17 Reasons to Celebrate the United Nations Day

The United Nations, as an organization, is well known for its contribution to just about everyone across the world. They work ranges from assistance in times of disaster – be it natural disasters or those caused by the wages of war- to helping people enjoy some of the basic rights and privileges.

Recently, access to the internet was declared a basic human right, a declaration which ensures that everyone has access to the worldwide information and communication network. While this doesn’t guarantee that everyone will have the ability to access the internet, it does ensure that everyone has the right to.

The UN has been seen both as hero and villain, depending on which movie or show you wind up watching.

United Nations Day celebrates the foundation of this great organization and is a great opportunity for you to learn the truth about its past, its present, and what its plans are for the future.

UJnited NAtions agents providing help to kids

History of the United Nations and its celebration

Celebrated on October 24, UN’s Day marks the anniversary of the ratification of the  Charter of the United Nations, by which the UN officially came into being.

Coming into effect after the two world wars and the cold war, the United Nations attempted to salvage humanity from the scourge of war and the wrath of destruction.

Aside from World Peace, its role has grown to include protecting human rights, promoting social and economic development, and providing aid around the world in cases of famine, natural disaster, and armed conflict.

United Nations Day Celebrates the original enactment of the foundational charter for the UN.

This day marks the essential celebration of the values which this organization spells forth – the principles of humanity, unity, and world peace.  It’s also a date to increase awareness of the UN’s aims, projects and contribution to the world.

17 Reasons Why We Support the United Nations

On September 25th, 2015, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution 70/1 “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

It was agreed that all its 193 member countries will adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) to secure a sustainable future for our people and planet.

The SDGs are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

“We can be the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequality, and the last generation to be threatened by climate change.”

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

African woman - United Nations

AIESEC and the United Nations

AIESEC  firmly believes that young people need to be at the center of the global development process.  Therefore, AIESEC and the United Nations have been working together to ensure that the world that we create tomorrow is aligned with the needs of youth today.

In December 2015, AIESECers from 120+ countries gathered at the UN Headquarters to participate in the achievement of SDGs.

Being the biggest youth-run organization, with a goal to engage every young person in the world to achieve peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential, AIESEC  was declared the official ambassador of the SDGs for youth.

Since the past 3 years, AIESEC has been working without a pause to promote awareness for the SDGs, and to create projects that directly contribute for achieving the goals. The SDGs are a roadmap to the future we all long for, and AIESEC believes that the youth has the power to change the world.

Let’s not leave it up to anyone else. It’s time to get our hands dirty and work for the world we want to live in. The intention is not enough. We must ACT.

Crowd from AIESEC holding symbols of United Nation's SDGs

National flags are a mark of pride and patriotism in every country around the world.  But there is only one flag that belongs to all of us. That blue flag of the United Nations was a banner of hope for me growing up in wartime Korea.

Seven decades after its founding, the United Nations remains a beacon for all humanity.”

 Secretary-General  of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon

 Wondering how can you make these goals relevant in your country? What can you do to bring people together to contribute to its accomplishment?

Here’s your chance! Find a project for yourself and make a change for the world.


Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.

AIESEC Participates at UN ECOSOC Forum on Youth

This generation of young people – the largest the world has ever seen – has a historic opportunity to end poverty, combat climate change, create jobs and fight injustice, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a Youth Forum at UN Headquarters in New York this morning as he called on the participants to get involved in shaping a future sustainable development agenda.

Today, there are 1.8 billion young people, representing one quarter of the world’s population. Many struggle to find work, and are often hit hardest in conflict. The Secretary-General says that it is time now to see this huge cohort as a force of change that harbours the ingenuity and creativity to help solve the world’s most daunting challenges.

The event started with a keynote address urging an uptick in investment for children around the world, children’s activist and 2007 International Children’s Peace Prize Winner, Thandiwe Chama, called on delegates to be “on the right side of history” and place “our rights, the rights of children and youth, at the heart of the SDG agenda.”

“There’s no doubt that young people are facing multiple challenges to meet their potential but they are not giving up,” emphasized Youth Envoy Mr. Alhendawi.

“Everywhere I go, I see how the youth want to be connected to the United Nations; they will not miss any opportunity to volunteer and to advocate. They will participate at the Model UN just to simulate what’s happening in the rooms with delegates. Today we are not simulating. This is the United Nations in action.”

As the UN representative on all things relating to young people, Mr. Alhendawi said that a “sense of ownership” is critical to the success of the future sustainable development agenda. The 1.8 billion young people worldwide are ready to “carry their share” of the post-2015 development.

