UNA-USA Northeastern Participates in the 74th UN General Assembly

The UNA-Northeastern University Chapter participated in discussions and decision-making processes at this year’s 74th United Nations General Assembly’s climate change events.

A seven-person delegation of UNA-USA students, a subgroup of the International Relations Council at Northeastern, traveled to New York on Friday, September 20th to attend the events. The delegation was led by Chapter President Elina Mariutsa along with the team host Akmaral Bekbossynova, a Northeastern alumna currently working at the UN Headquarters.

This was the first official delegation from Northeastern University to participate in the UN General Assembly events, which included the global climate strike, climate action summit, ‘UNited for Climate Justice,’ and the Social Good Summit.

Marching alongside Greta Thunberg on Friday, we saw the unforgettable momentum of globally minded activists uniting to challenge the status quo. The grassroots march called for climate justice and proved to be impactful in General Assembly discussions. UN Secretary General António Guterres even referenced the march, calling it a manifestation of passionate youth activism committed to achieving the SDGs! Making international headlines, the strike caused an undeniable global ripple effect.

On Saturday, the delegation participated in the ‘UNited for Climate Justice’ Summit with the goal of establishing progressive climate action. Conversations on nature-based solutions, climate-conscious global investment, youth involvement in decision-making, and an international framework for sustainability were discussed by policymakers and scholars. George Heyman, Cananda’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, gave insight into the cultural impacts of climate change, emphasizing that climate change disproportionately affects indigenous populations.

The Social Good Summit on Sunday morning brought together world leaders, social entrepreneurs, youth activists, and NGOs to discuss global climate justice and the SDGs. During the summit, the our delegation spoke with UNA-USA’s Youth Observer to the UN Jay’Len Boon, NASA researcher Dr. Kate Marvel, and CEO of FabricAID, Omar Itani. Itani further suggested the idea of becoming a Northeastern global co-op employer in Lebanon. The delegation’s involvement in the summit reminded members about the importance of inclusivity and cultural sensitivity when formulating solutions to climate change.

UNA-USA’s Northeastern Chapter hopes to become a prominent voice in such summits and debates in the following years. For questions and comments, contact northeastern.unausa@gmail.com.