A World Shared by All
On April 11, senior United Nations diplomat Ramu Damodaran brought NYU Shanghai members a lively conversation about his UN experience and insights on international governance, offering students an insider’s look at the world’s largest intergovernmental organization dedicated to peace and development.
With years of active involvement in multiple UN initiatives, Damodaran now serves as the Chief of The United Nations Academic Impact initiative (UNAI), a global effort to foster a culture of intellectual social responsibility among higher education institutions all over the world. UNIA also helps Model United Nations Conferences (MUNC), in schools worldwide.
“The aim of UNAI is to create a stage for countries to come together and exchange different perspectives for the best practices from academia, governments and NGOs,” Damodaran said.
Learning that its students hail from over 60 countries, Damodaran lauded NYU Shanghai as a “Model United Nations University”. “Abundant academic resources and diverse students have made NYU Shanghai a great platform for a Model UN to grow and prosper here,” said Damodaran.
“NYU Shanghai has already successfully organized activities such as GoGreen and Ally Week that have exemplified not only academic impacts, but also UN impacts,” Damodaran noted, “Such efforts should be encouraged.”
The NYU Shanghai Model United Nations Conference (NYUSHMUNC), a student-led initiative to propagate and practice UN ideals, obtained official endorsement from UNAI last year, in the hope of providing further training opportunities for delegates and students leaders. The group also conducts research on a broad range of multilateral issues such as combating climate change, alleviating poverty and tacking refugee crisis.
Freman Zhang Jun’an, Secretary General of NYUSHMUNC, is now working with his team to organize the first NYUSH Model UN session in November, when hundreds of delegates will gather at NYU Shanghai to discuss China’s role on the international stage under the theme of China’s Global Emergence.
“The conversation with Damodaran has fine-tuned my understanding of MUNC,” said Zhang, “MUNC is not only about debating politics and diplomacy, but also about academic learning and discussion among best practices worldwide.”
In the following speech, entitled “A World Truly Shared By All”, Damodaran shared his thoughts about both how the UN will operate in the 21st century, as well as the responsibilities of governments and individuals to ensure equal access to prosperity and peace for mankind.
According to Damodaran, MUNC is a catalyst for improving global connectivity and awareness of issues that affect our world. “It is a great platform for students to learn and build connections with the outside world,” he said.
Damodaran said UNAI can help students connect and build relations with enterprises, governments, academic institutions and other interest groups. He also encouraged students to create an online forum to nurture a lasting dialogue on global issues carried on in their daily lives.