Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill: Finding Faith in a Divisive Place

On his way to a six-day trip to Mexico next week, Pope Francis I will make an unscheduled stopover in Havana, Cuba on February 12. There he will meet with Cuban President Raul Castro and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the religious leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. This unprecedented meeting marks a milestone in the strained relationship between the two churches who have been at odds since 1054.

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Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill

The meeting of these two religious leader has been in the making for decades.  Negotiations for a meeting between Patriarch Alexy II and Pope John Paul II were held in 1996 but ultimately fell through. This event marks the first time since the churches split in the 11th century that the leaders of these two institutions will meet, although President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Pope Francis I met briefly in June 2015. Formal relations between Russia and Vatican City were established only recently in 2009.

Both parties have released statements express optimism for the meeting. They are expected to meet for two hours before presenting a joint declaration.

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UN Announces Sustainable Development Advocacy Group

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H.E. Mrs. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Co-Chair of the advocacy group

To promote the Sustainable Development goals laid out in September 2015, the United Nations has announced the launch of The Sustainable Development Advocacy Group, an organization of eminent personalities with access to unique resources through which to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. New advocates include star-powered celebrities and athletes such as Shakira, Forest Whitaker and Argentine soccer heartthrob Leo Messi, but also include more politically and economically active individuals such as Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Doha of Qatar. For the full list of Advocates, click here.

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The baby girls were born in September 2015

But it’s not just people supporting the UN’s goal of sustainability.  Baby twin Pandas in Chengdu, China have been declared the first ever Animal Goodwill Ambassadors. A naming campaign for the baby girls will continue into June.  Vote for your favorite name and learn more about the UN Development Programme’s here!

 

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Ms. Leymeh Gbowee, Director of Gbowee Peace Foundation

The Sustainable Development Goals are a list of 17 goals to help achieve the end of poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. Goals are diverse, ranging from the strengthening of state institutions to the maintenance of good health and well-being for all global citizens. To learn more about the Sustainable Development goals, click here.

Akon Lighting Africa

In February of 2014, Grammy-nominated R&B/hip-hop singer/songwriter and rapper Akon, political activist Thione Niang and entrepreneur Samba Bathily launched Akon Light­ing Africa, an initiative that aims to develop an innovative solar-powered solution that will provide African villages with access to a clean and affordable source of electricity. Now, almost two years later, 100,000 street-lamps, 1,000 solar micro-generators and 200,000 household electric systems have been installed across 14 African countries.  The installation of these lights makes public spaces safer, allowing businesses to conduct sales longer, children to study and learn longer and provide jobs for many people who work to install and maintain the lights.

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Akon, who is known for his suggestive club anthems, was born in St. Louis but spent most of childhood growing up in West African nation of Senegal. “I was one of those kids you see run­ning around with no shoes on liv­ing in straw huts,” Akon said in an interview with the National Journal. “I was blessed to be able to come to the U.S. with my dad and I’ve seen a bet­ter life, but it really hurts a lot know­ing that Africa has all these re­sources and we haven’t fully taken ad­vant­age of it.”

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But Akon, who is also a successful business man and founder of two successful record labels, sees this as an economic opportunity as well.  “I get tired of hear­ing that Africa is a char­ity case,” Akon mentioned in the same interview.  “Africa is wide open for busi­ness, and we’ve found a good busi­ness mod­el. Africa will nev­er run out of sun.”

Learn more about the musical mogul’s work here.

Meet the Interns: Fall 2015

The fall semester is almost at a close and we thought we would take the opportunity to introduce our incredible intern team!  If you’re interested in joining our intern team in the future, see our criteria here!

SherSha AtifSherShah

Where are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?
I am from Peshawar, Pakistan. I study International Relations & International Communications at Boston University.

Based on the Food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
Based on the food alone, I would like to visit Turkey.

What would a movie based on your life be called and who would play you?
A movie based on my life would be called “Connect the Dots: The 3rd Culture” and the actor that would play me would be a young Marlon Brando.

What were you for Halloween?
For Halloween, I was a monkey.

