UN Intern Reflection: Nathan Kamadjeu, UNA-USA Fellow

Nathan Kamadjeu serves as Intern at the United Nations Department of Global Communications Visitor Services in New York, NY. Nathan is supported by a grant from the UNA-USA Fellowship Initiative.

Nathan KamadjeuMy name is Nathan Kamadjeu I am majoring in International Relations Major with a Minor in French at SUNY NEW Paltz (Class of 2024). I am originally from Yaounde, Cameroon and since September I’ve been fortunate enough to become a UNA/USA fellow as well as an intern at the secretariat. I am currently interning at the Department of Global Communications Visitor Services until the 22nd of December.

One of the fantastic aspects of my experience has been the vibrant city of NYC. The city’s multicultural ambiance has allowed me to interact with people from all walks of life, mirroring the diverse nature of the United Nations itself. From diplomats to fellow interns, each encounter has been an opportunity to learn and appreciate different perspectives. The iconic UN Headquarters located in the heart of Manhattan, is a daily reminder of the importance of diplomacy and collaboration on a global scale. Walking past the United Nations Plaza is a stunning experience and a constant reminder of the impactful work happening within its walls.

The UNA/USA program extends beyond physical events, providing opportunities for online engagement and networking. The “UNA-USA Career Connex Young Professionals Virtual Networking” event connected me with like-minded individuals and other people currently working in the UN. Networking with fellow students allowed us to share experiences through video chat, enhancing the collaborative spirit of the program. Furthermore, I connected with another fellow and student from Miami who was curious about my experience as an intern at the United Nations, he reached out to me and we set up a meeting. Platforms like UNA-USA Career Connex offer opportunities to connect with peers passionate about climate action. Networking allowed for the exchange of ideas and the formation of partnerships for impactful advocacy.       

The UNA/USA program live events played a pivotal role in my understanding of climate, gender, and peace advocacy. Events focused on climate change, such as the insightful discussion titled “How to be a Better Advocate,” provided valuable insights into how we can be better advocates in our local communities for human rights, climate action, and more.

One of the most profound aspects of the UNA/USA experience has been the community it fosters. Meeting and connecting with like-minded individuals who share a commitment to making a difference has been both inspiring and uplifting. The connections made through virtual events and networking have transcended national boundaries, creating a global community dedicated to the ideals of the United Nations.

My experience attending the live event has taught me that climate change is no longer a distant concern but a pressing reality affecting ecosystems, weather patterns, and communities worldwide. The rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and disruptions to ecosystems underscore the urgency of addressing the root causes of climate change. The youth represent a powerful force for change. 

How Young People Can Help:

1. Advocacy and Education 

  • Raise awareness: Use social media and other platforms to share information about climate change, its consequences, and potential solutions. 
  • Educate peers: Organize workshops, webinars, or discussions to inform others about the environmental impact and the importance of sustainable living.

2. Community Engagement 

  • Local initiatives: Get involved in local environmental projects, clean-up drives, or tree-planting initiatives to directly contribute to positive change.
  • Collaboration: Work with community leaders and organizations to implement sustainable practices and policies at the grassroots level.

3. Innovation and Technology 

  • Sustainable solutions: Harness technology to develop and promote sustainable practices, renewable energy sources, and eco-friendly innovations. 
  • Encourage green tech: Advocate for and support initiatives that prioritize environmentally friendly technologies and solutions.

4. Political Activism 

  • Vote responsibly: Support political leaders and policies that prioritize climate action and environmental sustainability. 
  • Advocacy campaigns: Participate in or initiate campaigns urging policymakers to address climate change through effective legislation.

Drawing More Attention

  • Hashtag movements: Create and promote hashtags related to climate change to spark conversations and engage a wider audience.
  • Organize or participate in climate strikes, demonstrating the youth’s collective commitment to urgent climate action. 
  • Conferences and summits: Attend or host events where young voices can be heard, fostering dialogue and collaboration.

Art and Culture Creative expressions

  • Use art, music, and literature to convey the urgency of climate change and inspire action. 
  • Organize exhibitions, performances, or festivals that center around environmental themes to engage the broader community.