By Megan Nguyen
Do you see a problem in this world that you want to do something about but don’t know how to get started? Are you tired of thinking and feeling that change is hopeless for one person to accomplish? Look no further! UNA-USA may just be the solution for you!
Being a member of the United Nations Association has changed my life. The UNA Sacramento Chapter provided me the fortunate opportunity to attend UNA Members’ Day at the United Nations headquarters in New York City in February.
Members’ Day was packed full of special speakers, which included ambassadors and representatives of UN bodies, past and present U.S. Youth Observers to the UN, and representatives of environmental organizations. Several speakers resonated with my goals and beliefs and ignited a fire of passion within me. One speaker that I really connected with was Sana Mustafa. She is a Syrian refugee who has not seen her family in over 2 years. It is important to be reminded that the events happening in the world may be news to us, but it is everyday life for someone else. Now is the time to tap into our compassion and take some action.
UNA-USA has given me this wonderful opportunity and I want to share this same experience with everyone – so here are my top 5 reasons why everyone should join the United Nations Association.
Reason 1: Join a grassroots organization that promotes the work of the United Nations
UNA-USA has chapters all over the nation and is actively engaged with UN Foundation Campaigns for global health, adolescent girls, the environment, and more. Our 150 chapters provide many opportunities to mobilize with fellow members to support urgent issues facing UN activities. We also support impactful advocacy initiatives on behalf of U.S. engagement at the UN. Other efforts include monthly nationwide conference Calls with UN experts on issues such as global health, empowering women and girls, and sustainable development.
Reason 2: Become a global leader and help advance the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development
The Global Goals have been introduced to the world as a 17-point plan to end poverty, combat climate change, and fight injustice and inequality. These goals are the biggest attempt in the history of the human race to make the world a better place.
This year's 6th annual UNA Inter-Generational Model United Nations Conference (IGMUN) will be hosted UC Berkeley, on October 15th, 2016 and topics will cover 12 out of the 17 goals. IGMUN is a conference hosted by the UNA NorCal division and is a noncompetitive educational conference open to delegates of all ages and skill level. Whether you are a seasoned delegate or completely unfamiliar with model UN, this conference is for all who share a desire to engage in insightful discussions on innovative sustainable development solutions for the UN Global Goals.
Reason 3: There is a field for everyone!
Whether your interest is in environment, education, health, policy, science, technology, or law the Global Goals covers it all! If you have a vision or idea you’d like to share that will advance any of these fields, you can voice your ideas to your local UNA chapter and receive support. Or you can join existing committees and bring your perspective and innovative ideas to the table. Examples of some local UNA efforts are film festivals, climate talks, and trash clean up activities.
Reason 4: Receive member access to special events and opportunities
UNA Members have unique opportunities to attend and participate in educational events, Model UN programs, and meetings with elected leaders to increase knowledge of how the UN makes the world a safer place and improves the lives of people everywhere. Register with your local community or campus chapter to find out more events happening in your area.
Are you on a college campus? Find out if your university has a chapter by clicking here. If not, consider starting one! Young adults can also join the UNA Young Professionals, a group who is committed to fostering international cooperation and community education on international affairs.
Reason 5: Membership is free for anyone under the age of 25!
If you are a passionate individual that wants to effect change in this world and you are under the age of 25, your membership is FREE! What are you waiting for? Sign up now!
Megan Nguyen is the education chair for the UNA USA Sacramento Chapter. She graduated from UC Davis in June 2015 as an Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning major with a minor in Education and GIS. She currently works as an Environmental Scientist for the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. Megan is passionate about bridging the gap between people and policy by combining education and advocacy efforts to provide essential knowledge and tools to everyone and help them make informed decisions. She also is the Secretary General of IGMUN VI and has 8 years of model UN experience. Megan encourages anyone and everyone to register for IGMUN VI.