We the peoples of the United Nations

On the day of the official nomination of the new Secretary-General to succeed Secretary-General Kofi Annan, outiside the United Nations Headquarters, flags fly in the north end of the building, on a sunny fall day. 9/Oct/2006. UN Photo/Mark Garten. www.unmultimedia.org/photo/Being at the United Nations Headquarter in New York is truly inspiring. It is a place full of life and energy, which everyday invites for discussions about the many world-challenges: poverty, inequalities, climate change, wars, and terrorism… The aim of the UN is to be an organisation that promotes Peace and Security, Human Rights, and Sustainable Development; for all. I am lucky to be here, and to experience this, not least in this exciting period when the 2030 Global Development Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs) are starting to be implemented, and when the call for actions are critical.

However, something that I believe hits most people when they arrive here, is that the UN consists of its 193 Member States, which together need to agree on what should be done for having a better world. Process and progress can therefore be slow, and many people ask themselves if the UN actually is doing any difference? And if the world could become a better place for more people? I think the simple answer to both of these questions is YES. Just as the UN Charter begins with the powerful words “We the peoples of the United Nations…” it recognizes that the rights and responsibilities to act do not just apply for the people currently working in the UN-system or working with politics, but it includes ALL people in the world, from ALL nations. The world-leaders are (hopefully) doing their best to tackle the challenges facing humanity today, but we the peoples need to do the same. Everyday. Everywhere.

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In addition, I know that I am extremely fortunate to be born in a wealthy country with one of the best welfare-systems in the world. This makes it possible for me to travel to different places, meet new people, learn about their cultures, and get new experiences. At the same time, many young people around the world will never get the same chance. The opportunities and choices in life are still very different depending on where we are born. And not everybody has a voice that is listen to. We need to change this, and the Sustainable Development Goals is a framework for everyone to do something.

During the five months I am doing an internship in New York, I wish to contribute with two things:

  1. Share some of my own experiences from my time at the UN. Showing how the UN works and that the UN should be a place for all, because it’s principles (the Human Rights, Equality, Peace and Security) should be part of everybody’s lives.
  2. Try to give voice to the people who do not have the same opportunities and choices, and hence, strive for changing this notion. For instance, I will be doing interviews with young people who push for change and are showing that we the young peoples are actors too.

I hope that it could contribute to create a little bit more knowledge about the UN, the SDGs, and the role of youth, as well as inspire more people to take actions. Because we the peoples should all be equals.

What will be your contribution for transforming our world?

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About Frida Lind

My name is Frida Lind and I am currently doing an internship at the Swedish Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. As a side-project during this period, I will share interesting stories, have interviews with people who are engaged for a better world and show the interlinkages of the global level and the local level, with an emphasis on the importance of young people as actors. I will foremost concentrate on the roles youth and the "regular people" play for the implementation of the UN's 2030 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. I will connect experiences from one of the biggest international institutions in the world, the UN, with the experiences I got last year from my field-study in Tanzania (where I collected material for my thesis in International Relations). In the fall-semester 2016 I will travel to schools and universities and discuss youth involvement for development. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, and/or are interested in getting a lecture, you are most welcome to contact me on: frida.lind@outlook.es

One thought on “We the peoples of the United Nations

  1. Nice write up about life in UN in the Big Apple. Would love to read more about the opportunities in for example community volunteering in New York City. From what I heard there are quite some projects going on and even companies allowing paid time to participate in these, maybe some staff at UN are already involved in local activities?

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