A highly driven and motivated young Tassagh woman is set to enjoy four life changing days of knowledge-sharing and networking as the world’s largest gathering of future leaders takes place in Belfast next month.
The One Young World Summit, which will take place from October 2-5, will bring together delegates from over 190 countries and more than 250 organisations to confront the biggest challenges facing humanity and accelerate social impact.
Emer Rafferty is one of over 2,000 delegates who will attend the summit which will feature a star-studded line up of counsellors including footballing icon Didier Drogba, Rugby World Cup winning captain Francois Pienaar and British-Iranian journalist and author Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
The youngest director of EcoJustice Ireland and a second-year chemical engineering student, Emer is a passionate and concerned environmental activist with a particular interest in decarbonisation and low carbon energy transition.
A reporter and ambassador at both COP26 and COP27 she strives to ensure society is fair, just and sustainable and advocates for systemic change for ecojustice within Ireland.
The Tassagh woman is an active campaigner for greater action in government, business and grassroots work in communities.
She regularly organises community group clean ups at Seagahan Dam and the surrounding rural area that bring people together and help raise awareness of the importance of taking care of our local area.
As an Education Authority delegate at the summit, Emer is clear her focus will be on addressing the climate and ecological crisis and is hopeful it will provide it a spring board for real change and a sincere attempt at tackling these problems.
This year’s One Young World Summit has been recognised by both the City of Belfast and the UK Government as being part of the official functions to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
A number of local political figures with extensive experience of peace building have also been confirmed as counsellors.
These include Lord Alderdice and Monica McWilliams, both signatories of the Good Friday Agreement and Bríd Rodgers, a former Agriculture Minister in the first Stormont Executive.
Joining them will be Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Bertie Ahern, former Irish Taoiseach and an architect of the Good Friday Agreement are also confirmed as counsellors at the summit.
With the summit just weeks away Emer can’t wait for it to start and is eager to learn as much as she can.
She says: “The summit is gathering excitement and engagement and I am looking forward to attending workshops, discussions and working with fellow delegates.
“As with any conference I engage in, I want to make sure a legitimate impact is made with the climate and ecological crisis being my main concerns.
“I intend to ensure the summit raises the questions that need raised to ensure decision makers act now to make a positive change.”
For the full list of counsellors at this year’s One Young World Summit in Belfast, and to find out how you can get involved, visit https://www.oneyoungworld.com/summit-2023