Stepping inside the United Nations

During the commission on social development, I had the opportunity to step foot inside the United Nations for the first time. It has been a life-long dream to sit among working intellectuals in a forum wherein prevalent global issues get debated upon and resolutions are the expected outcome. I was anxious to not only know how the entire process works, but also curious and enthusiastic about meeting the many individuals from all the different corners of the world. Being an Indian, I also felt the urgent need to reaffirm how the concerns of the developing world are being addressed and whether or not feasible solutions are being developed. As the commission ended, I felt a whirlwind of emotions and would like to share them with you.

The World Youth Alliance has given me this excellent opportunity to truly understand human dignity and realize the same in my everyday, actions and feelings. I walked into the United Nations, slightly intimidated by the atmosphere , but also knew my purpose and understood the importance of addressing human dignity in all conversations in order for other leaders to realize its relevance if they had not already done so.

I met many individuals who welcomed our ideas, praised our work and paid close attention to our mission. However I also met several others who spoke only from the perspective of developed countries and failed to realize the reality of those who live in terribly impoverished conditions in the developing world. Many conversations with those whom I expected to be highly thoughtful did not have a realistic understanding of human expectations. On a more positive note however, interacting with members of different NGOs and U.N Youth delegates, it did appear that there are more than a handful of people trying to change the world to make it a better place.

After several speeches, numerous interactions, I have come to this initial (I say initial as this is just the beginning of my internship) conclusion that this international forum has great potential. It is a phenomenal place for leaders from different parts of the world to come together to discuss the immediate needs of the world and consistently keep in mind and apply the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to all decision making processes. I do believe however, that there needs to be more transparency. Representatives of NGOs and young representatives of countries must have access to the “closed meetings”. The process of negotiations and statements need to be far more efficient. In addition, the panels need to include young people in order to truly realize our needs. Lastly, follow-ups to resolutions are perhaps the key to assess progress.

This was my first Commission and certainly am feeling more confident going into the next one (Commission on the Status of Women).

Ria Dutta