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
What I love most about UNAGB is the team enthusiasm for the collaborative work that we do.

Siobhan Billings Pearce

10470600_731891333537978_2061723635056516309_nWhere are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?
I am from Norridgewock, Maine and I go to Emmanuel College where I am a senior double majoring in International Studies: Sustainability and Global Justice and Spanish.

Based on the food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
One time I saw Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods eat a brains and liver soup from a street vendor in Bangkok and he couldn’t stop talking about how delicious it was. I’ve dreamed of eating my way across Thailand ever since.

What would a movie based on your life be called and who would play you?
A movie about my life thus far would be called Pero, like, and would tell the story of my travels and struggles through Spanish-speaking nations with my limited Spanish.  Emma Stone would play me because I am a ridiculous person.

What were you for Halloween?
I was Kim Possible. Call me beep me if you want to reach me.

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
I love that my supervisors trust me with serious tasks. I feel that my work here is appreciated, I feel supported and it is wonderfully fun to see a project you’re working on be finished to completion and to see the people it affects.  I also like the other interns.  We learn a lot from each other.

Linnea Erickson

Linnea

Where are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?
Mount Desert Island, ME. Emmanuel College. Political Science with minors in History and Middle Eastern studies.

Based on the food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
EVERYWHERE

What would a movie based on your life be called and who would play you?
“Uh-oh” played by Haley McKinnon

What were you for Halloween?
I was “Irish” for Halloween. Wore green, gave myself two clover sharpie tattoos, and kept the red hair. I rocked it.

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
Honestly, I love the people I work with

Shehab Fass

ShehabWhere are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?
I’m originally from Egypt but I moved to the U.S three years ago. I go to Alnoor academy (high school) and planning to major in international relations next year!

Based on the food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
TURKEY

What would a movie based on your life be called and who would play you?
SHEEZUS, Daniel Radcliffe

What were you for Halloween?
A STUDENT APPLYING TO COLLEGE REFINING HIS COMMONAPP

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
I love the flexibility and the inclusion of all interns. The teamwork is AMAZING and we all feel like family together. I feel like my work has a real impact on real people out there and this in itself motivates me to continue working with maximum effort.

Bee Keswa

Where are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?Bee
Johannesburg, South Africa, Framingham State and Cambridge College, Liberal Arts and Business.

Based on the food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
If I could go anywhere in the world based in the food alone, I would go almost everywhere. I would go to China first and I would try to catch every festival they have, particularly the moon festival because they have different traditional meals for different festivals. Then I would go to India and then I would go to Spain and Italy.

What would a movie based on your life be called and who would play you?
“Beautiful Things Are Coming” because that’s what my Zulu name means. Keke Palmer will be a young me, Gabrielle Union can play the middle me, Viola Davis can play the older me and Cicely Tyson can play the Grandma me.

What were you for Halloween?
A leopard, but only because by minion costume fell flat.

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
I love everybody that I work with. I am really happy that I have a group of people that I get along with that I can ask questions to and who I hope learn from me because I definitely learn from you guys. I like the fact that we get to be so hands on and so involved in the model UN conference and the source material that the different teachers, different schools the children use and we get to see where our work goes. I also like the whirl of information and world topics that swirl around the think tank table whether about House of Cards or ISIS or displaced people; they are conversations that add something beautiful for the experience.

Celia Lao

Where are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?
I am from Panama. I went to Lindenwood University – St. Charles, Missouri. I have a B.S. in EconomicsCelia

Based on the food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
Italy and Greece

What would a movie based on your life be called and who would play you?
Movie: Exploring the World -Actress: Shu Qi-Hong Kong actress-many people say I look like her.

What were you for Halloween?
Olimpia – Greek Goddess

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
Making friends from all over the world!

Sabrina Marques

Where are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?
I’m from MoSabrinaorestown, New Jersey, which is only about 20 minutes from Philadelphia. I’m a sophomore at Boston University studying International Relations!

Based on the food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
This is a tough one… My entire family is Portuguese and I love Portuguese food so I’d definitely be happy to go there to eat!! Other than that, probably Barcelona, because I love tapas, or pretty much anywhere with great seafood!

