“Established in 1946, the UN Information Center is responsible for US/UN issues and serves as a liaison to Congress, the US government and foundations in Washington as well as to the media, academic institutions and public across the United States. The Center includes a small reference library that houses official UN documents as well as other materials published by the United Nations. The office also supports high-level visitors from headquarters and field offices around the world. UNIC’s internship program presents an enormous opportunity for college students and post-graduates seeking a challenging work experience in international relations. The Center accepts interns three times a year (Fall, Winter/Spring and Summer) with deadlines posted on the website on a unpaid basis for a period of three months or more.”
For more information, visit their official website here!
Every year on March 8, the United Nations and the world celebrates International Women’s Day, this day is considered as an opportunity to look at the potential of future generations of women, so the central theme of this year was “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.” The aim is to reflect that, despite enormous progress since 1975, women are still underrepresented in various sectors of society.
In turn this inequality limits their creativity and talent, stifles inclusion and pluralism, a situation that not only harms women but weakens society. Regarding the election of the theme for this year, the United Nations stated that one of the main reasons is that the world of work is in transformation, with significant implications for women. While globalization, the digital and technological revolution create new opportunities; increasing informality at work, instability in income sources, new fiscal and trade policies, and environmental impact play a decisive role in the economic empowerment of women. According to the UN, 50 percent of women of working age are represented in the global workforce, compared to 76 percent of men. It also notes that an overwhelming majority of women work in the informal economy, subsidizing care and domestic work. The focus on low-paid, low-skilled jobs for little or no social protection.
This day is not only to commemorate women, but also to bring equality to men because at the workplace men do not receive paid parental leave and women do not have enough weeks to spend with their newborn baby. According to UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway, she mentioned the benefits of paid parental leave, such as creating positive cycles of behavior, boosting productivity and morale. So, it is important to include men in paid parental leave to create a harmonious society.
Therefore, on International Women’s Day aims to raise awareness of people to achieve gender equality at work, which is indispensable for sustainable development.
As the President of the United Nations Association – City College of New York Chapter, I would like to extend an invitation to you to join us on March 24th 2017 for our very first Human Rights Summit.
The Human Rights Summit will act as a safe space for young people to have discussions and advocate for human rights issues facing all around the world. Panelists will include 10 CCNY Youth Delegates who will address human rights issues of their representing country and provide concrete recommendations to combat them. The purpose behind this summit is to get the youth involved and engage them in a dialogue that is directly related with the work of United Nations.
> FREE FOOD AND REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED!
> THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO PUBLIC.
This is an important opportunity for our youth at CCNY.
Soliya is an international nonprofit organization preparing the next generation with the skills, attitudes, and commitment to engage with difference constructively. We operate at the intersection of technology, peacebuilding, and global education to foster local awareness and global perspectives.
Soliya is piloting Connect Program Compact – a four-week dialogue program that will allow to connect even more participants around the world in a concise format. The pilot program will begin on Monday, April 3rd and end on Thursday, April 27th. And we need your help! If you’re interested in fostering those increasingly essential 21st century skills and attitudes by facilitating the Connect Program Compact apply herebefore Friday, March 17th. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We hope you’ll join in on this new adventure!
Registration Instructions to co-facilitate a Connect Program Compact group:
Step One: Log into your Soliya account, fill in your facilitation preferences – hit submit. Note, please be sure to note the Compact Training date you sign up for on your calendar – we will send you a reminder with login details 2 days prior.
Step Two: Update your contact information and available times on the Soliya website by following the instructions at the bottom of this document;
Step Three: Take the diagnostic test from the computer you plan to use for facilitation. The updated system requirements and instructions for taking the diagnostic test are here.
The deadline for updating schedules and running the diagnostic test is Friday, March 17th at which point we will begin the process of pairing and scheduling you for the program. If you update your availability or anything changes in your schedule availability after this, please email at email@example.com ASAP!
