Vivian Onano

UNA-USA Youth Leader

Vivian_Onano_2751. Why is the United Nations important to the world?

The UN is important to the world because so far it’s the only institution able to bring all countries together and provide a platform on important issues, such as peacekeeping, social integration, and economic development. These are key factors to the future of the world. The world has become global village, and we all need each other; what affects one country affects another. The UN has been the one place where we all come together around one table to solve the problems of the world.

2. How do the UN and its work affect your work or life?

Being a young person I often talk a lot about youth and employment. We have a high rate of unemployment around the world compared to adults. It affects me as a person and as a woman. If the UN doesn’t make policies that incorporate me in these areas, I’ll be a forgotten case. The UN can help young voices be heard and develop policies that integrate young people and women into society better.

3. Why should Americans care about the UN’s work?

America as a nation can’t operate on its own; it needs other countries to work effectively; this applies to other countries as well. Americans should care because if there’s not peace and stability this will affect America and its ability to trade effectively. If the U.S. is not part of the UNs work, they won’t be able to deliver on some of their goals effectively. The UN is the only body that brings countries together to share common goals and solve common problems together.

4. In your opinion, what has been the UN’s best moment to date?

First, achieving a measure of peace – there has not been a Third World War. Conflicts arise in places, but the fact that there has not been a large-scale global conflict the likes of the first two World Wars is a testament to the UN’s work. Also, the Millennium Development Goals have so far achieved many great things through working with the private sector, and this kind of cooperation wouldn’t be possible without the UN and diff governments working together toward common goals.

5. What do you think is the most exciting opportunity for the UN going forward?

As a young person, I think the most exciting opportunity is incorporating young people into their work. Recently, the UN Secretary-General appointed a Youth Envoy, and there’s also the Youth Observer position through UNA-USA. Young people make up a large part of the population, and getting their opinions on how to solve global problems is exciting. The UN has also been confronting women and girls’ issues and should continue addressing those. Incorporating young people and woman and girls is exciting as a young person and as a woman.

6. What is the most effective element of UNA-USA’s work?

The idea of coming up with Campus Advocates. This was a good idea and an innovative idea because we have young people talking about issues affecting them. When they talk about issues from their point of view it shows how important these issues are to young people, and how serious they are about confronting them.  It brings another angle to the situation and shows how important it is to advocate. Bringing young people into UNA-USA helps bring them into the discussion and strengthen the conversation.

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