A Day at the UN: Together Campaign, The Ocean Conference, and Forging Partnerships

16145219_1194885347246426_1782196716_o (1).jpg

The United Nations has declared 2017 “the year of peace,” and on  January 19, Peace Boat interns gathered to hear the first briefing of the year at the DPI/NGO (Department of Public Information/Non Governmental Organization) Inaugural meeting in New York City. It was the first time this team of interns had the opportunity to sit among NGO representatives at the table. Speakers Maher Nasser and Damian Cardona introduced the TOGETHER campaign, which is an umbrella coalition to counter xenophobia and negative perceptions and attitudes towards immigrants and refugees. This global movement aims to distinguish between facts and myths of narratives circling in the media about immigrants. Daniel Shepard and Kim Quarles spoke about the upcoming Ocean Conference being held June 5 – 9, 2017. The conference aims to build partnerships among the private, public, and civil society society sectors; develop a firm commitment to act and preserve the oceans; and to educate and share a more robust understanding of ocean issues and the negative impacts of these.

16129533_1194885450579749_1946876317_o

We also had the opportunity to attend the UNDESA/DSPD (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Division for Social Policy and Development) Stakeholder Engagement Series on Partnerships to Transform Goals. Speakers Daniel Perell, Chair of the NGO Committee on Social Development, and Hanifa D. Mezoui, Senior Advisor of the Humanitarian Affairs and Civil Society, emphasized the importance of bringing all voices to the table such as those of indigenous peoples, older generations, and people with disabilities. The guest speakers emphasized inclusive NGO meetings that are representative of a variety of backgrounds and NGO work. Together, the meeting participants agreed to start a dialogue on specific tasks they can do to ensure that the information collected and discussed in their meetings is dispersed throughout the entire UN. The team also agreed to develop a statement to collectively emphasize the team’s stance as well as educate non-members on the activities and initiatives of the team.

FotorCreated.jpg
16196271_1194885393913088_1188795769_o

Utilizing Information And Communication Technology For Sustainable Development

csm_unsustainabledevelopmentgoals_cover_01_43148a588aToday Peace Boat US interns attended “The Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in accelerating the achievement of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development” at the United Nations Headquarters. They learned that while 98% of Americans have access to the internet, only 47% of the global population has similar access. This meeting focused on the opportunities and concerns involved in increasing the connectivity of the international population.

Of particular interest to our interns were the impacts ICTs could have on the environment. They learned ICTs can serve as an integral tool in collecting big data for analysis of biodiversity, pollution, weather patterns and ecosystem evolution. In addition, satellite monitoring increases accountability by providing accurate global data. Running parallel to these positive impacts of ICTs, however, are the concerns. An increase in ICTs also creates an increase in electronic waste (e-waste).  According to the EPA, e-waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America. Internationally, 40 million tons of electronic waste are created each year. In addition to having a negative environmental impact e-waste is also a health hazard, particularly to the impoverished young girls and women who scavenge for survival in various countries. Peace Boat interns were thrilled to learn about the various opportunities and concerns surrounding ICTs, and how they can be used in the undertaking of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They look forward to incorporating this knowledge and awareness into Peace Boat’s mission of promoting sustainable and equitable development around the world.

 

(This post was created by Lilly Potter)

 

January Term 2017 Interns from Hollins University

Collaboration with Peace Boat US and Hollins University

Hollins University is a liberal arts school located in Roanoke, Virginia. Each year students have the opportunity for the month of January to choose between studying abroad, interning with an organization, researching independently under a professor, or taking a course on campus. This is the fourth year Hollins and the Peace Boat US have partnered together to give students a closer look into what the Peace Boat does for the world and current projects and initiatives to promote peace and sustainability. This month 4 Hollins interns will be promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through various activities in New York, attend events hosted by the UN and other local partnership organizations such as Global Kids, research funding opportunities for building the world’s greenest ship, the Ecoship, and canvass for the summer Peace Boat voyage  entitled “Peace Education and the Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America.”

