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25 March 2022, 13:00 - 14:15 Indochina Time / Bangkok | By invitation only

SEA SDG Youth Dialogue

The new “Social Contract”, aimed at rethinking the relationships between the State and the citizenry, is going to be an essential component of the “Build Forward Better” approach. Such a model can only succeed if the existing detachment that separates youth from policymaking, in general, is narrowed and ultimately overcome.

With the focus of the 9th APFSD on “advancing the full implementation of the Agenda 2030 in Asia and the Pacific”, the region could prosper and become more inclusive and resilient if innovative ways of bottom-up policymaking centered on enhanced civic engagement, are enabled. The efforts at localising the SDGs could offer a new window of opportunities for people, especially the youth, to be engaged and be involved in the process of coming up with new ideas and solutions, finding novel ways to implement them, that, in essence, will herald and enable new forms of policymaking.

Therefore, what are the implications of these new approaches for the youth of South East Asia? How can they play a better role and have more responsibilities in transitioning towards a region that must become carbon neutral, more inclusive and just? Finally, what does “participation” mean at a practical level for them?

In reality, in general, huge gaps remain in enabling citizens to meaningfully participate. Therefore youth are well-positioned to bridge such gaps and play a crucial role and providing ideas and tools to re-invent the way policy-making unfolds.

This side event is being organised to initiate dialogue among youth from the sub-region with officials from the UN and development partners.

The discussion will give attention to increasing youth engagement, involvement, and participation in existing initiatives in the sub-region with a special focus on how youth can participate in shaping policies to build forward better in the context of coming up with ideas on localizing the SDGs and the New Social Contract.

Topics will include discussing key challenges in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and exploring opportunities for youth and its organizations in SDG-related activities.

The expected outcomes of the event will be:

  • Awareness and understanding among policymakers and development partners on the role youth can play in devising initiatives to “build forward better”
  • Foundation for more collaborations and partnerships between youth from the region to development partners
  • Identification of potential ideas that will involve youth, in collaboration with UN and selected partners in shaping the new development agenda in South East Asia.

The event will consist of a session on how policymakers in the region, from governments to development partners can better engage and involve youth in designing novel policy solutions.

A follow-up, more practical workshop will be organized within May, enabling a brainstorming on solutions and ideas that emerged from this side event. Such exercise could be seen as a way to change the “game” and find new ways to involve and engage youth from the region.

Target Audience

Youth and Students from universities in South-East Asia

Further Information and Registration

The Forum will take place in a virtual modality on 25 March 2022. It will be conducted in English. All questions regarding the Forum can be sent to:

The Good Leadership: [email protected] and SEAkers Malaysia Chapter : [email protected]

Registration here:

25 Mar 2022

[MC: Bella, Education Graduate, Malaysia]

Introductory remarks: Marisa Panyachiva, Partnership and Development Finance Officer, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Office, Thailand

Moderator: Hidayat Fahmi, Chapter Leader, The Young SEAkers Malaysia

A Conversation with the youth: Achieving the Agenda 2030, time for more bottom-up approaches.

A panel of youth will discuss and exchange views with UN agencies and partners on finding practical ways to meet the current challenges affecting the South East Asia region. From stronger and more accessible health services to more inclusive quality learning opportunities to fairer and more open job markets, youth are bearing the brunt of multiple challenges, with those less privileged among them, paying the highest consequences.  

The lack of stronger and more effective policies at national and local levels and the many obstacles at the ground level during their implementation is creating a sense of hopelessness and alienation among many youths, more and more disinvested from the public discourse. With more civic engagement and a stronger interest in collaborations to pursue the  “common good” and with meaningful opportunities to participate, youth could then play a role in tackling these structural issues and the inequities stemming from them.

As a consequence, this shift in approach could lay the foundations for a more prosperous and just region where youth can have a meaningful role to play.

Could such a scenario herald a new chapter in more bottom-up, inclusive policy-making centered on the citizenry with a special role to be played by youth?

Guiding Questions:

  • Localizing the SDGs: What does it mean in practice?
  • What could be done at local, national, and regional levels to create more meaningful opportunities for people’s participation, especially the youth?
  • How could the current working model of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in South East Asia involve and engage more local youth

Panel Group:

   A) A panel of youth within the region

  1. Monica Camille V. Galang, Global Shaper, World Economic Forum (under Global Shapers Manila), the Philippines
  2. Sherly Rahayu, Product Manager, a Tech Startup, Indonesia
  3. Siriporn Ruadrew, Executive Member, Mae Fah Luang University Model United Nations Club, Thailand
  4. Methichai Thongpleo, Youth Volunteer, Department of Children and Youth, Thailand
  5. Gia-Han Pham Bui, UNICEF Ambassador, the British International School Hanoi, Vietnam 

