By Ajiya Doka
As the United Nations celebrates 70 years of service, the organization looks to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as an ambitious guide to where the global community can and should be.
With a mission to inform and promote advocacy, the School of Diplomacy’s teach-in provided a platform for students to learn about the goals and promote them in their hometowns through op-ed writing.
This initiative led by Dr. Martin Edwards pushed students not only to become more educated about the U.N., but also to use their voices as a means of applying pressure to public policymakers and hold them accountable to the global agenda to which they have agreed.
“The SDGs aim to stimulate national and global conversations on how we can come together to solve global challenges. Conversation is an essential precursor to action and change,” Edwards said.
The conversation continued in groups lead by various specialists that focused on specific goals, including Dr. Joseph O’Mahoney and Dr. Catherine Tinker of the School of Diplomacy, Dr. Nalin Johri of the Health and Medical Sciences Department, Dr. James Daly of the Education Department, and Alyson Neel of the United Nations Foundation.
For twenty minutes, each expert explained their specific goal, along with the targets and indicators that accompany them. The involvement of individuals discussing issues with personal concern likened the event to a large family dinner. Behind jargon and politics, the United Nations encourages real people to talk about real issues that matter not only in the United States, but around the world.
The event, like the SDGs themselves, is a grand coalition. It is a gathering of politicians, business owners, and private citizens, all on a mission to become global participants and create a better world. At the School of Diplomacy, students, faculty, alumni, and friends all sought ways to become better informed and engaged in the most ambitious U.N. agenda yet.
According to Dr. Edwards, the goal of the op-ed tutorial was to inspire attendees of the event to write about the SDGs in their hometown newspapers.
Personal and intimate discussion concerning the global goals will inspire students to pass on what they learned and advocate for the SDGs in their future careers, and the School of Diplomacy will continue to be a leader in that discussion.