In this Chapter Spotlight, Northeast Fellow Veronica Dulin asked the UNA-Georgetown Law chapter co-founder Elisabeth Resch about what got them started, the issues they advocate for, and details on their upcoming events. Read more about GenUN's first law school chapter in the interview below:
What inspired you to expand UNA-Georgetown to your law campus?
Bianca McDonnell, Elisabeth Resch and I (Elisabeth Resch) founded the UNA-Georgetown Law chapter in the middle of last semester after starting our Masters Program at Georgetown Law. Bianca previously gained UN experience in Den Hague at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, while Elisabeth worked at the UN Headquarters in New York towards the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and later on, with UN Global Compact in Canada. When meeting at Georgetown Law, we both discovered our common interest in the UN’s work and wanted to advance issues we were passionate about together with other students and ensure the voice of youth in the UN’s body.
What opportunities are available to the Georgetown Law community as members of UNA-USA?
In general, we tackle sustainability and human rights issues from a legal perspective and promote and advance those issues throughout the legal profession. In addition, we work closely with faculty and also often invite attorneys and other legal practitioners to our events. Another great thing is that we have a very diverse and international members, with different backgrounds and a lot of experience and expertise in issue areas related to the UN.
What are some of the main issues that your chapter focuses on?
As the work of the UN is very comprehensive and it is obviously not possible for a single university chapter to cover all of them, we decided to focus on five issue areas – that some members had expertise in and were passionate about - and establish a committee and a chairperson for each. Those committees are: Climate Action, Gender Equality, Business & Human Rights, Refugees & Migration, and International Law & Justice (including sub-chapters of Security Council Reform, Application of International Law in Conflict Zones, and Post-Conflict & Peace Building). In addition, we have a treasurer, a Secretary, and a PR & Media Team.
What are some events your chapter is planning this year?
We have many interesting events and opportunities planned for this semester, in addition to our collaboration with the UNA-Georgetown undergraduate campus. In general, we would like to give every committee the chance to host at least one event. Just to give you a glimpse: the Climate Action Committee will host a “Green Finance Symposium” in March, and the Gender Equality Committee is part of the UN Women’s planning team for this year’s CSW Youth Forum at the UN Headquarters in NYC. We are also organizing a one-day, large-scale, high-level conference day in the end of the semester, with the working title “UN Solutions Day,” where each committee will host an interactive and engaging panel session.
Tell us about the next upcoming events!
Our Launch Event will take place on February 8th at 7PM at the Williams Library on the Georgetown Law Campus where we will introduce our chapter and program to the Georgetown Law community.
On February 1st we will celebrate Australia Day with a movie-screening and some Australian delicacies.
In March, the International Law & Justice Committee will host a dinner bringing together students and professionals with short panel sessions in between the dinner courses.
There are free snacks at all our events, and the entire GenUN community is invited!