Global Peace Foundation Hosts International Young Leaders Assembly at the UN

Soon il Higashino, Illustrator

At the very center of New York City is the United Nations Headquarters, where assemblies gather in its many conference buildings throughout the year. The UN Headquarters is a pivotal place for people from all around the world to communicate and connect with others, regardless of ethnicity, religion, background, etc.. This makes the UN an ideal place for people of all various backgrounds to gather at the annual International Young Leaders Assembly (IYLA), hosted by Global Peace Foundation (GPF), every August.

IYLA is an initiative designed to bring together young leaders, from student leaders to young professionals to globally renowned leaders, and encourage them to make positive differences in their communities, nations, and the world. Leaders gather to propose and discuss possible solutions to pressing issues prevalent in today’s world. Those attending are encouraged by the inspiring messages of top leaders, diplomats, and young leaders to take initiative and make efficacious changes within their own communities as agents of change. This has an immensely positive impact on people attending, as they take home a pure, sincere, and honest message based on the experiences they learn about from the event. These young leaders follow up with the UN event and develop a global young leadership network that allows them to stay focused on and motivated by the vision of IYLA: Moral and Innovative Leadership.

The Current was able to talk with the regional director of NY/NJ, GPF USA, Sam Kotegawa, after this year’s IYLA event. When asked about the purpose and goals of IYLA, Kotegawa said, “We often say that young people are the leaders of the future, but in reality, you are the leader of today. There are many books and guides that talk about how to be a leader. However, true leadership comes from morals and moral authority first practiced within yourself and in your family. Through this vision of Moral and Innovative Leadership, we want to build a network of like-minded young leaders around the world; whether they are connected by families, friends, schools, or communities, it is through leaders that we can bring about positive changes in our world.”

IYLA is open to young leaders from all over the world, including Ossining, New York! Several student leaders from Ossining High School have been selected as regional high school leadership representatives to participate at IYLA for the past three years. For more information about the IYLA at the UN, contact: Sam Kotegawa, [email protected].

For more information about GPF’s efforts to create sustainable peace in our world, visit:

For more information about IYLA, visit: