Student News, Awards and Honors, CAPA

Torikashvili Selected as Georgia Youth Delegate to the United Nations

As Georgia’s Youth Delegate to the United Nations, Bennington student Lika Torikashvili addressed the Third Committee of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. In her speech, Torikashvili championed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Lika Torikashvili play video
Close Video

Georgia's Youth Representative Lika Torikashvili Addresses the United Nations

Mister chair, honorable delegates,

“Made on earth by humans” - this is a secret message written on a circuit board of a fully electric Tesla car sent to space. The remarkable message gives us hope for the borderless societies of the future. Where we won't be divided by what makes us all different but united by a simple feature: we are all humans, and this is our planet. The only home we have at the moment. And it is our responsibility to take care of it using the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

At a very young age I realized that if you want to bring a positive impact to this world, you can start right away. You don’t have to be a government official to make change. At the age of 14 I, along with other fellow Georgians, established an youth organization called Paint The World in Tbilisi, Georgia. This movement strives to unite young people with diverse cultural backgrounds with the idea of community service. We provide psychological support to people in crisis by implementing art therapy projects in hospitals, orphanages, hospices, elderly shelters and centers for people with disabilities. The movement quickly expanded internationally, and together, our team channeled Paint The World to countries such as Georgia, UK, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Oman, Malaysia, Indonesia, The Kingdom of eSwatini, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique and the US. I am telling you this because, if I, a girl from Tbilisi, Georgia, can do this just with a dream, imagine what, we, as the world, can do if we put our resources together and follow our dreams to positively impact the world. Being a global citizen means that you get the see a bigger picture of our world. My experience gave me a strong understanding that the issues young people face around the world are in fact very similar. I have visited many countries and worked with many groups of youth. In different parts of the planet, I’ve seen poverty, crime, racism, child abuse, lack of basic sanitation, lack of education, and most of all: hopelessness. I’ve realized that we humans are doing something wrong.

The youth of Georgia believe that loving our country requires more than just singing its praises or avoiding uncomfortable truths. It requires the occasional disruption. The willingness to speak up for what is right, to shake up the status quo. For this, we should hold our governments responsible for their actions. Globally, we need to make education our biggest priority and reshape our educational systems by effective implementation of youth policies. We need to transform educational system so that every school will help children pursue their true passion and use their education to change, to innovate and progress. It is not enough to aim to create the generation of leaders. Leaders, if they don’t have the right intentions, outrageously abuse their power. If we really want to put the Sustainable Development Goals in action, let's raise the generation of bold people, who will have the courage to chase their dreams, who will be kind to one another, who will solve all international and regionalconflicts in order to build a civilization that lives in harmony and lasting peace.

Now is the time to break the vicious cycle and transform challenges into opportunities. For that reason, we’ve established the “Youth Movement for Reconciliation” under the mandate of Georgia’s Youth Delegate to the United Nations. We firmly support continuous efforts of the Government of Georgia to the reconciliation with our Abkhaz and Ossetian brothers and sisters and newly adopted state strategy “A step to a better future” aimed to provide to them the benefits of the Sustainable Development Goals such as high-quality education and economic growth.

Dear colleagues,

Millions of people around the world lack the bright colors they need to show them their own dream is possible. In Georgia, and many other locations worldwide, I have seen places that are dull, I have met who people live gray lives. My friends and I have already painted the lives of thousands of people around the world, but there is still more to do. United as humans we need to paint this world with bright colors of unity and peace! Because at the end of the day, color represents the way we live our lives. So let’s walk the talk! It is time to live our lives in color! We are all humans, and this is our planet! I thank you!