What would a movie based on your life be called and who would play you?
Hmmm… I’d like it to be some kind of crazy travel adventure story, because I hope to travel a lot throughout my life, but I’m not sure what it would be called. To play me, I’m thinking maybe Audrey Hepburn when she was young. This is mostly because my parents chose to name me after watching the 1954 movie Sabrina, which she was the main character in. So I feel like I have some kind of a connection to her. She was also a UNICEF Ambassador for several years, and I think that’s really cool.

What were you for Halloween?
I was Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell!

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
I really love seeing how all the work and research the education interns do directly impacts the programs! Kids use our materials and learn from them, and that’s a really cool thing to observe and take in. It’s also just really inspiring to see so many young students interested in global affairs.

Tuaha Mubarak

TuahaWhere are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?
From Lahore, Pakistan, Boston University Graduate, Studied Business Administration

Based on the food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
The south of France because cheese.

What would a movie based on your life be called and who would play you?
Title: He Made Fetch Happen. The hope is that by the time I am 70 I will have made enough positive contributions to humanity that people will say, “He Made Fetch Happen.” Manny from Modern Family will play me.

What were you for Halloween?
A Formal Apology. I wore a suit and had an “I’m Sorry” sign around me. Get it? Formal Apology?

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
The fun, passionate, and diverse intern team. We all have such different backgrounds, which means that we learn something new every day.

Adelaide Sargent

Where are you from, where do you go to school, what are you studying?Adelaide
I’m from Gardner, Massachusetts (and technically Guatemala), I go to Northeastern University, and I study International Affairs with concentration in Middle Eastern Studies, Arabic, Linguistics, and Psychology.

Based on the food alone, where in the world do you most want to visit?
The entire Mediterranean… Spain, North Africa, Lebanon, Greece, France… I couldn’t possibly pick.

What were you for Halloween?
I was Black Swan. Not, as a roommate suggested, a duck.

What do you love the most about interning at UNAGB?
The free coffee, granola bars, M&Ms…just kidding. But those are an important perk for sure. My real answer is probably the work environment our bosses create. Everyone’s so encouraging and helpful all the time.

Human Kindness in the Wake of Horror

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An improvised Paris memorial

In the wake of this past week’s global tragedies, we at UNAGB would like to express our deepest sympathies and best wishes to the victims, families and friends of the attacks in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad and the earthquakes in Mexico and Japan.

In a single day, November 13 2015, more than 115,000 lives were lost because of turmoil in the world, both socially and environmentally; leaving the global community in shock and heartbroken.

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The family of Adel Tormous, who tacked a suicide bomber in Beruit

In the wake to such tragedy, we are frequently assailed by the horror and it becomes easy to forget the good. In Paris, with debris still flying, people opened their homes to strangers who needed a safe place to sleep. Taxi cabs took people home free of charge. In Beirut, Adel Tormous tackled the second suicide bomber, ending his own life but saving hundreds. These are the experiences that we should internalize from these horrors. In the darkest of times, human kindness will still triumph.

Camp in the City: Exploring Model UN One Week at a Time

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We welcome all levels of Model UN experience for our international security week.

Harvard University has been home to a unique camp this summer Typically, the words “summer camp” summon images of roasting marshmallows, canoeing and other woodsy activities. And while all these activities are fun, UNAGB is offering a camp that is just as entertaining with the bonus of being educational!  Our Model UN camps are designed to allow students to debate, develop speeches and prove that they have what it takes to be the global leaders of the future. Of course, there are the added bragging rights of students being able to say they have spent a week in some of Harvard’s finest classrooms!

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Our camps mix education with fun throughout the week!

Model UN is more than just an activity where you pretend to represent a country for a day, and our UNAGB camp certainly proves this. In addition to teaching students the basics of parliamentary procedure and position papers, our camp also dives into improving public speaking and research skills. Additionally, we host guest speakers to show our campers different types of careers and options after high school. It is unbelievable to watch our students end the week in an all-day conference that where they demonstrate the information they learned throughout the week with increased confidence.

