy dialogue around international issues of importance. To inform this work, ensuring my words meaningfully represent youth concerns and priorities in all the US and UN convenings I serve as a liaison in, I embarked on a nation-wide Listening Tour. 

Over the course of the tour, I had the life-changing opportunity of connecting with over 1,900 young people, representing 22 states and honoring incredibly diverse backgrounds. I was inspired by the bravery of my peers. They spoke truth to their personal stories and experiences, and shared their ideas and expertise, so that we could strengthen our collective advocacy for addressing the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time. I can’t express my appreciation enough for every single person who participated in this effort.

All of the preliminary results of the online survey launched in the fall, feedback from in-person consultations, and reflections from youth in the field, were honored and centered in the creation of this 2022 American Youth Priorities Report

I hope you read through this report and are as equally moved as I was writing it. I hope this report proves helpful in guiding your current and future work to truly represent the concerns and priorities of our American youth. This report will greatly inform my own platform of engagement during the rest of my tenure as this year’s UNA-USA Youth Observer to the UN – and we are already getting started.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UNA-USA will create and launch the Youth Declaration for Human Rights. Using the findings from the 2022 American Youth Priorities Report and the framework of the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), this Declaration will capture the voices, feedback and leadership of youth from across the U.S. on human rights issues most important to them. 

Young people are the future world leaders and this Declaration will serve as a unified proclamation that youth not only care about the future of human rights, but youth are taking action today to advance the rights of those in their local communities. The process of drafting this declaration presents young people with an opportunity to learn more about the UDHR, champion youth action on human rights and use their feedback to create a new Declaration that is forward-thinking, more inclusive and rooted in meaningful youth participation. This Declaration will serve as a guiding document for understanding and acting on youth priorities at UNA-USA and external stakeholders we engage with in US and UN leadership. 

Learn more about the Youth Declaration Project and ways to get involved on our website!  

Looking forward to our continued work together,

Himaja Nagireddy

2022-23 UNA-USA Youth Observer to the UN