November 04, 2011
IRAQI UNITED NATIONS AMBASSADOR SPEAKS at FORDHAM COLLEGE Lincoln Center
Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) welcomed His Excellency Ambassador Hamid Al-Bayati, permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations, who spoke at “The Summer of the Arab Spring” on Nov. 4.
In addition to addressing the Arab Spring—a phrase now commonly used to describe the pro-democratic movements in the Arab world—Al-Bayati highlighted Iraq’s political and social changes from Saddam’s reign. He said that Iraq’s progress went from “Dictatorship to Democracy,” which is also the title of his latest book.
Qussay Al-Attabi, professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, moderated the event and said, “We all knew that these autocratic regimes are doomed.” He said that many people knew that this was going to happen, but “what almost none of us expected, however, was that it’d happen that soon and that quickly.”
Read more click here
By AMANDA ANGRI
Amanda Angri (Impact Initiative Student Coordinator) and Vik Muniz, Artist (photo)
Last Tuesday, students from the University of Wisconsin, Impact Initiative (Fordham), NYU, and Columbia, watched the PHENOMENAL documentary, "Waste Land", screened by UNA (United Nations Association).
Filmed over nearly three years, Waste Land follows artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from Brooklyn to his native Brazil--to the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an garbage pickers of recyclable materials. The film follows the "catadores" and depicts each of their life stories. Director Lucy Walker provides wonderful evidence of power of art and the collaboration of art and the human spirit.
The screening was followed by a post-screening discussion with special guests Victor Muniz, who appears in the film, and H.E. Amb. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations. During this time Muniz and the Ambassador decisively highlight, in their own way, the progress of the garbage dump, recycling, and the transformation of the "catadores" in Brazil.
It was a truly moving experience, everyone who watched the documentary was extremely emotionally moved. The documentary is a MUST SEE--inspiring in so many ways.
Go here for more details on the documentary:
Published: November 16, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
UNA EVENT: WASTE LAND
On Tuesday, members from Impact Initiative (Fordham), University of Wisconsin, New York Univesity and Columbia attended a meeting with Jean-Marc Coicaud, Director of United Nations University (UNU).
Firstly, we all introduced ourselves: our names, our school, our focus of study (major etc). Mr. Coicaud was very interactive and willing to hear about us. After about a 20 minute interactive personal introduction, Mr. Coicaud introduced United Nations University to us, its history, how it functions, and its future prospects.
As of now, UNU functions as a think tank. Its headquarters are in Tokyo-with its agency focusing on global issues through teaching programs that, as of now, do not lead to degrees. Since 2009, those involved with UNU have been in the process of exploring the option of offering master's degrees and having PHd programs in the near future.
UNU, as Mr. Coicaud highlighted, focuses on three major objectives:
1. International Security
2. International Development
3. International Empowerment
UNU has chapters in many other countries such as: Japan, Malaysia, Finland, Iceland, Belgium, Germany, Venezuela, etc. Each chapter focuses on knowledge looking forward and outward not inward.
Mr. Coicaud focused on the importance of having academics thinking beyond the academic "tower": having their knowledge be applicable to areas other than academic: for example, for policy-making, think tanks, etc.
Mr. Coicaud spoke about three essential UN facts:
1. Public Communication
2. Statistics-putting together global policy data, the UN bases its statistics on national accounts, which can be an issue in regards to countries' statistical legitimacy.
3. Human Resources-diplomatic, etc.
Mr. Coicaud mentioned 4 ways to get involved with the UN
1. National Competative Exam
2. Associate Experts
3. Consultant-short term contracts (which can be renewed multiple times)
Mr. Coicaud stressed the importance of the necessity of not having a simply nationalized mind. Mr. Coicaud called this "frozen knowledge" The main objective of UNU is to not only know about each person's country of origin (historically, socially, politically etc.) but is to know about other countries and learn about other countries internationally.
Mr. Coicaud was a very honest presenter, highlighting the realistic outlooks of the UN. We were very thankful to have the opportunity to meet with him.
Visit this website for more information about UNU and how it works:
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
PART 2: UN TRIP SERIES THIS SPRING BREAK
So here's another great opportunity for YOU ALL:
Join the IMCS-MIEC Pax Romana Study Session at the UN on March 17th-18th.
The Facebook page says, "The New York based UN Representation Team of the International Movement of Catholic Students - Pax Romana will be hosting, on behalf of the global movement, the Annual United Nations Study Session to follow the ECOSOC Commission on the Status of Women. March 17-18 will be dedicated to exploring the theme of: "Empowering Young Women for the New Millennium."
Activities will include:
- Guest speakers from the following New York City based non-profit organizations: The Advocacy Lab, The Man-Up Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women, Girls Learn International, and more.
- Opportunities for prayer and reflection
- Tour and meeting with the Mission of the Holy See
- Community Service revolving around the theme
* Participation is open to all members of IMCS - Pax Romana around the world as well as non-members. As a new national movement of Pax Romana, M.A.Y.A. members are particularly welcomed and encouraged to attend.
* Information about lodging coming soon!"