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The week ends with a Model UN conference, complete with required business dress.

There are currently two weeks of camp left that still have a few remaining spots that students can sign up for. Our International Security week is open to all students entering grade 6 through incoming college freshmen. We welcome all levels of MUN experience, including those who have never attended a conference before. This camp will run from July 27th to July 30th.

Our Advanced Diplomacy week is for the Model UN delegates who have had previous experience, but want to improve their ability to debate and think on their feet. We will provide a variety of crisis simulations for a fast-paced week, along with lectures and public speaking exercises. This camp will take place August 3rd through August 7th.

Students can sign up for the International Security Week here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/myevent?eid=15571211914

And Advanced Diplomacy here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vacation-institute-in-global-leadership-summer-2015-advanced-diplomacy-tickets-15571242004

-Bridget I.

Photo Credits: Joy Cohen

The Greek Debt Crisis: What You Need To Know

Since 2009, Greece has been in the news for continual financial problems. The ongoing crisis originated when Greece was struggling to pay off a 300 billion euro debt, and since then has affected the global economy in numerous ways. Over the past five years Greece has been working with the rest of the European Union and the Greek citizens to make deals and set up repayment plans in an effort to pay off the large sum. Though Greece has gone through multiple bailouts and write-offs, the nation continues to suffer through financial difficulties, political uncertainties and staggering unemployment rates.

Recently, Greece became the first developed country to miss a payment to the International Monetary Fund. The payment had already been delayed once to give Greece extra time to raise the money, but in early July, Greece found itself unable to make the necessary payment. The government was left with a choice: attempt to make another austerity deal, or seek other options to repay their debt. In a well-publicized referendum, the decision making was turned over to the people. The Greek people held the voting power on whether to accept another international bailout or to seek a new and completely uncertain path.

Celebrations after the “No” vote won. Photo courtesy of International Business Times

Lead by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ public declaration that he would not vote to accept another bailout, 60% of Greeks voted “no” on July 5th. Many Greeks interviewed claimed they wanted more control over their country’s finances, and that bailouts had not proven effective in the past. “I voted no because in all these previous years nothing has changed and nothing has been improved. In fact, it’s only been the opposite. It has been a struggle without any outcome,” Georgia Anastasiadou told The Guardian. 

For many, the “No” vote was the lesser of two evils. There really wasn’t a solid and clear choice, as Greeks politics and the leaders’ campaigns muddied the water when it came to what the people were actually voting for. There is some debate over how much detail the people were given about the potential consequences of each vote.  As this vote has put Greece at odds with the unified European Union, it has been turned into a symbol of independence and democracy. Greeks prided themselves on making a decision to be independent, but this nationalist mindset may have ignored the fact that the real issue is the economy.

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Greek independence and the people’s right to democracy was a huge part of the “No” votes. Photo courtesy of The Financial Times Blog

It is uncertain where Greece will head now. Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, has resigned following the national referendum. Greece’s “no” vote may or may not result in the country leaving the Euro zone in the coming months, although it appears that many efforts are being taken by both the EU and Greece to avoid that conclusion. Greece’s banks have either been closed or have restricted cash withdrawals, as there is a shortage of Euro bills. Greece has pledged to continue talks with its creditors in the hopes of reaching a more permanent solution.

Sunday will bring a meeting of 28 European Union leaders to discuss and hopefully come up with ways to resolve the crisis. The European Central Bank is continuing emergency loans to Greece to keep the banks afloat and running, but this is not a long term solution. It is likely that another missed payment will result in the end of these emergency loans. In order to salvage its place in the Euro-Zone, Greece desperately needs to scrape together money and repay its debts.

-Bridget I.

Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17373216

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/06/europe/greece-how-did-we-get-here/

http://money.cnn.com/2015/07/05/news/economy/greece-crisis-referendum-results/

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/business/international/greece-debt-crisis-euro.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/06/greek-feferendum-no-vote-why-young-people

Welcome Summer Interns!

Meet our amazing team for the summer! They have already been hard at work in the office and are ready to kick off the MUN camp next week.


