UNA-USA members and U.N. supporters will meet at the U.N. headquarters to participate in a day of dynamic and informative discussion on the most pressing issues facing the United Nations. Members will get exclusive access to the United Nations, where they will hear from experts on topics like refugees and sustainable development, and network with community leaders, academics and students, and representatives from think tanks and like-minded organizations.
This latest opportunity represents the culmination of years of work on Patel’s part, whose first foray into international human rights was as a Senior Girl Scout in high school in Illinois.
‘I created a museum exhibit for International Women's Day for my gold award because I wanted to bring awareness to my community about the plight women face globally,” says Rina. “From that project I continued to immerse myself in opportunities to learn more about human rights advocacy”
At Bryn Mawr, Rina became involved with UNA-USA’s GenUN initiative, creating a chapter on campus and traveling to the U.N.'s New York headquarters on several occasions, including a trip in March of 2016 to attend the United Nations’ 60th Convention on the Commission on the Status of Women as a UNA-USA delegate.
In the summer of 2016, Rina was selected as one of two UNA-USA scholarship recipients to travel to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) human rights training conference at the U.N. headquarters there.
There Rina served as one of the UNA-USA youth representatives to the conference. She collaborated with youth leaders from all over the world on developing human rights projects to implement in the participants’ home countries.
This Friday, as part of her human rights project, Rina is launching a GenUN Youth Human Rights Task Force. On Friday she is meeting with 20 selected students from across the United States to train them on how to implement human rights projects that are local in scale but global in impact. By the end of the year, Rina’s goal is to have overseen and facilitated at least five projects out of her task force to report back to WFUNA.
After Bryn Mawr, Rina, who is a Growth and Structure of Cities major, hopes to continue to advocate for human rights in some capacity and to continue her support of the United Nations and its mission. Last semester she studied abroad in Brazil, South Africa and India, and would welcome the opportunity to return to one of those countries to continue her research about access to services in global urban environments.
“In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected the U.N. provides a platform for international collaboration and dialogue to ensure that the World we live in is safer and more prosperous,” says Rina. “I recognize that the U.N. isn’t going to solve all of the world’s problems or end all conflicts however, the U.N. ensures there is constructive multilateralism to tackle global challenges. In a world where there is a lot of uncertainty the U.N. serves a steady guide for shared progress.”