Bakhtawar Izzat & Victor Namer

Bakhtawar Izzat and Victor Namer were invited to attend the United Nations International Diplomacy Forum in Thailand in Summer 2019. Bellow are their impression of the trip. 

Bakhtawar Izzat

Major: Political Science

"From the first day of the conference to the very last minute of it, I was continuously learning. The United Nations International Diplomacy Forum was unlike anything I could have imagined, for it was better. I was presented with the opportunity to grow as a student, a colleague, and most of all, a person. The forum in itself was an inspiring means of group elevation, and self motivation. We were encouraged to pursue change in our societies by selfless and positive means. With speakers varying from diplomat protocol officers, to the former president of the UN security council, one message was very clear: WE have to be the change that we want to see in the world. This is the ultimate solution to a lot of the situations we are facing today (whether it is the polarized political parties, climate change, poverty, etc). A bright smile lit up on my face every time this message became apparent, because this is exactly what I stand for. I want to help mobilize our community for the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, so that we can benefit our community today while also lowering the chances of harmful impact on future generations. 

Also, I would love to mention that it was a complete honor to have been in the same room with activists from around the globe. We met students from New Zealand, Australia, China, and even those from other parts of the United States! My goal before leaving for the conference was to interact with all of the students there, and I am really delighted to say that I believe this was accomplished! During all of our tea breaks and lunch sessions, I went around the area to shower warm welcomes and introductions to everyone. Additionally, I seized opportunities to engage in room-wide conversations with everyone, for which a lot of the students addressed and complimented me for afterwords. To be completely honest, I was so humbled to have such wonderful individuals saying those nice things to me!

Ultimately, this conference has enlightened me with techniques to pursue the goal I am determined to accomplish: being an influential change in the world. I know that by helping others, I am mobilizing them to have a similar goal as well. So, that is where I am starting. With the assistance of those around me, I know that we can lead by example to morph our goals into a reality." - Bakhtawar Izzat

Victor Namer

Major: Psychology and Political Science

The United Nations International Diplomacy Forum focused on the role of diplomacy in today's society through a multifaceted approach, namely focusing on: what is diplomacy? ; What does modern diplomacy look like in today’s age, how has it changed, and how it will continue to change? ; What is the role of a diplomat? ; What is the United Nations and how does it play a role in facilitating peace? ; And so much more packed into an engaging three day conference. I took away quite a lot from this conference, and made connections and friends from across the globe. Overall, I had two main takeaways from this conference.

The first is that the world is moving in the direction of peace. I used to be pessimistic about where our world was heading, but now, after seeing the work and success of global institutions such as the U.N., along with learning about the work of Steven Pinker (who studied societies moving away from war, along with the overall improvement of the human condition in regards to peace), I now see that the world is gradually, and surely, moving in the right direction. 

Secondly, while I realized that the career path of an international diplomat is not for me, I have been inspired to run for political office in the United States of America. This conference lit a fire in me, and reminded me that we are capable of limitless change. It also reminded me, that it is not naive to want to change the world for the better. A quote by Margaret Mead stuck with me through the conference: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” 

As I sat next to newfound global peers and friends, I discovered hope and inspiration. I drew courage from the zeal of like minded individuals who want to change the world, and it reminded me that we are not alone in our striving to better our societies. Summing everything up, this conference was an amazing opportunity that I am grateful to have been a part of. Now, moving forward, I wish to take what I have learned, and pass it forward.”  - Victor Namer