This semester, I have had the privilege of becoming an intern for the World Information Transfer (WIT), an NGO in consultative status with the United Nations. The WIT is an organization that was founded in 1987 in response to the Chernobyl nuclear incident. Realizing the growing importance of the impact of the environment on human health, the WIT works to promote civic literacy on issues such as the environment, health, and sustainable development. As an intern for the WIT, I am required to attend UN meetings and conferences and relay the information through live tweets/social media posts and summary briefings which we post to the organization’s blog.
As a political science student interested in the field of International Relations and Global Development, I found that interning with the UN and observing politics happening right in front of me is close to a dream come true. Although I have just begun, my experience thus far at the WIT has been very educational. Not only does the internship offer me the opportunity to observe world leaders represent their nations on different development issues, but it also teaches me how to disseminate live information through forms of social media. After attending a conference, we are also required to submit a 300-word summary report on the issues discussed that pertain to the goals of the WIT. Although condensing a three-hour meeting into 300 words can be challenging, doing so teaches us how to become selective and efficient observers. After attending a few conferences, I have already begun to identify the ways in which many countries’ efforts are overlapping, as many are working toward similar goals. In light of the recent Sustainable Development Goals that were created as part of the 2030 Agenda, I was happy to observe these similarities between nation initiatives.
I am greatly anticipating the arrival of spring break, as I will be representing the WIT in a week-long conference on the Commission on the Status of Women. I believe that the information and knowledge I will gain from the conference will be extremely insightful. Learning the policies in class is one thing, but observing them as they are being created is another. What I find admirable about the WIT mission is that through its live media feed and blog posts, it allows people from all over the globe to follow UN conferences without having to be there in person. Efforts such as the WIT promote transparency in the UN and allow civilians to be kept informed of the information and decisions being taken on important matters such as health and the environment.
The WIT accepts interns during the Spring, Fall, and Winter semesters. If you are a political science student interested in the United Nations and Sustainable Development, I would recommend you check out the internship program.
Included below are the WIT social media sites which you can follow to receive live feeds on UN conferences and relevant information. Fun fact: if you check the sites on Fridays, all posts and tweets will be created directly from me 🙂
WordPress (blog): https://witnewyork.wordpress.com/