Marco Sanchez - Youth Engagement Intern - United Nations Association
One of the greatest aspects about the United Nations Association are the leadership opportunities it provides for its members. An example of this can be seen in the tremendous work of the UNA National Council. As a working group that meets twice a year, once during the June Leadership Summit and once in New York in early February; the National Council conducts business year-round by email and conference call in preparation for their semi-annual meetings. In addition to overseeing elections, the National Council works on issues of membership, legislative advocacy, web and social media, external communications, education, WFUNA, and the Council of Organizations. It makes recommendations to both to UNA-USA staff and to delegates at the Annual Meeting. Regional Representatives also work with staff to assist chapters and to help resolve issues that may arise during the year.
This year, UNA-USA will conduct its election for Regional Representatives to the National Council. The election cycle begins in January, with the announcement of the nominating process and electronic voting in the spring. Representatives take office at the time of the UNA-USA June Leadership Summit in Washington, DC. Each member will be asked to cast one vote per Regional Representative position based on the region in which that member lives. Young professionals and GenUN members are encouraged to apply for this wonderful opportunity. Zephanii Smith and Jeremy Zullow are both active Young Professionals. They describe the rewarding experiences they have had as a National Council members.
Zephanii: I became involved with the United Nations organization in 2012, at which time I participated in advocacy work as a young member of the NAACP's National Board of Directors before the HRC in Geneva. It was during the launch of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals that I made this new global agenda the center of my life's work and focus.
I was inspired to pursue a role on the UNA National Council because I am committed to realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through education in our home communities. As someone who has had significant exposure to dozens of nations around the world, I am passionate about "thinking globally and acting locally". The UNA is our opportunity, as Americans, to unite and take global action to achieve this important mission.
As a National Council member, it has been so rewarding to create and pursue opportunities to introduce the SDGs to communities for the first time, and to help others to to see how their passions are aligned with the 2030 Agenda. During our last leadership retreat, I had the opportunity to help organize a special training session for young people on the SDGs; and to watch my idea come alive during the Leadership Summit when we hosted several lightning talks by UNA members sharing their actions to achieve the SDGs.
If you are achieving results in your communities (at home, on campus, etc., and have ideas to scale nationwide - please consider applying. To achieve this ambitious plan for a better, more sustainable world by 2030, we need your energy, ideas, enthusiasm, and commitment to action-and-results oriented service.
Jeremy: UNA-USA has a growing youth and young professional demographic, and it is important that you apply, as a passionate young member, to represent this demographic on a consultative body that helps guide our national organization. I consider it a privilege to serve UNA-USA and my fellow youth and young professionals on the National Council. It provides unparalleled personal and professional development, as well as engagement with the national organization (and its wonderful staff) and the extraordinary work of its chapters and members. I was almost deterred because the prospect of applying to such an impactful position, at a young age, was daunting. With encouragement, I made the great decision to apply and value the opportunity I have received to work on the National Council to promote youth and young professional opportunities. I hope that you, too, will be inspired and undeterred to apply and make an impact for UNA-USA.
If this opportunity interests you, or if you know someone who may be interested, we encourage Young Professionals and GenUN members to apply. Please CLICK HERE for more information. Nominations will be due February 9, 2018, so please apply today! Contact the National Council Nominations Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.