This week, Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed was sworn in by SG Antonio Guterres and we, your faithful representatives, immediately got a chance to hear her speak. It was her first official engagement and I was extremely delighted when she announced that she will be focusing on sustainable development. SD has always captured my imagination and passion. I cannot agree more with the vision of sustainable development that she has forged with SG Guterres, especially their emphasis on the need to empower youth as agents of peace and development. (Read the full text of her speech and the Q&A that followed here.)
At one point in her speech, DSG Mohammed mentioned that we have not achieved enough success in addressing gender barriers. I realized that she herself is a symbol of this progress and the limitations therein. Earlier in the semester, CCNY was graced by the visit of Ms. Natalia Gherman, former Prime Minister of Moldova and one of the female candidates for secretary general in the 2016 race. Ms. Gherman had mentioned that many were expecting a female from Eastern Europe to emerge victorious; if the seat rotated fairly, it simply was time for such a new SG. When Mr. Guterres, a white man from Western Europe, became the winner, even he was surprised. Ms. Gherman posited that the new SG feels guilty that he took the position from the ladies, and so wanted to make up by appointing a lot of women to high positions at the UN. Deputy Secretary General Mohammed’s selection would certainly fit this theory.
Gender has been an issue of hot debate lately. On many stages, battle of the sexes have manifested into heated contests. So many positions and candidates became over-simplified into a competition between men and women. And then there are the transgender folks and complex gender folks I have yet to learn how to address properly…Apparently Facebook offers 58 possibilities. While I am of course happy that more ladies are taking on prominent roles in different arenas, some times I wonder what it all means.
Last week I attended an event sponsored by the permanent mission of the Republic of Indonesia on “the role of women in peacekeeping”. The panel was made up of female officers in peacekeeping missions and police forces, with a lone gentlemen, the Permanent Representative of Lebanon, asked to “balance out” the set. The ladies shared their experiences in the field and the general conclusion was indisputable: Having more women in peacekeeping missions would be beneficial all around.
During the discussion, my mind kept floating to my “Debating Political Ideologies” class, where I learned about third wave feminism, which envisions a gender fluid society where people are no longer restricted to the categories of women and men. Gender is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Babies are ascribed gender roles and trained to perform according to their labels. We are not born as males and females, but rather learn to become men and women.
So when a recommendation is submitted that more women be recruited to serve on peace-keeping missions, do we need biological women? Genetic women? Individual who physically resemble the traditional vision of “women”? Or people who possess the personalities, characteristics, and/or skills usually associated with “women”? Would a biological male who can pass for a girl and is gentle and kind and detail-oriented suffice? What about a girl who is like a “man” in every way? Would she still bring about the benefits expected by having a female?
With academia and the activist circles heading so far ahead on questions of gender, discussing binary struggles of male v.s. female feels so odd, like a throwback of many decades. Are we really still stuck in that stage? DSG Mohammed said we have not achieved enough. Perhaps that is so. But perhaps, beyond the male-female struggle, the world has yet to find a common direction in which to progress. It is a deeply controversial issue and we must be culturally sensitive.
Have you ever questioned whether or not our history is being undermined? During my attendance at the event on “Promoting and Strengthening the International Legal Framework for the Protection of Cultural Heritage”. I was surprised that permanent representatives from different countries such as Cambodia, Costa Rica, Nepal, Czech Republic and others were going to be present at the meeting. However, the highlight of my day was Venezuela’s presence at the meeting, the country where I come from. All the permanent missions were sitting at the conference room with their maximum attention towards the speakers discussing on the importance of preserving our cultural heritage.
For me this meeting was different from the previous ones I attended because while at the meeting I suddenly had a flashback of myself in Gorée Island located in Senegal. I was fortunate to visit the House of Slaves, a place that is a World Heritage Site. As I approach the House of Slaves, I felt that I was going to a boring museum where a tour guide will just talk with an unenthusiastic tone. However, our tour guide turned out to be the most passionate one, he used facial expression and gestures to explain everything.
As I walked to a small room where the masters kept the slaves, it was very dark with iron shackles attached on the wall, which I felt the horror and coldness they encountered; as I continued entering the room. I started to imagine the cruelty that slaves endured and the vulnerability they had. Once I left the room, I looked around the place, I could not imagine that such a small place, the masters were able to keep thousands of slaves. As I go on my journey, I encountered myself with the Door of No Return where millions of slaves passed through that door to the New World.
