Kyiv, Ukraine, 2 July 2013 – “United Nations approach to local and global development” – summer course to students kicked off at the UN House in Kyiv on Monday 1 July. The course featuring 30 Ukrainian students from a variety of disciplines offers the bright new generation an opportunity to learn more about the mandate of the world organization and get insights into its work from the lecturing UN senior staff both in Ukraine and beyond.

The course was opened up by the welcoming remarks of the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Alessandra Tisot, who shared her experiences in working for the UN in different parts of the globe and encouraged youngsters to find their own path in the promotion of well-being of people: “Young people represent the future; very soon many of these youth will be the key players in economy and politics, so we want them to become inspired and be effective in combating ubiquitous problems that undermine society”, she said.

Ms. Tisot continued her lecture by introducing to the students the mandate and work of the United Nations, including its history, structure, main bodies and future challenges. She also encouraged students to reflect upon “big questions” of the development sphere, including what development is and what is the role of the UN in its promotion. “At the moment, top scientists and ordinary citizens are all involved in a lively discussion about the role of the UN in the present day world; and the discussion about it is well justified. Indeed, the United Nations is what its 193 Member States and their citizens make out of it, and it is up to the future leaders, such as these young students, to determine what the organization will become in the future“, Ms. Tisot added.

During the first course meeting, a session on “Millennium Development Goals and Post-2015 Development Agenda” was delivered by Ms. Natalia Sitnikova, Project Manager of "Acceleration of the MDGs progress in Ukraine" Project by UNDP Ukraine. The session introduced to the students the global development priorities set by the world leaders in the UN Millennium Summit in 2000 and the global outlook for the development agenda beyond the MDG deadline 2015. A special focus was put on the global consultations on the Post-2015 development agenda that are currently underway with the lead of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and in consultation with expert groups and world citizens.

Ukraine’s role in the Post-2015 consultations was especially highlighted, as the country currently ranks top in its activity in the consultations with more than 4,500 Ukrainians – among whom representatives of Ukrainian students and youth – having shared their ideas about “the future we want” in the Post-2015 development agenda national consultations conducted in Ukraine during December 2012 – April 2013.

“UN serves people around the globe, and youth is one of the target groups we pay close attention to. To help improve the quality of life of the young people, we need to hear their voices, their ideas and hopes. By spreading the word about the UN among youth and by actively engaging new generation in the activities of the UN, we strengthen the civil society in Ukraine and prepare students for the adult life, with its challenges and hardships”, UN Communications Officer, Ms. Victoria Andrievska said at the meeting.

“United Nations approach to local and global development” – summer course will run during the following four weeks with sessions covering topics such as human rights, gender, sustainable development, human security, peacekeeping, and others. After the course meetings, the students will continue the course work in small-groups during the period of August-September, when they will get the opportunity to plan and conduct their own outreach activities about the work of the UN and deliver those to their peers at universities and other reference groups.

More information about the course can be found from http://www.un.org.ua/en/information-centre/news/1613. For any additional inquiries, please contact Ms. Victoria Andrievska, UN Communications Officer, via phone 044 2540035 or email andrievska@un.org.