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Youths for change

Here are some perspectives shared by the participants of Everest International Model United Nations (EIMUN) 2024 with The DMN News.

Kathmandu: Who is the future? Youth. Who will lead the future? They will. Youth these days are much more aware of current affairs and global issues, more than we imagine them to be. 

Everest International Model United Nations (EIMUN) 2024, held in Kathmandu recently, saw participation of youth from various countries in the region. Youths participating from different countries took some serious initiatives as future leaders to come together and discuss various global issues including climate change, gender, and SDG goals.  The DMN News asked a few participants why they think the EIMUN is important, what are the most pressing problems facing the globe and what should be done about it.

Dipika Shrestha, Nepal

Gender inequality is something so true. The stereotype that comes with gender inequality still exists.’

My name is Dipika Shrestha. I am working as a Program Lead for EIMUN 2024. I recently completed my BSc in Microbiology from St. Xavier’s College. Since January this year, I have had an opportunity to travel to all seven provinces of Nepal to conduct provincial-level EIMUN. While traveling to different places in the country, I got to meet different people and interact with many youths.

Gender inequality is something so true. The stereotype that comes with gender inequality still exists. Whenever we plan any event, we plan to be inclusive in terms of including youth, women, marginalized communities, LGBTQI+ and people from different regions so that everyone is represented well. 

We receive a lot of applications from the male participants. Our objective is to provide equal opportunity. So, we encourage a lot of women to participate as well. We seek help from various organizations that work and advocate for women and LGBTQI+ community so that we are inclusive and provide opportunities so that they can represent themselves confidently and also provide them with scholarships. We now have youth representing in the parliament as well. This already is a huge change and a hope for youth to change the country in a positive direction. The change has already started. This is inspiring youth to get into politics as well.  Hopefully, this will change the narrative of youth in the parliament and government. 

Madhav Rathi, India

‘Coming to Nepal feels like returning home for some quality time while enhancing my productivity.’

I am Madhav Rathi. My roots are in Rajasthan, I was born in Madhya Pradesh and brought up in Gujrat. I am currently studying MBBS in Moscow, Russia.

I come to Nepal during my semester break in June/July. This feels like returning home for some quality time while enhancing my productivity. This is one of the main reasons I chose EIMUN. Apart from academics, the networking and bonding we get here is amazing. We feel the warmth of people. Nepal feels like a second home to me. What brings me back to Nepal is the joy, the warmth of people, and jhol momo. I am a vegetarian but I still like veg jhol momo.

This is my second time coming to EIMUN. I have been chosen for the UN Environment Program (UNEP) dias panel again for the second time. This year we have taken some serious initiatives carrying forward last year’s legacy to ban plastic and single use of virgin plastic. We have requested our fellow delegates to do the same. UNEP is very environment-friendly this time. We are doing this to enhance those skills so that when the conference ends and we go back, we can implement these learnings in our personal lives. As my sector of interest relates to the environment so much and I have also worked in the UNEP India regionals, my focus would be on the regional health program that we are establishing. Countries like ours are facing health hazards due to the environment and that is a serious concern. This is where I try to bond my academics, my medicine studies, and health, and relate them with the environment and population.

Youth can lead the change for climate justice as it is a global issue. Youth have the voice, and interface-friendly technology to make an impact. But, individually we cannot take charge. We should hand-in-hand together and it would create a beautiful impact. For instance, when we watch a Netflix show, we recommend it to others. Why don’t we do the same in sustainable management?

All of us like to be on social media but we don’t use it in a productive way so that it helps us in the future. I am not talking about future generations. I am talking about us. We are going to face such a crisis. We have moved from global warming to global boiling already. We can feel this in the temperature as it is already hot and humid here in Nepal. We need to work on this immediately and raise this matter in parliament. We already have young MPs working in the government.

New generations have seen and faced these climate challenges in a different way and have fresh perspectives to put forth on the table. Events like these will help bring different ideas from like-minded youths on a single platform. Once we have convinced real ministers about these serious issues, we will have already won half the battle.