15902559_10210563412988824_589626624_o

Nicole Curran is a senior International Studies major at Hollins University. Through her major, Ms. Curran’s studies focus on the DPRK (North Korea), China and Japan. She is interested in the censorship and its portrayal in media; specifically how it creates preconceived notions and negative effects that play around the world today. Peace Boat US caught Ms. Curran’s attention because it is a place where anyone from any background and anywhere in the world can come together to create sustainable dialogue and break barriers to promote peace.

15879361_10210563412428810_1154074831_nAlexis Hughes will be a graduate from Hollins University in February of 2017 with a degree in philosophy. Prior to the Peace Boat US, Ms. Hughes interned with the largest child law program in Virginia, the Legal Aid Justice Center, advocating for equal access to education and proper support for children with special needs and mental health issues. She worked briefly with the Legal Justice Aid team on the RISE for Youth campaign to close juvenile prisons and promote community-based and rehabilitative alternatives to youth incarceration. Ms. Hughes is enthusiastic about women’s rights as well as moving education and religious systems forward. She is skilled in problem solving and public speaking. Alexis plans to devote her life to advocacy for disenfranchised populations and will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution in the fall. She’s thrilled to have the chance to be mentored by professional peacemakers at the Peace Boat who spend their time fighting for a more equal, just, and peaceful world.

15942703_10210563412588814_767808214_oLilly Potter is a sophomore at Hollins University double majoring in English and International Studies. She is passionate about human rights, international relations, and sustainable development. Ms. Potter has taken every opportunity to be a global student, listen to foreign perspectives, and immerse herself in other cultures. She was fortunate enough to study environmental sustainability through urban development and eco-farming while in Singapore and Malaysia. Ms. Potter is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue her global education as an intern at Peace Boat. Looking forward, she hopes to take the lessons she has learned at Peace Boat and apply them in her pursuit of a graduate degree in international law.

15902644_10210563412828820_1107486653_o

Dade Hundertmark is a sophomore at Hollins University double majoring in international studies and philosophy. At this time, she is also the standing president of Humans for Justice, a 501(c)3 that supports education for survivors of human trafficking within the United States. Passionate about ethics and developmental economics, she looks forward to this opportunity to observe and participate in an internship that will allow her to see the extent to which nonprofits can make their mark on the world. Outside of her work, Ms. Hundertmark is an avid equestrian and a resident feminist killjoy, as well as a fan of nail polish, Daenerys Targaryen, and the mangrove ecosystem. She believes that through practical application of theory, passion, and an ear toward the community, both sustainability and development can flourish, while protecting the rights and customs of native communities. Ms. Hundertmark also firmly believes in the role that youth serve to further these goals in this age of communication, and is grateful for her chance to serve Peace Boat US for this term.

One-on-one Conversation with Cristina Gallach

dpi

On October 27, 2016 Peace Boat US joined an event organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) that gave NGOs the opportunity to have one-on-one conversation with Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information of the United Nations.

The meeting began with moderator Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division in the DPI, thanking Peace Boat for the “Floating Festival for Sustainability” event it organized on October 20, 2016 in collaboration with the DPI. He also thanked Peace Boat for its acknowledgment of the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ms. Gallach expressed her gratitude for the work done by civil society, as well as the importance of continuing to work together and support one another. The planet is more unstable than before, she said, and therefore it is important to promote diversity, integration and dignity, which is one of the campaigns of the DPI. Currently, the global community is in a phase of transition, especially in regards to the change of the UN Secretary General, and it is crucial to make that transition smooth and easy she noted.

Various questions were raised during the meeting, many on the topic of access and sharing on social media. For civil societies to work with UN agencies, it is necessary for NGOs to have easy access to information provided by the UN–an effort the UN is constantly trying to improve through their live Webcast and through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This is also linked to how they are engaging youth. Youth are constantly changing how they use social media, and therefore the DPI is trying to change as well to keep up and to engage the youth, given that young people are the leaders who will need to use the SDGs to effect change. To raise awareness about the SDGs, it is important to bring more youth organizations onboard, and Mr. Nasser said: “You shouldn’t wait to get invitations; you should knock on the door and make your voice heard.”