Guess what? It was time to bring my thoughts back to the meeting. Having those flashbacks, it reminds me that it is important to preserve our cultural heritage because each of them were left by our ancestors as it tells a story with its own meaning. We begin to know less about our culture and allow modernity to pull us away from traditions that our ancestors have left for us to carry to future generations. However, little by little there are people whom realize that in order to advance, we must first look to the past.
The tendency to return to our roots, nature, and the practices of our ancestors are growing stronger locally and globally for simple reasons: globalization, consumerism and the destruction of our own habitat. The human being has contaminated the environment within the last 40 years, more than the whole history of its existence.
Lastly, at the meeting we realize that combining our current lifestyle with some ancestral customs is a solution to the great environmental and social problem we are facing. We find answers to problems of agriculture. To exemplify, in the techniques that ethnics have been implementing for centuries, their methods reflect sustainability which are fundamental in current organizations and highly effective and replicable mechanisms. From this premise is born the need and the desire to revive the culture and old practices of each region.
What do you do when you are exiting the UN headquarters and find all the doors locked and nobody around? It was only my first time attending an UN event as a youth representative of the CCNY NGO. I am sure that it will be a memorable experience that I will savor for many years to come.
The topic of the UNAOC event I attended was “Media and Information Literacy: Educational Strategies for the Prevention of Violent Extremism”. The panelist shared great insight into the way the media–traditional and new–are being utilized by all sides to wage a war of opinion. How can we properly utilize the power of media to win the hearts and minds of young people world-wide, or at least prevent them from falling into the abyss of violent extremism?
I was so enthralled by the discussion that I stayed in the chamber after the main event adjourned and chatted with the keynote speaker. And even after everyone else left, I sat down for another moment to gather my thoughts. By the time I snapped out from my reflections, it has gotten quite late. So I packed my things and headed for the lobby from which I entered.
The whole way from the bookstore to the lobby I didn’t see anyone else around. By the time I reached the class doors toward the visitors’ entrance, I was shocked to find that they were locked. Every single one of those doors. For a second my head went blank…I got locked in at the UN?!?
The good thing was that I was left bewildered by that predicament for only about five minutes. I was soon joined by a dozen others who were in the building attending various meetings and now needed to head out. I was comforted in having companions facing the problem together, but none of us knew what to do.
We tried returning to the book store level to see if we can find a custodian on duty. We found only an abandoned mop bucket. We tried heading back toward the conference rooms to see if there are security guards still around. We didn’t get that far.
We were lucky to run into a lady on wheelchair who knew what to do. She first took us back to the lobby to examine the doors to make sure that they are utterly and completely locked. Then she proceeded to take us on a serpentine journey toward a potential alternative exit.
It was quite a long way through the underbelly of the UN buildings. We passed by chambers and walkways and exhibits and offices. We made so many turns that I doubt I can retrace that path if I had to do it again by myself. But at last we made it out of the UN complex at an exit near 42nd Street.
I was so relieved to breathe the night air after I got out. I turned back to look at the behemoth that is the UN complex and thought to myself: What a remarkable first day! While it wouldn’t have been completely horrible to actually get locked in at the UN overnight, I sure was glad that I was able to get out and make it home for dinner. It was a great experience, and I look forward to my next visit. Hopefully I’ll get out normally next time.
Every February 20th is Social Justice Day, it is a day that aims to raise awareness of the international community to achieve the eradication of poverty based on full decent employment and favorable conditions for the person, promoting among other things, such as gender equality, full employment and decent work, access to social welfare and social justice for all.
The United Nations since the proclamation of the World Day of Social Justice has argued that social justice is a fundamental principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence.
Likewise, the International Labor Organization (ILO) was established as a specialized agency within the United Nations. The United Nations urges all nations to work to ensure that the weakest can access and obtain the same rights as other citizens. Social justice must be achieved and sustained in the peaceful coexistence of citizens as well as prosperity.
