Pardee Students Visit United Nations
Ibrahim Rashid (Pardee ’19) and Raina Kadavil (Pardee ’19) visited the UN from Feb. 17-18 for the Winter Youth Assembly, where the pair listened to speakers talk about gender inequality, climate change and the role of the media in instigating social change.
Both Rashid and Kadavil are on the editorial board for the Boston University International Affairs Association‘s IR Review for which the pair created a corresponding online newscast, REACT News. According to Rashid, much of their time at the conference was spent filming interviews for the newscast.
“During the opening ceremony, Molly Bengs, an editor from the Huffington Post, spoke about how the challenge of the media is to introduce a human element in its reporting to bridge connections that traverse culture and geography,” Rashid said. “From there I had the idea that with REACT News, we should film testimonials from both delegates and speakers in order to bring their message, perspectives, and ideas back to the BU community.”
Kadavil said this year was her third time attending the Youth Assembly, and she has appreciated how both the conference and its participants have grown over the years.
“Over the past year and a half, I’ve developed friendships with many of the people who were there, including both speakers and delegates, and it’s incredible to see how both speakers and delegates have grown with each passing conference,” Kadavil said
Rashid said he is already using lessons he learned from his visit to the UN in producing REACT News.
“Going to the UN has equipped me with the knowledge of how I can use REACT News and social media to continue my advocacy for Syrian Refugees,” Rashid said. “It has inspired me to continue to share the message of the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals with both my peers as well as my students that I teach at my part time job with Debate Mate USA in order to achieve social change.”
Similarly, Kadavil said the lessons learned at this year’s Youth Forum are already directly impacting her learning experience at the Pardee School.
“Everything I learn in my classes essentially veers down to what brought us to where we stand today, and how we can and should move forward,” Kadavil said. “This is most applicable if placed in terms of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda: as much as people say that the goals are too ambitious or too widespread, these 17 goals essentially detail what every IR major should be working toward in one way or another.”
Meaghan Delaney (Pardee ’18) also took a trip to the United Nations in February, as part of a delegation from the BUIAA for the 2016 ECOSOC Youth Forums which focused on the theme of “Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Agenda.”
“They invited us because they heard about the good work that the International Affairs Association has been doing on BU’s campus and beyond,” Delaney said. “The Pardee School is always a great help to the BUIAA, and they were very supportive in our efforts to attend the conference.”
Delaney said she attended breakout sessions at the forum that covered topics including poverty, inequality and youth empowerment in urban areas.
“We discussed the importance of protecting the rights of youth particularly at a grassroots level,” Delaney said. “I was particularly passionate about the access to transportation in urban areas. Without transportation, there is no opportunity for youth to access services. We discussed the right to free transportation for youth for them to be able to get transportation to school without a cost.”
As far as putting lessons from the forum into practice, Delaney said she has already shared parts of what she learned at the forum with her Pardee School classmates.
“I have already began to bring back what I learned to my studies at the Pardee School. I have shared the information I learned at the UN with my IR 500 C1 class Forced Migration and Human Trafficking with Professor Noora Lori,” Delaney said. “I feel like attending the UN at this forum and discussing the SDG’s and urban planning connected so well with the material we are learning and researching in our class.”