Peace Boat knows the importance of awareness of the SDGs, and actively works to raise it.  It organizes voyages that focus on sustainability and the SDGs to this end. In 2017, Peace Boat will hold its 94th Global Voyage for Peace, and invites youth to join the Latin American segment of the voyage in the summer to learn more about the SDGs. To see the full voyage itinerary visit: http://peaceboat.org/english/index.php?page=view&nr=122&type=4&menu=64

This post was created and published by Cecilie Barmoen (Intern from Peace Boat US)

Introducing the Fall 2016 Interns

Meet our Fall Interns for 2016!

 

Introduction pic ChristinaChristina Irwin is a recent high school graduate, dedicating her gap semester to interning with Peace Boat US until December. She discovered Peace Boat while searching for an activist organization to which she could dedicate her time. She has prior experience volunteering with animals, and aims to broaden her scope of activities and impact. Christina cares deeply about the environment, human rights, mental health, and animal welfare. She is pleased to be part of an organization with passions that mirror her own, and where she can learn more about how to contribute to their objectives.

EIntroduction pic Emiliemilie Lervik is a social worker from Norway. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work
and studied human rights for a semester in New York. She visited the Peace Boat US office with her human rights teacher when she studied in New York, and knew immediately that she wanted to be an intern at Peace Boat US.  In Norway, she works with children with mental and physical disabilities and loves working with young people. Her dream is to one day work for UNICEF. She is passionate about child protection, children with disabilities and the #ENDviolence initiative. She also loves working with people from different countries and learning more about different cultures around the world. She views the internship as a great opportunity to learn more about how international NGOs work, and to gain knowledge about current issues.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajoaaaajdmxyza5zge5ltaxnmytndbioc1imjiylti0zwmzmdrmnza4zaJulia Wilkinson is a Columbia SIPA MPA graduate who has joined Peace Boat US’ volunteer staff to work on the organization’s Ecoship Project. She learned about Peace Boat through friends who knew about her passion for conservation and peacebuilding, and after meeting the team she was eager to contribute to the mission. She is an impact investor focused on sustainability, technology for social change and development, and gender equality. Before attending Columbia SIPA she worked in international asset management. Julia is trilingual in English, Portuguese, and Spanish and lived in Mexico, Brazil, and Honduras for 11 years. She is excited to work with the Peace Boat team to bring the Ecoship project from concept to reality, and to contribute to the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

img_2984

Cecilie Barmoen is a Norwegian student at Pace University, where she focuses on Global Studies. She has always had a passion for international politics and peace keeping, so when she found Peace Boat US, she thought it would be a great place to start to learn more about it in real life. From participating in the Model UN program, she learned much about conflict solving and peace resolutions, and the program fueled her interest in this field. In the future, she would like to work at the United Nations, where she can focus on cultural differences in regards to human rights. She is excited about her internship with Peace Boat US and is confident it will help her learn even more about peace building.

img_3842Briana Whylie is an International Business major at Berkeley College. With her interest in solving international issues, Briana participated in the Model United Nations to get in practice. Briana has always showed passion to change lives for the better; and describes herself as dedicated and enthusiastic. Her volunteer work at Peace Boat is a life changing experience to not only help the organization, but to become educated in world issues. Briana carries legacy from her late grandfather Vincent Whylie who helped pass a union law with Richard Nixon in 1970. Briana hopes to make great, yet bigger life changes, like her grandfather.

fullsizerenderJason Vargas is a student at Pace University with a major in Political Science and minors in Criminal Justice and Peace and Justice Studies. He is very interested in human rights, the laws of war, disarmament, and international law. Jason is very excited to be interning for an organization such as Peace Boat whose mission is to work towards a Nuclear-Free world. Furthermore, he sees himself either going to law school or getting his masters degree in U.S. Foreign Policy following his graduation from Pace. In the future Jason hopes to become a Foreign Service Officer and work abroad in the various U.S. embassies making a noticeable difference in the world.

 

alex
Alex Brizer is a student at Pace University with a major in Communications and a minor in Criminal Justice. Alex is very interested in Journalism, International Politics, Disarmament and Human rights. He has always had a strong passion for Peace Keeping and the Environment. He has Volunteered with local organizations such as the Clear water Festival in Croton On Hudson to help raise awareness for Environmental cleanup and to help promote the closure of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Alex also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in Dallas, Texas to help build schools in impoverished areas through the NBA Cares program. He has always cared for others wants to make the world a better place. Alex learned about Peace Boat through his Professor and is very excited to be working for such an amazing organization. His goal is to promote and learn a lot more about Peace building and to meet others from around the world while doing so.

