For Fulbright Scholars, international work and cooperation is a given, and earlier this month they explored these ideas at the United Nations (UN) Building in New York.
The Fulbright group in front of Arnaldo Pomodoro’s famous globe sculpture entitled “Sphere within a Sphere”
Scholars were treated to two private briefings, the first of which was on sexual violence in conflict, led by La Niece Collins. Sexual violence as a weapon of war has been used in recent conflicts in the Congo, Somalia, and former Yugoslavia, and there is rarely justice for the survivors. In fact, the perpetrators may even be in positions of authority, and the UN is working to rectify these situations. It was fascinating for scholars to hear about negotiating international law and traditional customs when mediating these types of issues.
The second briefing covered working with the UN in matters other than policy. Former Fulbright grantee Anton Botha, currently an industrial psychologist for the General Secretariat, discussed various ways of working with the UN such as volunteering or interning, and the UN employment strategy which includes support staff in a variety of fields.
“The two briefings helped me understand the challenges of working in the organization and how it requires a lot of motivation and commitment to work in extreme and dangerous environments around the world,” said Ussama Yaqub, Fulbright Student from Pakistan. “I was impressed by the conviction and dedication with which La Neice spoke about her cause and Anton’s talk motivated me to think about volunteering for the UN.”
Fulbright Scholars Daan Bauwens from Belgium and Dren Pozhegu from Kosovo inside the General Assembly Hall
Following the briefings, the group toured the rest of the UN building. They were able to see important rooms such as the Security Council and General Assembly rooms, as well as view artwork from many different countries that had been donated to the building. It was a truly valuable experience for scholars and students alike to be able to take an inside look at this notable organization!
The tour guide discuses UN peace keeping operations