NYU will establish a Millennium Development club to bring the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to campus for its 15-year collaborative effort to promote global development.
On Tuesday night, more than one hundred attendees came together from half a dozen universities and nearly a dozen NYU student clubs at the NYU Global Center to discuss the agenda.
As a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals launched in 2000, the UN recently released its humanitarian target for the next decade and a half which includes efforts aimed at eradicating global poverty, improving public health, conserving the environment and promoting the rights of women and children across the globe.
Laraine Chiu, a graduate student in the nursing program, reached out to members of Asian Pacific Islander Nursing Student Association, an organization she helped found, to recruit volunteers in an effort to bring the Sustainable Development Goals on campus to make NYU an official Global Millennium University in partnership with the UN.
Nursing senior Stephanie Niu is a member of API-NSA and said she was enthusiastic about the opportunity to help others through GMU.
“Service is a huge part of our mission so we were excited to take up this effort,” Niu said.
As part of the evening, NYU hosted ambassadors of student lead programs for global health, peace, equality, youth and ocean preservation. Health Ambassador Pedro Piqueras, a Chemical and Environmental Engineering PhD candidate from UC Riverside, spoke with urgency about looming health crisis that are just coming into our public view.
“Most air pollution today is not industrial, but agricultural, from fertilizer, biomass and agricultural byproducts,” Piqueras said. “Huge amounts of ammonia are mixing with smog already in the cities, but no one restricts this because the last decade of our efforts have been focused on traditional emissions.”
Other young leaders from the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University and University of Free State South Africa addressed the crowd, highlighting and taking ownership of the issues that would affect their generation.
Stern junior and event organizer Fahad Jamal expressed a more cautious optimism.
“We’re trying to do amazing things but right now this isn’t a formal program,” Jamal said. “We need a new class of students to step up and take ownership of this program so that we can secure funding from the university and really carry these goals forward over the next decade as a permanent UN Millennium Campus.”
Email Stephen Malkowizz at [email protected]