Joon Choi, EducationJOON

Hometown: Princeton, NJ
School: Boston University, graduating in 2017
Major: International Relations with a concentration in Foreign Policy/Security Studies focusing in Asia. Minoring in European Studies

Favorite Place You Have TraveledSpain
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Intended Career: Involved with UN and Foreign Policy development or Diplomacy

Fun Fact or Hobby: I started playing soccer and cello both at the age of 5 and am still pursuing them today at BU.

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Jessika Nebrat, Education0

Hometown: Wichita, KS
School: Sophomore at Harvard University
Major: Government

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: Barcelona, Spain
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: My dream vacation would be to take several months and just travel around Europe, staying with friends, getting to visit historic sites, and getting to know a bit about the culture and essence of each place I’d visit. I would also try to plan challenges and adventures along the way, like biking through Ireland, skiing in the Alps, or rock-climbing in France.
Intended Career: I hope to work for the American Foreign Service, as a diplomat or ambassador to other nations. I would also like to work with developing parts of the world in making their advances in a sustainable manner, and in one that improves the lives of the respective nation’s citizens.

Fun Fact or Hobby: I love exploring the outdoors, through hiking, skiing, rock-climbing, and more. Some of my favorite adventures have been hiking up a mountain in 7ft. of snow to a yurt, cliff-jumping in Guatemala, and climbing an active volcano to make s’mores at the top.

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Joy Cohen, Education & Graphicsunnamed

Hometown: New Haven, Connecticut
School: Senior at Boston University
Major: International Relations with a concentration in Cultural Anthropology & Regional Politics in the Middle East & North Africa

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: The Amazon Rainforest in Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: Cairo, Egypt or Mumbai
Intended Career: Working in resource attainment in schools abroad

Fun Fact or Hobby: My hobbies include writing, web design, consuming coffee, and yoga

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Chloe Singer, EducationIMG_0767.JPG

Hometown: Arlington, MA
School: Sophomore at Skidmore College
Major: Government

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: I loved going to Budapest, Hungary. It’s such a beautiful city with a long and interesting history.
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: I’d love to go to Dubai!
Intended Career: Consultant for Political Media

Fun Fact or Hobby: I’m very interested and passionate about American politics and have worked with other students and groups on policy projects at the state level. I also work for a representative on Beacon Hill.

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Vineet Chandra, EducationVINEET

Hometown: Concord, MA
School: Sophomore at University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Major: Economics, Minor in Computer Science

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: Hilton Head, SC
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: Road trip across Europe/Coast-to-Coast USA
Intended Career: Lawyer
Fun Fact or Hobby: I am a huge car guy!

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Rayan Atallah, unnamedEducation

Hometown: Tyre, Lebanon
School: Sophomore at Northeastern University
Major: International Affairs, due to all of my travels

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: All my life, I have been living in different countries, which has shaped my interests in many ways. Out of all the places I’ve been to, my favorite city is Cairo, Egypt.
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: One city I’d really like to visit is Berlin, Germany.
Intended Career:  I hope in the future to work for an organization like the United Nations or the World Bank, as I hope for a job where I travel often

Fun Fact or Hobby: A hobby of mine is playing bass guitar.

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Daniela Sànchez-GalvisDANIELA, Education

Hometown: Bogotá, Colombia
School: Senior at Boston University
Major: Political Science and Sociology

Favorite Place You Have TraveledIstanbul, Turkey
Dream Vacation or Travel DestinationI would love to go to Thailand and Laos.
Intended Career: Either a diplomatic career with the Colombian Government, or non-profit work.

Fun Fact or Hobby: I am part of the varsity Women’s Golf Team at Boston University!

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Samantha PacorSam, Education

Hometown: I am from a small town called Wrentham, MA, which is south of Boston.
School: Junior at Boston University
Major: International Relations and Political Science, with a concentration in foreign policy and security studies.

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: My favorite place I have visited is the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It was so beautiful and we took a helicopter ride over the canyon.
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: I can’t wait to study abroad in London my junior year. I also would love to travel to New Zealand and Australia someday.
Intended Career: I hope to work in counterterrorism or possibly as a diplomat. Another goal of mine is to work for a think tank such as the Council on Foreign Relations researching security and the refugee crisis.

