The Seton Hall United Nations Association chapter recently hosted the new 2017-18 United States-United Nations Youth Observer, Munira Khalif, for a keynote speech on youth advocacy and a public interview with a staff writer from the Diplomatic Envoy.
The School of Diplomacy and International Relations was established in exclusive alliance with the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), a key division of the United Nations Foundation (UNF) dedicated to policy research, education and advocacy on the United Nations and global issues.
The event was held in the Jubilee Hall Auditorium on Tuesday, November 7.
Munira Khalif is the 2017-18 U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations, a role appointed annually by the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations Association of the USA to increase youth engagement in global affairs.
Khalif, born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is currently an undergraduate student at Harvard University majoring in economics and minoring in government. She is a dedicated advocate for universal access to education and women's and girls' rights. She cites her experience as a first-generation Somali-American as what raised her awareness of the sad reality that many children, especially girls, lack the opportunity to attend school and underscored the transformative power of education.
"Having Munira Khalif on campus for one of her first events on a college campus since becoming the Youth observer is such a big honor for Seton Hall," Noelle Sorich, president of UNA-SHU and junior diplomacy major said just prior to Khalif's visit. "We are so lucky to have her coming and I encourage anyone who is even slightly interested in any type of advocacy, especially grassroots advocacy, public policy, or international relations to come hear her speak."
The "Meet Munira Khalif" event is one of many speaking and networking events UNA-SHU hosts, inviting experts from the UN and the field of international relations to speak on campus.
Khalif previously served as an advocate and Teen Advisor for the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign and was invited to attend the first inaugural Malala Day at the UN Headquarters in New York as a youth delegate. Khalif also served on a UN panel on behalf of Girl Up with representatives from UNESCO and the Global Partnership for Education to discuss ways to increase lawmakers' involvement in youth issues. Khalif, alongside other youth advocates, successfully lobbied Congress to ensure that girls in developing countries are registered at birth.
Khalif is a co-founder and leader of Lighting the Way, a youth-run non-profit organization that works to make education more accessible and equitable for girls in East Africa by providing scholarships, building libraries, and sponsoring teachers. Khalif was awarded the UN Special Envoy for Global Education's Youth Courage Award, which honors young people fighting for universal education. She was one of nine recipients chosen from around the world to receive the honor. Khalif was invited twice to attend the annual White House Iftar dinner, which celebrates Muslim-American trailblazers both in the public and private sector.
"Munira is incredibly accomplished while still being our age, so she can relate to what we are going through as students and give relevant advice to becoming more involved in advocacy organizations," Sorich added.
Categories: Nation and World