Deepti Bhujel, Nepal

‘Cutting down on waste, carrying reusable bags, using recyclable things and making everything sustainable, these should be our priorities.’ 

I am 20 years old and about to start my Bachelor’s degree in Science and Architecture with Sustainable Designs as my major.

In the Nepali society, we have always been taught that ‘Hami’ (we) starts with ‘ma’ (I). I feel this is how we should approach things.  Once we start taking initiative on an individual level, we can slowly move up one step at a time to our houses, society, community, and so on. Cutting down on waste, carrying reusable bags, using recyclable things and making everything sustainable, these should be our priorities. 

It will not only be feasible and beneficial for our environment and climate, it will also be economically sustainable to have one thing and reuse it multiple times. It will emotionally get you attached to things and you will want to use it more. As much as we can, I am also going to study sustainability where I will be studying how we can make houses and buildings and societies more accustomed to sustainability. How we can cut down heat if it is too hot or how we can make the house warm when it is cold, without much use of electricity or fuel consumption. This is also the focus of my study. We should focus on long lasting sustainability even in our daily lives. For example, the use of dishes, plates, and everyday items like shoes, bags. I request everyone to start this from yourself and preach the idea to people around us including family and community. We can have a wider impact on things on a wider and microscopic spectrum. It can be as simple as going to a supermarket with a reusable bag without using a plastic water bottle. We can carry empty steel bottles. We can refill it anytime. 

Nepal may or may not meet SGD goals by 2030. As a country we have a lot of societal norms and values to get over. Since a lot of youth are going abroad these days, we have a lot of older people whose mindset is rigid and needs slight changes. Shaping the mindset of older people is much harder than shaping the youth. If we are able to get youth involved in our community, we might as well reach our SDG goals.

Aamir Iqbal, Pakistan

‘Networking is one important aspect that helps us mitigate the impact of current global crisis including climate change.’

I am doing my MPhil in Strategic Studies. I am here for EIMUN 2024 representing the Food and Agriculture Organization.  

We are alumni of the US Exchange program. We were really excited to meet other people from different countries. 

What I am liking about such youth programs is the diversity of people from different nations coming together in one place and exchanging our ideas, mindset, and of course, food.

Besides sharing ideas to bring about a revolution, I like the fact that despite coming from different countries, we are able to build a network with people from 10 different countries. Suppose, I am from Pakistan and I am visiting Nepal. Here, I am meeting my friends from Bangladesh, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Japan, Kazakhstan, and many other nations. This means I have the perk to build a network and connect with someone from Sudan. If I need to connect with someone in Japan, I can connect with my fellow delegate because we will have already built a rapport by then. So, networking is one important aspect that helps us mitigate the impact of current global crisis including climate change, gender, AI, and others. We can bring some resolution and changes in the policy and compel representatives to do justice with us for issues like climate justice.

Yuki Kato, Japan

We are kind of isolated in terms of building a rapport with foreigners

My name is Yuki Kato and I am from Japan. I am here to attend the EIMUN 2024. 

The leadership and entrepreneurial qualities to broaden the way of thinking is the best part about being a youth, Exploring the new perspectives through conversation and dialogues that are happening now is the best part about this event. In Japan, this kind of event is not as popular as in Nepal. This event is both academical and practical as to how to proceed conversations, discussion, and dialogue actively and passionately. I get to learn new things everytime.  

As I am from Japan, I can only speak for things that I have seen and experienced so far. In Japan, we are currently facing shortage of labor and decreasing birth rate. The country has no choice of getting foreigners to work in Japan. That is kind of crucial problem that we need to deal with. The nation  brings its unique culture to the world but there are still few issues we need to address, especially interaction with foreigners. We are kind of isolated in terms of building a rapport with foreigners. I want to build that kind of way of thinking and building a network with foreign nationals. 

We as a global citizen of this world need to step up and be aware about the global issues of the world. The tolerance and individual activities to tackle the crisis in itself is a big issue as of now. We need to talk about the issues on a global platforms. Based, on the democracy in Japan, the power of people is easily reflected to the world. Hence, this ‘power of the people’ is something we need to recognize. Then, we can bring about change on issues of global crisis as well.