NCC Students Attend U.N. Conference

In early August, ESL Interim Director Hannah Moeckel-Rieke, Ph.D. accompanied eight NCC students to a conference at the United Nations (U.N.) in New York City on “Intergenerational Dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals.” The conference was part of an ongoing effort by the U.N. to update an agreement on sustainable development goals that expired in 2015.

Among the students attending were members of the college’s Model U.N. Club and Student World Assembly. The conference invited representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and colleges to be a part of discussions around fostering stronger relationships across generations to achieve greater progress on sustainable development issues.

NCC students listened to panel discussions and speeches on a wide range of topics including shared responsibility for the planet, intergenerational innovation, gender equality, lifetime employment and breaking the cycle of poverty.

Several students met a U.N. representative who gave them a tour of the building and meeting rooms. Student Andrea Santos sat in on a workshop on mental and physical wellness. A native of the Philippines, she is interested in starting an NGO in her own country devoted to mental and physical wellness, because she feels there is a great need for one. After asking a question during the workshop, she attracted the interest of several attendees who offered to help her in her endeavor. Santos said she is eager to attend future Dialogue events.

Professor Moeckel-Rieke said the visit gave students valuable exposure to how the U.N. operates, along with a sense of agency in how they can help make a difference.

NCC is a member institution of the United Nations Academic Impact, an initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the U.N. in actively supporting and contributing to the realization of U.N. goals and mandates, including the promotion and protection of human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.

NCC students have attended national Model U.N. Conferences in Washington, D.C. for the past several years. Professor Moeckel-Rieke is working to acquire a year-round U.N. grounds pass so that other NCC students can enjoy similar visits. She noted that a U.N. speaker is slated to address students at NCC’s U.N. Day in October, and that faculty and staff have offered to participate in future U.N. events on human rights and other issues.