   B) UN agencies and Partners

  1. Ralph Stamm, First Secretary, the Embassy of Switzerland, Indonesia
  2. Asa Torkelsson, Country Director for UNFPA Thailand and Representative for UNFPA Malaysia
  3. Renaud Meyer, UNDP Resident Representative, Thailand
  4. Nicole Lowrey, Second Secretary, Embassy of Australia, Thailand

Open Discussion

Wrap-up and SummarySimone Galimberti, The Good Leadership

Closing remarksRuhimat Soerakoesoemah, Head, Subregional Office for South-East Asia, ESCAP

Monica Camille V. Galang
Monica Camille V. Galang
Global Shaper, World Economic Forum (under Global Shapers Manila), the Philippines
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Monica or simply known as Nica is an advocate of youth empowerment and labor relations. She is a nation-builder based in the Philippines associated with several organisations such as Global Shapers Community - Manila Hub and leads the Shape Philippines 2022: A Voter's Education and Civic Engagement. In addition, Nica earned her Master of Industrial Relations at the University of the Philippines Diliman and is currently working as an HR Senior Recruiter at Ninja Van Philippines.

Sherly Rahayu
Sherly Rahayu
Product Manager, a Tech Startup, Indonesia
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Sherly is a young professional in tech with a keen interest in data-privacy and cybersecurity in the digital era. She is currently an associate digital product manager at an Indonesian leading tech company. She is passionately curious about new technology, and great tech inventions – especially the ones that transform the way we live.

Siriporn Ruadrew
Siriporn Ruadrew
Executive Member, Mae Fah Luang University Model United Nations Club, Thailand
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Siriporn or also known as Gift is an MFU MUN Club Executive Member 2022. She is a student of Bachelor of Arts in International Development Program, School of Social Innovation at Mae Fah Luang University. Back in 2020, she participated in the MFU-MUN x UN: Our Future in Our Hands. She was also a Mole of Doi Ngaem Volunteer in 2020 and is now a staff member of the Mole of Doi Ngaem Volunteer.

Methichai Thongpleo
Methichai Thongpleo
Youth Volunteer, Department of Children and Youth, Thailand
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Methichai (Mek) is a supporter of leadership in youth participation. He is currently a student of Bachelor of Arts in International Development Program, School of Social Innovation at Mae Fah Luang University. He was awarded as Thailand national outstanding youth and has been part of the national youth supporter forum (under department of children and youth) since 2020. Currently, Mek is also one of the members in the Model United Nations club at Mae Fah Luang University.

Gia-Han Pham Bui
Gia-Han Pham Bui
UNICEF Ambassador, the British International School Hanoi, Viet Nam
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Gia-Han is an active student researcher, entrepreneur, and a passionate sustainability advocate from Vietnam. Born and raised in the capital city of Hanoi, she has witnessed the detrimental effects of urban sprawl on low-income communities, putting them at the forefront of natural disasters, urban poverty, and increased slumification. Along with her role as the UNICEF Ambassador and the Global Goals Club Leader at school, Gia Han wishes to use her current research on Urban Regeneration with a local professor, as well as another research project of her own on Sustainable Side-walk use, to propose models of inclusive, participatory, and resilient urban planning. She was also the recipient of the Youth Leader Awards from the 2018 ASEAN Youth Initiative Conference, where she represented her country to talk about marine sustainability.

Ralph A. Stamm
Ralph A. Stamm
First Secretary, Embassy of Switzerland, Indonesia
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Ralph A. Stamm is the Deputy Head of the Political, Economic and Cultural Division at the Embassy of Switzerland to Indonesia, Timor-Leste and ASEAN. He is in charge of the Embassy’s work on ASEAN in the framework of the Switzerland-ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partnership. He also manages the Embassy’s peace and human rights portfolio and relations with Timor-Leste.

Before coming to Jakarta, Ralph worked at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ Human Rights Diplomacy Section in Bern, leading Switzerland efforts against torture and for the universal abolition of the death penalty. As Deputy Chief of Staff of the Peace and Human Rights Division, he drafted the government’s dispatch on peace promotion and human rights to parliament. Previously, Ralph was posted to the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria.

Before joining the diplomatic service, Ralph worked as editor for the Centre for Security Studies at ETH Zürich. He also worked and studied in Japan. He holds a M.A. in International Affairs and Governance, a B.A. in International Affairs and a Diploma in Business Education from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He speaks German, English, French and Japanese.

Asa Torkelsson
Asa Torkelsson
Country Director for UNFPA Thailand and Representative for UNFPA Malaysia
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Dr. Asa Torkelsson joins UNFPA as Country Representative Malaysia and Country Director Thailand on 1 November, from an assignment as UNFPA Representative in Bangladesh, where she has led and grown one of UNFPA’s largest operations and teams through significant changes, humanitarian and natural disasters, the Rohingya refugee, and COVID crises, since January 2018.

