United Nations: What is the UVU Why it Matters Conference? | Opinion


Animal feed may not be the daily fodder of international relations, but a pilot project coordinated by Utah State University in the 1970s with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Agriculture, a university in Germany and the International Livestock Center for Africa, did just that.

Lorin E. Harris and Leonard C. Kearl of USU described it as an “attempt to establish, through international cooperation, a worldwide data bank on the nutritional value and utilization of animal feeds”. It is an emblematic company of the About Gérald CausséPresiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at the 2019 United Nations Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City: “Together we seek to cross barriers and borders in the great work to create a world in which we include, support, serve and, most importantly, love each other.

Reading the pioneering work of USU half a century later, the clumsy computer of their time now a comfortable mitt in the palm of my hand, I realized once again how scholarship and imagination – and patient research – can advance the primary purpose of the United Nations, “the dignity and worth of the human person”, just as surely as agreements, arrangements and accommodations between nations can.

Bruce Jenkins, then Chief Justice of the United States Court in Utah, spoke on the occasion of the organization’s 45th anniversary in 1990 of the “basic human values” that the United Nations symbolizes and of the “search for the peaceful enjoyment of these values ​​in the full measure by all mankind…people whose relatedness of species and relatedness of goodwill transcends the artificial political boundaries of nations.

Artificial or not, borders limited much of the possible global action.

Countries were reluctant to allow matters they considered internal to their sovereignty to admit of international interest or responsibility. But then, 10 years ago, they met in Rio de Janeiro and agreed to venture beyond their national borders and collectively move towards this “kinship of good” through Sustainable Development Goals. agreed that the united nations the way the charter had intended them to be. .

Setting the goals brought together governments, civil society activists and the global research community; it is representatives of the latter sector who will meet in Orem next October for the first international academic conference of the University of Utah Valley on the objectives:“why is it important.” The title is summarized from the question posed by UVU International Director, Dr. Baldomero Lago, “Why are these goals important?” Why are they important to all of us?

Universality, perhaps. Their relevance to all regions and peoples of the world, the relevance and dependence of each goal on one another, and the assurance that, while so much of our lives are lived in a more present in addition to vulnerable, often abbreviated, the future can still be shaped with the will and wisdom of our immediate time. And, yes, education – the only tie that will unite the participants, physical and virtual, at the conference which will include a large presence of young people in addition to academics and practitioners.

The role of education, in a sense, brings the United Nations back to the forages and farms of Utah, where these reflections began. On May 19, 1945, as delegates from 51 countries worked in San Francisco to draft the Charter of the United Nationsthe president of the Utah State Farm Bureau sent a letter to the general secretary of the conference protesting that while the draft document mentioned “culture”, there was no reference to “education “.

“We consider education to be as important to the well-being of the peoples of the world as food,” wrote George L. Hobson.

On May 31, the Secretary General, Algiers Hiss (yes, that Alger Hiss) replied:

“I am pleased to be able to inform you that steps have been taken to make special reference to education in the proposed charter.” It turned out there was more than one reference, including one on international educational cooperation, so prescient of what we’ll see at UVU in October and so emblematic of green coaxed into distant soil from a seed nurtured on the other side of the world, a seed whose promise shows why it matters.

Ramu Damodaran is a senior researcher at the Center for Social and Economic Progress, India, and was the first head of the United Nations Academic Impact initiative (2010-2021).

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