You can find the application here: http://usmaya.org/index.php?option=com_chronocontact&Itemid=153
and Join the Facebook page too: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=181138308583125&ref=ts
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Fordham, NYU and Columbia University come together for Impact Initiative charter event!!
November 15 2010, 55 students from Fordham's Impact Initiative along with New York University and Columbia University attended the United Nations University Middday Forum; the topic of discussion was "The Role of Entrepreneurship in the Attainment and Sustainability of MDGs." The conference started off with moderator, Jean-Marc Coicaud, Director of UN University's Office at the UN Headquarters in New York. Mr. Coicaud started the event with giving a general overview of the United Nations University, public event programmes in New York and background information about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Justin N. Seruhere, Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania to the UN and speaker of the forum started the discussion by addressing two issues:
1. To reduce poverty by 2015
2. Humanitarian and other challenges
With respect to the first issue, Seruhere said that the main concern in 2010 is that resources are not evenly distributed. In regards to the second issue, Seruhere mentioned that there are humanitarian and other challenges in countries coming out of conflict. The problem with these issues are the commitment to MDGs and state's fragility. Seruhere focused on the development
of Tanzania regarding the MDGs. Witha powerpoint presentation, he spoke of Tanzania's school system that has achieved 100 percent development as of 2009.
Seruhere mentioned three major frameworks that must be instituted in order for the MDGs to be achieved and for the development of Africa (specifically Tanzania).
a. Malaria is a major killer of many people in sub-Saharan Africa
b. Malaria drugs, manufacturing of these drugs
2. Internal Entrepreneurship
a. Goods to help as many people as possible.
a. Internal and external benefits of the whole
I believe the conference was a major success in bringing students of a variety of schools, concentrations, majors and degrees to the UN. Students were able to participate in the question and answer session and open discussion during the event. They also were able to network after the event and ask questions personally to all speakers. It was an extraordinary experience and I await the coordination of our future events!!
Student Coordinator, Impact Initiative
Daniel Wiggins, Master's student in Design at Pratt Institute of Design, NY got involved with the Youth subcommittee under Kelly Roberts' Chairmanship for the annual UN Department of Public Information (DPI) Non Government Organizations (NGO) conference held in Australia August 30- Sept 1 2010. One of this year's youth events at the conference was the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Youth Exhibition. This collaborative project involved students from various U.S. and Australian colleges and universities. Together they produced 8 booths (one for each MDG) related to maternal health, poverty, education, child health, HIV/AIDS, environment and global partnerships. Daniel contributed his designs for MDG#5: Maternal health. The photo posted shows him in front of his designs. He was able to get funding and his first passport to travel 20 hours to Australia and got to see his designs become reality and network with other youth! Please read Daniel's blog post below about his experience:
" A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend the 63rd annual United Nations DPI/NGO conference in Melbourne, Australia. I spent the summer in Pratt Institute's Design Advocacy course where twelve students created design solutions for NGO's. Many of these solutions were proposals, ideas, and scenarios getting NGOs to see the role design can play in their work. NGOs do amazing work and my role at the conference was to make connections between designers and NGOs, thus creating opportunities forcollaboration. Along the lines of collaboration, I was introduced to Kelly Roberts at Fordham University who was organizing a MDG Youth Village exhibition at the conference. I spent the summer learning about maternal health and Kelly needed help designing and planning the creation of these booths. Naturally it was a good pairing and I was so proud of the work we came up with. From New York, Kelly and our team created half of the booths, and helped assemble the entire project on-site upon arrival in Australia. My main project was designing MDG #5 booth: Improving Maternal Health. each booth came out great, and the village ended up being a meeting place for many at the conference. Youth would meet there between workshops and countless others checked out the information during our breaks and meal times. It was an amazing experience working with new groups of inspired people, sharing ideas and having them realized. I got to do that, and much more during the conference. In the coming months, I'm using the experiences I gained at the conference to continue creating places for such collaboration at Pratt Institute in New York. "
Friday, April 17, 2009
Even though a lot of students RSVP'd to our event and did not show up, the Fordham students who came to the event had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: they visited Brazil's, Cuba's and the U.S. permanent missions to the United Nations.
First, everyone gathered in the basement of The Church of the Holy Family, also known as the United Nations Parish, to hear talks by Sr. Lucianne Siers, OP, Director of the Partnership for Global Justice, and Sr. Eileen Gannon, OP, Executive Director of the International Catholic Organizations Information Center.
Then, the group (Azizi Seixas, Tiago Mitraud, Sandra Choi, Rizzia Froes and me) split: Kelly escorted Azizi and Sandra to Cuba's permanent mission to the United Nations, where they learned more about Cuba's new projects and policies and what kind of work they have been doing towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Tiago, Rizzia and I went to Brazil's permanent mission to the United Nations, where, since we are all Brazilians, we were received in Portuguese and learned more about Brazil's projects to achieve the MDGs.
After this morning session, we went back to the church, where we had lunch with students from other Catholic universities and left again, this time to learn more about the United States permanent mission to the United Nations, and how to get an internship (and, eventually, a job) in the U.S. department of state.
It was a very interesting event, and the students who participatedhad a unique chance of networking and learning more details about UN-related jobs and the MDGs.