I have officially wrapped up my last week as an intern with the UNWTO! The High-Level Political Forum was extremely engaging and brought in people from around the world. Each meeting was packed, full of Member States, stakeholders, representatives of the private sector, and guests. Stevie Wonder even performed onsite one day this week! When the HLPF wrapped up, it felt great to have been part of the meetings that led up to the forum. Watching the meetings on the theme of “Ensuring that no one is left behind” and National Voluntary Reviews, it truly demonstrated the international cooperation of making sure the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development is fully and successfully implemented. Meeting topics include:
- Where do we stand at year one?
- Envisioning an inclusive world in 2030
- Lifting people out of poverty and addressing basic needs
- Fostering economic growth, prosperity, and sustainability
- Food security and sustainable agriculture, climate change, sustainable oceans and terrestrial ecosystems—adopting a nexus approach
- Creating peaceful and more inclusive societies and empowering women and girls
- Science policy interface: new ideas, insights, and solutions
- Creating ownership at the national level
- Mainstreaming SDGs into national policies, plans, and strategies
- Vertical cooperation—local authorities and national governments working together
- Challenges in mobilizing means of implementation at the national level
- National mechanisms for monitoring progress and reporting on implementations for the achievement of the SDGs
- Delivering for Small Island Developing States, building on the SAMOA Pathway
- Countries in special situations
- Multi-stakeholder engagement for implementation
- Regional experiences
On Tuesday I gave my final presentation on my internship experience. Dr. Randle was in New York so it was easy and convenient to present for him and my supervisors, Mr. Richard Jordan and Mr. Sarbuland Khan. Mr. Ed Chiles, an expert on sustainable food and sustainable tourism, also attended my presentation, which was great because I had learned about him in my sustainable tourism coursework. They gave me useful feedback and asked questions that I can use to edit and improve my final research project that I am turning in early next week. I am proud of the research I have done and the paper that I will be turning in. Mr. Khan wants to submit my paper to the UNTWO Headquarters in Madrid, Spain, so that feels rewarding. After my presentation we all went to a nice lunch close to the UN to discuss and share sustainable tourism ideas.
On Friday I attended my last meeting and said goodbye to everybody in the UNWTO. Mr. Sarbuland Khan, Mr. Rafeeuddin Ahmed, Mr. Kazi Rahman, and Ms. Yanick Calixte were all very kind to me and treated me as part of the team. I give them my deepest gratitude for their kindness and guidance this summer.
I have had the best experience in New York City this summer. This city is so lively and full of unique and interesting opportunities to explore, learn, and have fun. I am so happy I spent the summer here and I am honored to have interned for the UNWTO and gotten a first hand experience of the UN working hard to make the world a better place.