When I found out that I was going to attend UN events as part of my online internship, I was ecstatic. This was a dream young Faye had for the longest time and it’s finally become a reality. Of course I really wanted to attend this event in person, but it being online did not diminish the wonderful experience I had.
The Commission for Social Development has been the leading UN body in charge of the follow up and implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action. This year the 60th Commission for Social Development, or the CSocD60, had the priority theme, “Inclusive and resilient recovery from COVID-19 for sustainable livelihoods, well-being and dignity for all: Eradicating poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions to achieve the 2030 Agenda”. Having the priority theme touch on human dignity is highly important especially as the pandemic affected a vast number of people globally. In WYA, we believe that every person has intrinsic human dignity and that this should be the foundation for policy and program implementation. It was wonderful to see this in action as the keynote speakers shared the policies and measures that they implemented to fight poverty both during the pandemic and moving forward.
Since the CSocD60 follows the New York timezone, I had to be on a night shift to attend the events because I live in the Philippines. This was quite an experience because I thought that I would end up being tired staying up so late. However, the exhilaration I felt while listening to the different events carried me through and my heart felt all the more full. I have attended five side events as of the time I’m writing this and all of them have been very insightful. I really appreciated the fact that these side events invited everyday people to share their testimonies and experiences about the work that they do. Many of them were young people like me. This is why it is vital to include the youth in discussions and efforts for positive social change as we are the future of the world.
One of the most inspirational quotes that I got to hear from the conferences was from Mr. Ndiaye, the Head of Inclusive Growth of the UNDP, who said, “We must see people in poverty not just as beneficiaries to change, but as changemakers themselves.” As we continue to move forward from the global pandemic, we must not forget about the people who are most vulnerable. It was incredibly inspiring to see people from different walks of life come together for a collective cause. While a lot has been done, we still have quite a way to go. This event allowed me to look within myself and realize that my passion for advocacy work has undeniably been strengthened. I am happy to be where I am right now and be a part of this global movement that sees the human person as the key driver for positive social change. With this, I look to the future with hope fueled with passion to create a difference.
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Published: Feb. 28, 2022
Written by: Faye Ysabela Ong, a WYA Headquarters intern from the Philippines
Learn more about what took place in the 60th Commission on Social Development.