United Nations and International Economic Development Experts to Speak at Occidental
On February 14 and 17, two United Nations and international economic development experts will speak as part of the 25th anniversary of Occidental College's United Nations program, one of the only undergraduate internship programs of its kind in the United States.
On Monday, February 14 at 5 p.m., Aminata Toure, chief of the gender, human rights, and culture branch of the United Nations Population Fund, will critique the implementation of the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals. These eight goals, undertaken by the United States and other U.N. member countries, aim to reduce poverty by 2015 in the world's poorest countries. The UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes health and equal opportunity worldwide.
On Thursday, February 17 at 5 p.m., Thomas Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York's Graduate Center and director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, will speak on "Why U.N. Ideas and Goals Matter: The Millennium Development Goals." He previously worked at the U.N. Secretariat and has written extensively on international organizations, conflict management, peacekeeping, and humanitarian action.
Both lectures are open and free to the public and will be presented in Johnson Hall 200 on the College campus. For maps and directions to Occidental College, located at 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, go here.
More than 350 Occidental students have benefited from the Oxy-at-the-U.N. program since it was founded by George Sherry, a 39-year U.N. veteran and former assistant secretary-general for special political affairs. Each fall, about 15 outstanding seniors travel to New York City to study the contemporary role of the United Nations and intern at U.N.-related agencies and non-governmental organizations. Students attend classes, including an academic internship seminar, and complete an independent research project on a global issue.
This fall, Occidental students worked at the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the U.N. Population Fund, and the U.N.'s Office for Economic and Social Affairs, among other organizations. The students get a front-row seat on how nations work with one another, how they develop international policy, and how diplomacy and trust are essential in working with diverse cultures and governments.