As a part of my INGO program of study, we organized a trip a to the United Nations NYC headquarters this fall. My excitement was as intense as my curiosity. I have been studying the UN as an organ of massive power through which nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have increasingly gained access and legitimacy from, to generate social change on a global scale.
Getting to wander about inside such a heavily guarded and powerful organization was all it took to envision myself navigating my way down each hallway, in front of a podium addressing the leaders of this world. Talk about a daydream.
I could write a thesis paper's worth of words about my criticisms of the UN and the unethical way they operate in the developing world. It is pretty evident that NGOs have produced more righteous, sustainable and ethical change, globally speaking, than the UN's programs. While they have done some good, I am more interested in this agency as a tool, and a partner.
This agency is complex and works in regards to many issues all over the world. Specifically, I was interested in The Convention on The Rights of a Child and UNICEF. Through this UN run program they are working on issues that involve: child protection, child survival, development, access to education, gender equality. They tackle major issues affecting millions of children in the developing world. Through partnerships they work directly with youth, and also advocate and lobby for policy change.
Through their campaigns they fight to give young girls & women a voice:
(below is 16- year old Mani Djelassem Virgille @ the UN, speaking as an advocate for the youth in her country Chad --one of many that are experiencing an AIDS epidemic).
UNICEF and the UN also complete and submit research and act as a watchdog/ monitoring agency (among others) for children. Here they discuss the situation in parts of Africa where children are dying at an inexcusable rate from the intense poverty they live in, who are unable to get access to basic human rights
".......500 children die every day from lack of safe water and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa" Check out this press release published last week:
READ IT HERE
Their vision for the year 2030
"The Power of the Adolescent Girl"