UN Youth Day 2019

UN Youth Day 2019

    As a United Nations Youth Delegate for the Academy for Future Science, I had the opportunity to observe and participate in the energy of the United Nations. In celebration of International Youth Day, the UN held events with the theme of “Transforming Education”. The main conference was entitled “Engaging Youth to Advance Sustainable Cities and Communities”. Among its gifted speakers and inspiring activists were Kehkashan Basu, Jadayah Spencer, Mark Chambers, Soraya Fouladi, and many others. There were many inspiring insights and many great examples of grassroots activism, with the goals of ensuring a sustainable and healthy environment, healing inequality, and shifting our consciousness (that is to say, to help us awaken to the realities of our responsibilities towards the environment and to each other). The tone was, overall, energized and enthusiastic, or as one speaker put it “electric”. Among this enthusiasm, there was also some dissatisfaction with the feeling that all these inspiring words might be lost in the wind. One fellow representative said that all these words are beautiful, and they feel respect for the others involved, but that they needed more concrete action first and foremost. This sentiment was also echoed by the speakers: we can’t wait for our leaders to solve all our problems and we can’t just talk the talk, we need to walk the walk by finding ways to effect change on every level in our lives, and by being resourceful in how we might be able to contribute to the sustainability goals set forth in previous UN conferences. The positive enthusiasm and the deep sense of purpose was certainly the predominant energy in the room, and this carried over beyond the official end of the event. Many Youth Delegates and representatives were eager to network, connect, and share their passionate work with others. I, personally, was very much inspired by all of this, though this feeling was tempered by the dire facts we face as a global humanity. I truly hope to see these sparks of inspiration put into real action, and I find myself energized to try new methods of reaching out to help shift the consciousness and material reality towards a more positive and sustainable future.

Michael Dodin,  AFFS Delegate

 

UN Youth Day 20192019-08-29T22:55:45+00:00

2019 Global Engagement Summit

Brief Summation of the 2019 UN Global Engagement Summit

By: Arayael Eloha Brandner

The 2019 Global Engagement Summit at The United Nations was a remarkable touchstone going into the new year. The SDGs that were brought forth in 2012, by the world body, were touched upon and made a prominent reason as to why we were revisiting the sustainable development goals and empowering attendees to continue in their work towards making our world a better place.

The Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Gueterres, from Portugal, addressed a congregation of summit attendees in the UN general assembly hall informing us of the top priorities that they are focusing on. The Sustainable Development Goals will remain a center point for the UN; however, there has been an acknowledgment of the importance in regards to the indigenous culture preservation and encouraging us to listen to our indigenous communities in regards to climate change. Climate action needs to be made a top priority for each nation because we are in crisis and the leaders of the world are recognizing this irreversible reality we have found ourselves in the 21st century.

Attendees from all over the world were gathered at the summit from Africa to the Middle East, to Australia, to the Americas, ranging in ages from middle school to senior citizens.  Breakout sessions were held on empowering young women #LeaveNoGirlBehind, climate action, conflict resolution in Yemen, nuclear proliferation, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals locally. One of the impactful takeaways came from the session on empowering women and that this is the time to place a global focus on educating and advocating for gender equality. It is the recognition of the feminine and how important the presence women hold is throughout the various cultures and religions. The other main point I found insightful was the one on climate action. Timothy Weiskel, Research Director of the Cambridge Climate Research Associates, boldly stated on the panel that climate change is happening, there is no going back! We are in desperate need for solutions – “Our planet will be here, but will we?” We know that sea levels are rising and the need for sustainable agriculture to sustain food sources is needed around the world.

As a member of the Academy for Future Science, I acknowledge the responsibilities that each of us are charged with in fulfilling, through love and service to humanity, the higher Plan of Creation, here on Earth. My passion, my calling, is to advocate, educate, and empower the youth of the world, inspiring them to plant seeds of hope and vision for a positive and sustainable future, because this summit charged us to bring forth peace on Earth and to implement the sustainable development goals throughout our communities.

2019 Global Engagement Summit2019-08-29T22:56:49+00:00