Fun Fact or Hobby: I am learning guitar and Italian this summer and want to learn a lot more languages in the future. I also love Boston sports and watching movies.

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Brianna Pintauro, EducationBrianna

Hometown: Fairfield, CT
School: Senior at Plymouth State University
Major: Political Science Minors: Spanish and Peace & Social Justice Studies

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: Munich, Germany
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: Bali, Indonesia
Intended Career: Working high up in the United Nations or being a U.S. Ambassador to a Latin American country

Fun Fact or Hobby: I have been to 15 different countries in the past 3 years.

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Bridget IrelandBRIDGET, Event Planning

Hometown: Moultonborough, NH
School: Sophomore at St. Lawrence University
Major: Global Studies and Environmental Studies

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: Florence, Italy
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: I hope to be able to travel around Europe, as Ireland, UK, Greece, and the parts of Italy I haven’t had a chance to visit are all on the bucket list. I also want to see New Zealand!
Intended Career: An NGO organization focused on women’s education or environmental issues.

Fun Fact or Hobby: I have studied French in high school, a semester of Italian last fall and am planning on taking Arabic this coming year. Although I’m not particularly good at languages my goal is to be able to be able to strike up a basic conversation!

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Zenzele Best11425174_10203146001049432_9203201985899846616_n, Programming Department
Hometown: Boston, MA
School: Junior at Bowdoin College
Major: Government and Legal Studies, with a concentration in International Relations

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: Costa Rica
Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: I’ve always weirdly wanted to visit Alaska.
Intended Career: I’m not entirely sure, but definitely something government related.

Fun Fact or Hobby: I’m studying abroad in Stockholm, Sweden this fall.

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DerekDerek Barros, Education Department
Hometown: Brockton, MA
School: Senior at Plymouth State University
Major: Double major in Political Science and Criminal Justice, with a minor in Sociology

Favorite Place You Have Traveled: I have done a good amount of traveling in my short 22 years of life but I would have to say my favorite destination is Costa Rica. Being inside of a valley the country is surrounded with wildlife, vegetation, and New York hustle and bustle. Once I got off the plane I felt the Costa Rican hospitality, everyone was happy and full of life. While in the city everyone you walk by says hi even though they know you are a tourist.

Dream Vacation or Travel Destination: My dream place to travel would be have the entire continent of Africa, I cannot choose one single country because I really want to experience Egypt, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Nigeria and Guinea Bissau. These countries hold so much culture and beauty that many people do not categorize usually as a “tourist attraction”. Africa has also been the source of much neglect, so it would be a great experience to see its beauty first hand.

Intended Career: My dream job would be a judge at the ICC. It would encompass both of my interests in helping people and worker as an attorney.
Fun Fact or Hobby: I like to design and make t-shirts on my free time.

Why YOU want to be at the UN Day Luncheon

It is Fall, the temperatures are dropping, and the leaves are changing colors. Do you know what that means? Drumroll! UNA-GB is pleased to announce its 2014 United Nations Day Luncheon! This years’ event will take place on Monday, December 8th at the Boston Harbor Hotel. Register now before it is too late!

Since 1948, United Nations has been celebrating the Anniversary of its founding in 1945 through UN Day. According to the UN, it should be an occasion for “governments and peoples to reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter”.  Since 2000, UNA-GB has celebrated the international holiday with our annual luncheon, gathering leaders from the business and academic communities in the Greater Boston area for an engaging dialogue on world affairs and an opportunity to network with other globally conscious individuals and organizations.

Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, David Donoghue, with United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

This years’ Luncheon will focus on Ireland, the world leader in quality of life. USA and Ireland have relations that go way back, from values that our ancestors shared, to emigration. Two of the most important areas that the two governments share are education and medical research. Ireland’s membership in the European Union has helped its relations with United States, especially in areas such as trade and economic policy. Besides trade and economics, United States and Ireland hold a unique bond: millions of American citizens have some ancestral connection with Ireland. Boston is known to have the highest population of Irish people in the whole United States! And this is one of the many reasons why you should attend this amazing event! Still wondering why you really need to honor us with your attendance?