During her tenure, the CO has magnetized resources beyond target and into the future, attracted new donors, pioneered strategic partnerships, notably with the World Bank, amalgamated ICPD innovatively into new programming. Using advocacy with the Government and the UN Country Team, the new UNSDCF and CPD10, COVID, and humanitarian responses, address ICPD goals and inclusion of those left behind. Interagency flagship initiatives have been ideated and scaled out.

To create the conditions for accelerated results, high performance teams have been nurtured; work smarts systematized; team negotiation, advocacy and communication skills strengthened; efforts for a harmonious, caring and collaborative workspace in a diverse hyperlocal team have been piloted; and specifically young leaders have been mentored. To facilitate convergence and consensus around critical issues, a senior manager alliance has been established to grow and execute strategies, ideate new ideas, and manage risks for accelerated results for the underserved.

Dr. Torkelsson’s career spans more than 20 years, leading increasingly complex endeavours at country, -regional, and HQ, in UN (FAO, IFAD, UN Women, WB), academia, Government, NGO, private sector, relentlessly pursuing gender equality and the M/SDGs, and expanding spaces for women.

Prior to joining UNFPA, she served in UN Women positions 2013-2017; as advisor for economic empowerment in the ESA region, based in Nairobi, and in the AP region, based in Bangkok; and experiences include detail assignments as Deputy Representative for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, based in Delhi. Serving Governments, regional bodies, and other clients, she has led evidence-based interagency research on gender and agriculture, studies on gender and climate change / migration; and ultimately launched coalitions for action, which leveraged investments and policy changes towards gender equality. She also provided organizational and capacity development assignments with numerous UNCTs, regional and COs.

Between 2008-2012, she set-up, resourced and led the execution of the World Bank gender programme in Kenya, integrating gender perspectives in a wide programmatic portfolio, leading research teams and research, provided capacity building to Government clients, resulting in public service innovations, and led global South-South exchanges on gender and water and sanitation. She brokered novel CSO partnership between the WB and women’s grassroots movement.

She started her UN career as JPO for FAO in 1998 in a regional field project based in Harare, then served at both FAO and IFAD HQs in Rome, developing organizational gender action plans, advising on/designing gender-related investments, and policies, across multiple sectors. Her first job was as volunteer organizing European volunteer exchanges for solidarity projects, and as assistant researcher at Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale to a research on EU development assistance policies, and tutoring masters students in development studies at STOA/Naples University, based in Rome.

Lifelong student of leadership, she has benefited from training on leadership at the World Bank, UNDP, and UNFPA, on negotiations at Harvard Kennedy School, financial management at INSEAD, RC coaching, and leading in crisis at UN staff college. A learning advocate and a mentor with the UN Secretariat mentorship programme, she provides mentoring to grow leaders around the globe, with a focus on women’s leadership.

Moreover, she has a keen interest in innovation and has been gender advisor to the USAID, the Foreign Ministry of Netherlands, SIDA Sweden and the Republic of South Africa Innovation Challenge Fund to secure water and food security, integrating gender in investments.

With a PhD in sociology from the University of Stockholm, a MSc in development economics from the Gothenburg School of Business and Commercial Law, and a BSc in social sciences from Vaxjo University, all based on gender-and development related field research in Ethiopia, her analytical posture is inter-disciplinary. She has authored and co-authored several publications on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and been a resident of the Rockefeller Bellagio Centre.

Asa and her pediatrician husband Wilhelm have three adolescent children.  She enjoys to spend time in nature in her free time, and is personally interested in the impact of faith in the lives of individuals and cultures and is currently exploring religious studies. She speaks Swedish, English, French, and Italian and used to be a student of Amharic, Ge’ez, and KiSwahili.

Renaud Meyer
Renaud Meyer
UNDP Resident Representative, Thailand
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Renaud Meyer started his assignment as UNDP Resident Representative to Thailand on 26 March 2019, coming from Nepal where he was the UNDP Country Director since January 2015.

Prior to that, Renaud served as Senior Deputy Country Director for UNDP Afghanistan from November 2012 to December 2014. UNDP Country Director in the Philippines from August
2008 to October 2012 and Deputy Country Director of UNDP China from August 2004 till August 2008. 

Before serving UNDP in Asia, Renaud served four years in Headquarters as the Special Assistant to the UNDP Associate Administrator in the Executive Office in New York from
2002 to 2004 and as Special Assistant to the Director of the Bureau for Development Policy starting in 2000.

Renaud started his UNDP career as a Programme Officer (JPO) in Lebanon in 1998.

Before joining the United Nations, Renaud Meyer worked in Tunisia for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A French citizen, Renaud Meyer holds a Master’s in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Strasbourg and graduated from the Institut D’Etudes Politiques of Strasbourg. He also completed a one-year programme of studies at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., U.S.A.

