March and April are some of the busiest months for UN Youth as you’ve probably noticed. We have a range of regional events throughout Aotearoa, new regional councils are elected, there is a national council, and the first national event Youth Declaration occurs. It is a busy time during which the organisation has a massive influx of new members so some of you may be thinking how do I do more with the dream machine that is UN Youth?
There have been five Model UNs so far this year run by regional councils with many more scheduled throughout the year. All have been incredibly successful and to mention some of the highlights; Canterbury had their first Christchurch Model UN since the earthquakes, Auckland Model UN reached a record number of attendees with 230 delegates for a regional event, and Wellington held two distinct regional Model UNs on two consecutive days.
From the general feedback, likes we get on facebook and the post-event photo tagging we’d say the first batch of events have been extremely successful, and rest assured because there are heaps of ways to stay involved. Other than honing your flirting skills, our events are highly educational and all have a specific purpose. All of our events incorporate the values and vision behind UN Youth’s goal of ‘Inspiring Global Citizens’. We want you to do more than just turn up to our events and have a rockin’ time, we want you to get involved in civil society post-conference and be the difference in the world.There are many ways (UN Youth and non-UN Youth) to get amongst civil society:
UN YOUTH EVENTS
Be a delegate at more regional and national events! You can catch-up with your old friends, make new friends and learn more about key global issues. The national events also have other components to them such as Outreach, during which you spend an afternoon at an organisation which is relevant to the event and that does amazing work for the community. We have a saying at UN Youth that “you join for the UN and stay for the people.” Whilst the UN is awesome, the people that you meet at our conferences are one of our most compelling reasons why delegates stay involved in the organisation and continue to frequent our events.
The first national event Youth Declaration starts this week so hard luck if you missed out on registrations. Not to worry though, NZ Model UN is in July and registrations are open now until the end of the month. NZ Model UN is the largest event run by UN Youth and is four fun-filled days of committees, guest speakers, outreach, and social events (including a ball!). If you want to have hanky panky with Ban Ki-Moon, I highly recommend registering now, you’ll love it!
STAY IN TOUCH
To get more involved and to keep up to date on events and opportunities in UN Youth, follow our social media networks. I’m not saying this just for the likes and followers but we communicate with our members, fans via facebook and twitter! Interested more in our design work and our branding? Check out our Pinterest profile. We’re exclusively online because snail mail just doesn’t have the German efficiency that UN Youth requires. There is so much going on within the organisation it can be hard to keep up but another way is by registering as a member on our websit - its quick, painless and best of all you’ll get regionally specific emails about upcoming events. There are heaps more events planned for the year, so no matter what region you’re from, there will be an event for you!
BECOMING AN OFFICEHOLDER
As well as running both secondary school and tertiary events, you can also become a UN Youth officeholder. We currently have over 80 active officeholders throughout the country. There is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure there are consistently awesome and improving model UNs around the country. Since we are also growing we’re always looking out for new people to become officeholders who can coordinate events, manage the website and everything in between. By being an officeholder, you can know that your work is helping to inspire global citizens and empower the next generation of decision makers. From experience, it is extremely rewarding being an officeholder, the chance to meet so many passionate young people from many walks of life with a variety of ideas never fails to inspire me. If you’d like to become an officeholder, you should contact your regional president whose details are on the regional pages of the UN Youth website according to these regions.
Whilst UN Youth has grown a lot, we have no aspirations to take over the world (yet) – our place is educating and inspiring young New Zealanders through the various programmes we offer. Take the messages from our events and carry them forward – there are many outlets beyond UN Youth. Many of our officeholders and delegates are very active outside of UN Youth in other voluntary roles. Examples of what some other officeholders have done include working in a slum in India, teaching law to at-risk youth, providing health checks for those prone to heart disease and many more. There is a massive variety of volunteer roles out there no matter what type of work you like to do. UN Youth has strong connections with volunteer and advocacy organisations so our officeholders can be a great point of contact if you’re looking for a suitable volunteer position but don’t know where to look.
For my final messages, if this was in person I would deliver it as an interpretive dance but over the interwebs I’ll resort to memes: