Interview Pietro Fochi

Name: Pietro Fochi 

DOB: April 6th  

Place of Birth: Bologna, Italy 

Education: graduating student School of Law 

Aspired Occupation: change maker (currently social entrepreneur) 

Favorite Book: The Catcher in the Rye 

Favorite Movie: The Great Beauty 

Zodiacal Sign: Aries 

Hobbies: traveling, theater 

Describe yourself in 2 sentences: 

Enthusiast world citizen with a strong sense of belonging to the national and global community. I  commit to bringing youth closer to the institutions and institutions closer to youth, through advocacy and social entrepreneurship. 


Question #1: What is the role of Youth Delegates, in your opinion? 

The role of Youth Delegates is multifaceted and rounded, and it embraces a variety of activities that go beyond what is foreseen by the coordinating organization. 

It could be easier to summarize it into two interconnected directions: toward institutions and toward youth. First, YDs shall get engaged with the highest institutions of both their countries and of the multilateral system which requires a proactive and personal daily action not limited to the mere execution of what is planned or foreseen. The main aim of this activity is that fully represent the youth of your country, including minorities and vulnerable groups, by raising awareness and driving institutional entities to focus on related issues. 

Second, the YDsshall not only promotes the values and the culture of multilateralism of IGOs among youth,  but also builds bridges connecting them with the institutions, ensuring an effective inclusion at any – local, national, regional, and international – which is a key to reach empowerment.

All of this goes through a number of activities, from the most to the less formal, to be shaped before and during the YD mandate. 

Question #2: What are some of the qualities that the UN Youth Delegate should possess? 

A Youth Delegate to the UN is first of all a youth leader, meaning someone who walks side by side with his or her peers and gives examples of proactivity, commitment, and integrity. 

The best YD truly believes in the meaning of the UNYDP and in the value of the State and that of multilateralism. As a critical thinker, the YD understands that things always need to be improved, and that change shall start from his or her actions in the first place. 

As an institutional representative, the Youth Delegate needs to be able to quickly understand and adjust to procedures, protocol, and diplomatic courtesy even though it is not part of his or her nature. However, due to the broad variety of activities, the YD undertakes, flexibility and versatility are the keys to success. Moreover, networking skills are essential to make the mandate meaningful and to ensure its natural development. This implies the ability to get rid of personal and national stereotypes and to embrace cultural differences. 

Finally, the most important quality for a YD is to understand that the mandate is not (only and primarily)  meant to foster his or her personal curriculum, while the final goal is to bring positive change for the youth of the country. 

Question #3; Which is the most memorable aspect of your mandate? 

The most memorable aspect of being appointed as YD to the UN is surely the chance to get a first-hand experience on international relations and dialogue. More specifically, what makes it a unique role is not only the opportunity to witness mechanisms of the international community but also to be fully part of those. The best aspect, however, is the exchange with the corresponding Delegates from other countries, which shows that global cooperation is both possible and feasible. It is unbelievable how effective and powerful our actions and creative solutions put forward by the entire group of appointed  YDs! 

Question #4: What is the most challenging aspect of being a UN Youth Delegate? 

I would identify two major challenges a YD to the UN face within the mandate: learning and following-up. The UN structure, together with the functioning of the national diplomacy, is incredibly complicated to be understood. Behind all of norms and regulations, history and practices, you might be well prepared on,  until you step into your Permanent Mission or to any UN Office or HQ it is hard to understand how things go, and how to interact with the other actors. The language change, so the daily habits do. It takes a while to adjust and to comprehend your role the way you and the people around you intend it. What makes it a  challenge is the fact that by the time you learn, most of your mandate is already gone! In this light, a  supportive handover with the precedent YDs shall be crucial.

The second major challenge I identify for YDs is the ability to go through a methodical and well-planned follow-up on all the activities and meetings done in the frame of the program. To construct a positive legacy, it is of utmost importance to keep up with contacts, provided inputs, new ideas, and projects at the right timing and with the proper energy. This is probably the hardest thing a YD has to deal with. 

Question #5: Can you share an amusing story with us and our followers? 

There is a variety of amusing moments taking place at the UNHQ in NYC and around it. Networking Friday at the Delegates lounge is among those: diplomats gather in a very relaxed atmosphere and get to know each other better, exchanging on their own cultures, backgrounds, and, of course, professional life. The most – institutionally – amusing moment of my mandate until now, after 5 missions abroad in 5  months, was when during the General Debate of the UN Commission for Social Development, my  Permanent Representative showed up in the conference room and asked me if I was willing to deliver part of the national statement after her. I had been working on its part addressing youth issues and, even though I was not expecting it at all – just picture in your mind what it means to speak in full capacity before the international community – it has been a genuine moment of youth inclusion. 

Question #6: What advice would you give to young people like yourself looking to apply to this programme? 

The UNYDP is a once-in-life experience every youth who is committed to a more sustainable and fairer world should try to live. Be aware that it requires a lot of effort and some sacrifice as well. It is not always easy to be satisfied with yourself as YD and to meet the expectations of those you deal with. However, like always, hard work pays off. The best piece of advice I can give to young people looking to apply is “don’t do it for yourself, do it for the youth and for a better tomorrow”.