Nicole Lowrey
Nicole Lowrey
Second Secretary, Embassy of Australia, Thailand
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Ms Nicole Lowrey is the Second Secretary (Development) in the Australian Embassy, Bangkok. She works on the Mekong-Australia Partnership – Water, Energy, Climate program, to support countries address water security, climate change, and the energy transition in the Mekong subregion.

Ms Lowrey was previously Program Manager for the ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Initiative. Prior to joining DFAT, she worked with Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment in roles to address water quality issues affecting the Great Barrier Reef, develop policy solutions to reduce emissions from Australia’s electricity grid, and implement regulatory changes to address animal welfare concerns for exported livestock. She has a background in Science, completing her Masters at the University of Melbourne, and experience with an environmental NGO in Solomon Islands on community fisheries management practices.  

Muhammad Hidayat Fahmi
Muhammad Hidayat Fahmi
Chapter Leader, The Young SEAkers Malaysia
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Hidayat is the Chapter Leader of The Young SEAkers (TYS) Malaysia which is part of the regional TYS branding; a non-profit with the vision to bridge the young ASEAN generations to the rest of ASEAN and China. Hidayat currently works in the multimedia and communications industry in Malaysia. Prior to this, he worked as a fundraising analyst in a CRM-based company after graduating as an Arts English graduate from the University of Malaya. As an undergraduate, Hidayat has participated in various youth conferences and dialogues including participating in a Model United Nations in Vietnam back in 2019.

Simone Galimberti
The Good Leadership
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Simone Galimberti is the Co-Founder of ENGAGE, a not for profit active in Nepal in the field of social inclusion, especially disability rights, working at the intersections between youth development, leadership and adptive sports (wheelchair basketball, blind cricket and deaf football) through volunteerism. Simone is also the co-founder of The Good Leadership, a new initiative promoting positive leadership, civic engagement among youth, enhancing discussions on the most pressing issues among them. With the Good Leadership Simone co-design trainings and capacity building aimed at enhancing youth's role in achieving the Agenda 2030. He is also an opinion writer published on Nepal Live Today, The Himalayan Times, Republica, The Kathmandu Post, The New Strait Times, the Jakarta Post, the Bangkok Times, The Rappler and Inter Press Service among others. He loves all sports and he is fan of Toronto Raptors, Milano Olimpia and Juventus.

Education Graduate, Malaysia
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Graduated from USM in Bachelor of Education, Bella had participated in AFMAM 2019, GHEF 2018, ASLF 2017, and was one of the champions in the national pitching competition - Pitch for Progress 2.0 - alongside her teammates. Bella is currently looking into research in higher education.

Marisa Panyachiva
Marisa Panyachiva
Partnership and Development Finance Officer, Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand
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Marisa Panyachiva joined the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand in January 2021 as a Partnership and Development Finance Officer. She supports the
Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team by providing substantive support for strategic planning and coordination of partnerships. She also facilitates dialogues with
partners, including with Government, the private sector, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, to improve development assistance policies and practice.

Marisa began her UN career in 2006 with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). She has 15 years of UN experience in
developing partnerships and capacity development strategies, and supporting programme management at the regional level. A lawyer by background, Marisa has
negotiated complex agreements with Member States, facilitated intergovernmental meetings, and managed key partnerships, including with the private sector. She has also
helped design innovative development finance frameworks such as the establishment of an inter-regional fund between East Asian and Latin American countries and set up
mechanisms for inter-agency pooled funding in the Asia-Pacific region. Through her work in programme management, Marisa has played a major role in setting up integrated
systems accompanied by guidelines and training programmes in ESCAP, including on the gender marker, donor agreements, and partnership arrangements.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Marisa was working in the private sector as a lawyer with Baker & McKenzie’s Bangkok Office. During her six years with Baker & McKenzie,
she practiced law in the banking and finance practice group. Marisa graduated with honors from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Law in Thailand and went on to study in Europe and the U.S. She received a Master of Law (cum laude) on international economics and business law from the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, and a Master of Law on banking and securities law from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Ruhimat Soerakoesoemah
Mr. Ruhimat Soerakoesoemah
Head, Subregional Office for South-East Asia, ESCAP
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Mr. Soerakoesoemah is Head of the Subregional Office for South-East Asia at UN ESCAP. He initiates work on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in eleven member countries, in partnership with governments, international institutions, civil society, and private sector entities. He also leads the cooperation for the UN with ASEAN in the economic and social-cultural areas. Prior to UN ESCAP, he managed economic development programmes and delivered technical assistance in the ASEAN and the Pacific region. He has extensive experience in policy analysis, development cooperation, and regional integration in Asia and the Pacific.

for more information, please contact

Subregional Office for South-East Asia + 66 22 88 2902 [email protected]
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