AIESEC representatives Karolina Piotrowska and Tala Mansi are present at the forum to voice our opinions in the role of Youth in light of the upcoming launch of the UN SDG’s.

AIESEC Karolina Piotrowska
Karolina Piotrowska representing the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organisations
AIESEC United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum
Tala Mansi from AIESEC speaking about Youth at the forum

Tala Mansi spoke on the panel voicing “the importance of youth development, bridging the gap between employment and education, and creating individual commitment and awareness of SDG’s from the bottom up.”

The engagement of young people is key to ensuring the successes of the SDG’s as young people will be the ones implementing these large global initiatives. AIESEC has engaged tens of thousands of young people in voicing up their opinions via the YouthSpeak survey where it captures their opinions on the challenges they face in reaching their fullest potential.

We further encourage young people to take ownership of the issues they care about and not sit still waiting for change to come. As we firmly believe that the world needs new leaders and our generation are the ones who need to step up, have courage and stand up for what matters to us.

The world needs your leadership and it’s your time to step up and take responsibility. When was the last time you spoke up about issues that mattered to you?

You can learn more about the ECOSOC Youth forum here.

 

 

The Race to Improving the World Beyond 2015

Did you know there are only 500 days left until the end of the Millennium Development Goals?

As 2015 is slowly approaching, the world is closely watching to witness the accomplishments of the 8 MDGs, set by the United Nations back in the year 2000.

So where are we now? How much did we achieve?

“The world has reduced extreme poverty by half, efforts in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis have shown results, access to an improved drinking water source became a reality for 2.3 billion people”, etc. says The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014.

Let’s take a closer look at the goals and progress reports from this video:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty, but 1 in 5 still live on less than 1.25 dollars per day in developing countries. And although the world has reduced extreme poverty in half, 842 million people around the world still suffer from chronic hunger.

2. Achieve universal primary education – The number of children with no access to primary school education decreased from 102 million in 2000 to 58 million in 2012. While the amount has significantly decreased, the number of out-of-school children is still alarming.

3. Reduce child mortalityUnder-5 mortality rate was reduced almost by 50%, but a lot more needs to be achieved if we want to achieve 2/3 reduction.

4. Improve maternal health – Maternal mortality ratio is down 45% since 1990. However, every day about 800 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

5. Ensure environmental sustainability – Since 2012, 2.3 billion more have access to improved drinking water, but 748 million still use water from an unimproved source.

For more statistics, take a look at:

 

While we ought to celebrate our achievements and recognize the progress we’ve made, we shouldn’t forget how far the world is from where we want it to be. Working on these issues is not priority only now or only until 2015, but every day.

How can we contribute to this?

On August 19th 2014, 700 young people from 124 countries and territories gathered at the Global Youth to Business Forum, an event bringing together top young leaders and experts, business and thought leaders, with the aim of generating new, actionable ideas that will impact the world and its future.

Y2B

They spent the whole day discussing the topics ranging from Diversity and Inclusion, Technology and Innovation to Climate Change, Sustainability and Changing Education. Together, they have come up with action steps that could help improve each of those areas and move the world forward. Stay tuned for our report to find out about the solutions youth and business co-created together!

Don’t forget that we have only 500 days left until MDGs. At the same time, let’s not forget that impact is a daily responsibility. This is why AIESEC offers volunteer internships that help tackle social topics such as cultural understanding, education and literacy, social entrepreneurship, environment, health and lifestyle and many others. For more information, please visit: http://globalcitizen.aiesec.org

This is how we contribute to making an impact every day and helping move this world forward. Share with us:

How will you contribute to bringing the world closer to the vision of 2015? 

 

AIESEC at the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka

“We are not the leaders of tomorrow, we are the leaders of today”
– Opening remarks by Jayathma Wickramanayake, Sri Lanka’s first Youth Delegate to the UN

Last week Sri Lanka hosted the World Conference on Youth. Over 1,500 young people representing 169 different countries gathered in the capital city of Colombo for this conference which has been held all over the world every few years since 1936. The United Nations is currently in the process of drafting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the replacement for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which expire in 2015. The biggest problem with the MDGs was that there was little to no youth participation, even though youth were the ones who were responsible for carrying them out. The young people at this conference and around the world are determined to make sure their inputs are considered this time around.

The purpose of the conference was to gather youth input from all over the world to produce a joint outcome document between the government representatives in attendance and the global representation of youth, officially called the “Colombo Declaration on Youth.” This document will be taken back to the UN headquarters in New York City to be considered in the negotiations of the SDGs.