My name is Anasimon Takla. I am a Political Science and International Studies student at CCNY. I was a Youth Representative of the CCNY NGO at the UN during the Fall 2016 semester.
How did you earn the position of Youth Representative of the CCNY NGO at the UN?
I simply applied by sending my resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
What was it like to represent the CCNY NGO?
It was a wonderful and humbling experience. The CCNY NGO itself is newly formed. The school, however, is one of the most prestigious schools in New York. The experience instantly opens your eyes and makes you comprehend what a great responsibility it is to represent a whole institution from the student body to the staff and faculty to everyone else on campus. Also, City College is not just any academic institution. Being located in Harlem, we were approached several times from activists who not only wanted student or NGO involvement in their causes, but particularly Harlem students whom they believed would add a great value to their campaigns.
What were some highlights of your experience at CCNY?
As a Youth Representative of my school’s NGO, I needed to be acquainted with struggles that CCNY students face daily in order to help shed light on them during the numerous events that future Youth Representatives will be attending at the United Nations. Myself and my NGO colleagues organized a meeting with the school’s Undergraduate Student Government’s President, Safat Chowdhury, the Vice President of Finance, Radwa Ahmed, and Senator Taimoor Arif. We asked them to explain to us the main plights of CCNY students so that we can use our platform to bring awareness to them. A more detailed summary of this meeting can be found here.
What were some highlights of your experience at the UN?
During my many visits to the UN headquarters and while attending several events on different causes as well as weekly DPI NGO briefings, I was fortunate to meet influential leaders, inspiring role models, and tireless NGO representatives eager to achieve their own organizations’ goals. Being a female myself, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting numerous prominent female figures. For instance, it was truly inspiring to attend the Climate Neutral Now event in September and chat with the current and first female FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura. Likewise, it was interesting to hear about the General Assembly’s efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance from Thailand’s perspective through Counsellor Maratee Andamo, representative of the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations. Also equally fascinating was meeting Minister Counsellor Veronica Garcia Gutierrez who spoke about improving women’s issues from the perspective of the Permeant Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations. The examples of impressive female figures whom I met at the UN are far too many to be listed and this experience has made me more determined to join them in paving the roads for younger girls aspiring to enter the world of diplomacy.
“Join our campaign for peace, human rights and environmental sustainability. Let us, together, create a movement … a movement for change, a movement of all nations and all people, united, to advance the great causes of our day.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 2011
The Department of Public Information sees young people as a critical group in its work with non-governmental organizations. We encourage young people already involved with a DPI associated NGO to become their organization’s Youth Representative at the United Nations.
Become a Youth Representative
Are you 18-32 years old?
Do you belong to an NGO associated with DPI?
Do you want to help make positive social changes – in your community, in your country and in the world?
Would you like to gain experience to help reach your education and career goals?
Encourage youth participation
Are you a current NGO that would like to get more youth involved in your cause?
Would you like to learn how to better support and encourage your current youth representatives?
How to get involved
If you are interested in serving as a youth representative of a DPI associated NGO, contact the head of your organization who will need to nominate you. Each DPI-NGO associated organization is allowed 2 youth representatives annually.
Some of the benefits and activities include:
A yearly UN Grounds Pass which allows access to the UN Headquarters, in New York.
A one-day Orientation Programme for DPI/NGO Youth Representatives
Access to documents promoting youth activities at the DPI/NGO Resource Centre
Access to youth-related public information events at the UN
Participation in the weekly Thursday Briefings
The opportunity to be a youth panellist at the weekly Thursday Briefings
Active involvement in two bi-annual Communications Workshops
Membership in the Youth Subcommittee as part of the Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference Planning Committee
The chance to be a youth speaker at the Closing session of the Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference
The opportunity to participate in social media coverage of the Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference
Involvement in establishing a youth blog by and for youth
Organizing and promoting NGO youth events publicising issues and campaigns on the UN agenda using both traditional and new media
Providing opportunities for intergenerational cooperation and collaboration
Cooperating with UN programmes such as the UN Volunteers
Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
We invite you to visit the website of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth for more information on the work that they are doing and the events taking place at the UN involving youth.