Here are a few more reasons we can think of:

1.  Ambassador David Donoghue, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations will be there.

2. He will be our keynote speaker. Read all about him here.

3. Our attendees will include individuals and companies who are actively engaged in global affairs, as well as who have a commitment to global education in the Boston community and a desire to foster dialogue among a diverse set of companies, peoples and nations.

4. There will be opportunities to network with professionals, consuls, and other individuals who are dedicated to promoting the founding principles of the United Nations.

5. Members of the UNA-GB, professionals of all ages, Consuls from a variety of Consulates in Boston, and most importantly, YOU will have the opportunity to discuss anything from national issues/achievements to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded people who support the work of the United Nations.

Delegates voting on a resolution

 

6. It’s a good excuse to get out of the office (or school or the house) and enjoy some delicious food at one of Boston’s finest landmarks!
7. You will be supporting UNA-GB’s programs, which aim to educate today’s  youth and tomorrow’s leaders!

 

 

 

Convinced? Then hurry up and sign up to attend 2014 UN Day Luncheon here!!

 UNDayLuncheon14

Ebola: West Africa and the World

It has been about eight months since the start of the massive Ebola outbreak in West Africa and it still very much remains an issue to this day.

2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa – Outbreak Distribution Map (CDC)

However, this is not the first outbreak in history. In fact according to the Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention (CDC), the first recognized incident occurred in 1976 in Zaire, what is now known as the  Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Flash forward to November 17th 2014, the United Nations  praised the end of the outbreak in the DRC among other victim states like Nigeria.

What has the United Nations and the world done to tackle this West African crisis and essentially global      issue?

In September of this year, the Security Council and the General Assembly unanimously recognized the  establishment of the  United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). This branch of  the UN developed as a response to the Security Council’s concern that Ebola  was a “threat to international  peace and security.” Different sectors of the UN that focus on humanitarian aid collaborated and carried out innovative measures to tackle the disease in the face of adversity. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded high air support from the UN team to stricken regions through enabling the distribution and delivery of medical, nutritional, and critical aid supplies as well as the travel of health and sanitation experts and aid workers. In addition, UNMEER has been working closely with governments and national structures in the affected countries, regional and international actors, such as the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and with Member States, the private sector and civil society.

Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro

Resource shortage is not only the critical problem to face but also social stigmas. Recently, the UN Secretary- General’s Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro,  delivered a passionate message calling for a global social media campaign to “express solidarity” and to promote anti-discrimination. His call for individual action to reduce stigmatization does not restrict only to UN actors but to each and every individual everywhere like you and me. Social media is an effective neutral platform in that it can exponentially reach a wide audience.

The UN and the World Bank have sought the inspiration of powerful cultural figures such as the world’s top football players to spread important health messages and promote anti- discrimination to their most easily influenced audience, children. Even Google and Facebook are joining in on the effort through advertising their philanthropic missions on the sites.  Google pledged to donate $2 in addition to matching the donation by their users. The company has already reached its limit of $7.5 million. Google is sending their technology experts to collaborate with Doctors without Borders  and distributing donations to powerful NGOs like Partners in Health as well as Doctors without Borders.

Dr. Nabarro stated it best, “when everyone is fully involved, there is a slowing of the outbreak. That is a real source of inspiration”, and my I add, a solution.

So what are we at United Nations Association of Greater Boston doing? In accordance with our mission to build understanding on global matters within the local community,  UNAGB hosted a lively discussion panel on “Ebola: West Africa  and the World”, on November 21. Cheryl Bartlett, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Chris Garabedian, President and CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics, Dr. Rick Sacra, MD and Ebola survivor spoke about what their appropriate organizations are doing as well as lending personal thoughts and experiences with Ebola.


To read more about the speakers, click here. You can also visit the UN Global Ebola Response page to follow the UN’s progress in the mission and learn how you can help. Pictures of the event forthcoming.