Participants came from all over the world and were fully funded by the government of Sri Lanka. Delegates included youth from marginalized backgrounds, youth leaders and experts, Sri Lankan youth delegates, national youth delegates representing 200 nations, and youth from international youth-led organizations—including AIESEC. Cassandra Ruggiero, Global VP of Public Relations for AIESEC International, and myself as the AIESEC Representative to the United Nations, who represented AIESEC at the conference. There were roughly 20 other AIESECers in attendance from Sri Lanka and the rest of the world.

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The biggest testament to the strength of the AIESEC network was that anyone you asked about AIESEC had either participated in a program or definitely knew all about it. Whether or not they were formally a part of our organisation, everyone had the mindset of an AIESECer: determined to make the world a better place through youth leadership.

Cassandra was able to step in for a missing speaker on the Globalization and Youth-led Development panel to share these values with an audience of nearly one hundred people. She was given only 5 minutes to prepare after being asked to speak on the panel, a tribute to the ability of AIESECers to adapt under pressure to any situation. After speaking on the panel, we ran a side event on “Becoming the Leader the World Needs” to help delegates reflect on their leadership journeys so that they can take the excitement of the conference back home and make an impact in their countries.

While many side events focused on presenting information on different thematic areas, AIESEC’s event stuck to a youthful vibe that allowed delegates to learn from their past experiences in leadership and start to figure out what they feel their strengths are. This was just a taste of AIESEC’s leadership development program that runs for each of their members around the world.

“By figuring out how to be the best version of yourself, you can be a better leader for the world, and have more impact in whichever path you choose.”
Cassandra Ruggiero

The Millennium Development Goals have done a lot over the last 14 years to change the world we live in, but take a moment to think about how your leadership can shape the world post-2015. There are many avenues within the United Nations to express your vision for the future, including the MyWorld Survey, but the most important thing for you to do is think about your own community/village/town/city/country/world and figure out how you can make an impact, starting today.

To read more about the outcomes of the World Conference on Youth, head to their blog

Five reasons why we need to talk about the future of leadership today

1. The turning point is approaching: post-2015 Development Agenda

The year 2015 is approaching and with it the turning point for the current Millennium Development Goals. All eyes will be on the United Nations and the post-2015 developmental agenda. It is the right time to start thinking about what the future holds beyond 2015. Leadership nowadays is culture-oriented and issue-based, striving to be not just a concept, but a socially responsible solution for the challenges the world is facing. Once we define challenges we want to tackle in the future, we can be set to shape the type of leadership young people will need to be able to solve world’s burning problems.

2. Keeping up with the swift pace of changes in the world

The world is changing at an unprecedented pace and it is necessary to have a visionary outlook in order to predict challenges and start generating possible sustainable solutions. Today’s professions did not exist 10 years ago and we probably have not yet anticipated the professions of tomorrow. However, by ensuring we are developing experts aware of the world they live in, we are one step closer to being in charge of our future, keeping up with the evolution and not falling behind.

3. Value-based leadership development among Gen Y

Technology has changed the way we perceive the world and has influenced the lifestyle of a new generation – Gen Y. It has created interconnected, intertwined society, but has also contributed to information overload, or in other words “information glut” and “data smog”.

T.S.Eliot once asked “Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

Technology did not only change our lifestyle, but also a much deeper aspect of society – the one comprised of values. Since the values that guide people have shifted, we have to ensure that the values the world is built on today, will not endanger any aspect of life in the future. While it is encouraged to live in the present, shortsightedness can prove fatal, as seen by the state of the climate change today.

4. Generation Y to lead the world in the future

Representatives of Generation Y will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2030. It is crucial to understand the way they think, work and act in order to provide the right opportunity for them to develop skills they will need in the future and in order to ensure the right kind of leadership is in store for tomorrow. If provided with an interactive and informative learning platform, young people will be able to develop their potential to the fullest and use it to contribute to their society.

5. Understand. Define. ACT. (in that order)

We should define the type of leaders we want to develop in the future. The first step to developing leaders is knowing what kind of leadership we would like to see in the future. Dynamic? Collaborative? Impactful? Inclusive?

It is important to remember that leadership is not an end goal, but a solution. There are no easy fixes for the challenges we are facing. But the best way to tackle them is to invest in youth – young leaders who will one day decide about the future of our world. In order to achieve that, it is necessary we begin today.

What type of leadership would you like to see in 2030?

Join us on our official Facebook channel www.facebook.com/GlobalY2B and watch live on February 25th, as we discuss the future of leadership on Youth to Business Forum Top Leaders Edition.