A New Class of Global Advocates
October 27, 2010
“If the situation is going to get turned around, young people are going to be the ones to do it.” Not long ago, Ted Turner echoed those words in front of an audience of 500 20-somethings, each anxiously looking for inspiration on whether or not global change was actually in their reach.
It was over a decade ago that Mr. Turner made a historic donation of $1 billion in support of the United Nations. But the messages and goals that he had then –- for the U.S. to pay its dues to the UN, to provide a platform for others to get involved, and to focus in on key issues such as children’s health, peace and security, women, and more –- are no longer his only mandates. Nowadays, Mr. Turner is also working to ensure that each and every one of us has a “long term plan for humanity” -- as far as a thousand years in advance. Looking towards younger generations, who will answer this call to action?
In every corner of the world, all the way from Philadelphia, PA to The Hague, Model UNs are forging the path for a new class of global advocates. Made up of middle school kids, teenagers, college students, and young professionals, Model UNs are arguably the UN’s strongest group of supporters. These students follow the issues, debate on behalf of them, and most importantly, understand and believe in the value of the United Nations.
The United Nations Foundation and Better World Campaign have witnessed hundreds of these students at work. We can tell you, they don’t just model diplomacy, they put it to action. Each Model UN student who has ever crossed our path is actively pursuing a career or education in social issues, they volunteer in support of the environment during their free time, they donate to campaigns that support the rights of girls in the developing world, they activate their peers to take a stand on social networks, and every year, they return to their Model UN conferences, more prepared than ever to understand and represent the whole world.
Mr. Turner, those young people that you are searching for to turn the situation around and make this world a better place? Look no further, they already exist.