Review of Climate Week NYC

Climate Week in New York City brings together businesses, social enterprises and non-governmental organizations to work together on creating a world in support of the United Nations’ 2030 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This year, Peace Boat attended several of these events held from September 19-25, and hosted one called “Sailing for Sustainability and Climate Action” to present its Ecoship Project. In addition, Peace Boat  attended the Sustainable Investment Forum, the Social Good Summit, and the International Conference on Sustainable Development during this week.

Social Good Summit

The Social Good Summit is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. Held annually during UNGA Week, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time. Our theme, #2030NOW, asks the question, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” During the Social Good Summit, global citizens around the world unite to unlock the potential of technology to make the world a better place.– Social Good Summit website

SGS.JPG

Social Good Summit Digital Media Lounge

For more than 30 years, Peace Boat has been working for the social good, fostering global citizenship, and carrying out activities that are embodied in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, so Peace Boat US’ presence at the Social Good Summit in New York City on September18-19, 2016 was a natural fit.

The Social Good Summit brought together inventors, artists, activists,  youth, and UN leaders, and featured an incredible line-up of speakers that included Vice President Joe Biden, actors Alec Baldwin and Michelle Yeoh, and singers Demi Lovato and  Cody Simpson.

codeysimpson

Cody Simpson, Singer; Emilie McGlone, Peace Boat US Director

In addition to being a singer, Cody Simpson is a surfer whose strong connection to the ocean has made him a voice for ocean preservation—a topic that is also of great importance to Peace Boat as it sails around the world. Cody spoke about fuel alternatives that would be better for the environment, and expressed interest in Peace Boat’s Ecoship Project, which is aiming to build the world’s most sustainable cruise ship and reduce carbon emissions by a whopping 40 percent.

At the Summit, underwater photojournalist Brian Skerry, whose work is featured often in National Geographic magazine, also spoke passionately about our oceans and climate. He focused on the damage caused to ecosystems from overfishing, and proposed the concept of fish farming instead. We should go from being a gatherer under the sea to being a farmer under the sea, he said.  Alec Baldwin talked about indigenous peoples, forests and climate change. Tropical forests are essential to fighting climate change, and we should invest in the people who are protecting the forest, he emphasized.

2030nowPeace Boat US looks forward to continuing to work with other organizations and individuals throughout the world toward global sustainability—especially with those who hold strong visions for positive solutions as represented at the Social Good Summit.

 

 

 

International Conference on Sustainable Development 2016

andrewholness

Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica

As an international organization that strongly supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the goal of ending poverty worldwide, Peace Boat took a special interest in the fourth annual International Conference on Sustainable Development held at Columbia University in New York City on September 21-22, 2016. Keynote speakers at the conference included Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica; Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway;  and Jeffrey Sachs,  Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.  With a focus on how to end poverty, the conference included panel discussions on the SDGs and how they related to the private sector, youth involvement in solutions, and data.

Prime Minister Holness spoke about his goal to end poverty not only in Jamaica, but also in the larger world.  Though not everyone believes this can be accomplished, nor does

jeffreysachs

Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network

everyone believe in the SDGs, he stated, everyone wants to develop into something better.  This aim and desire for something better is the power we need to use to effect change, he asserted. Jeffrey Sachs spoke about the ethics of politics, and where countries should place their focus.  Currently, the United States is spending millions of dollars on war in other countries, he pointed out, while this money should be spent on education instead. By focusing attention and funds on education, we could teach more about the SDGs and make a significant difference.

ernasolberg

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway

Prime Minister Solberg talked about her work for the SDGs, and how she was chosen by the UN Secretary General to lead the working group for the SDGs because of how Norway operates.  Our current young generation is the last generation that will be able to eradicate poverty from the world, she emphasized, and it is therefore important for youth to learn more about sustainability in order to be able to reach the SDGs.

The panels at the conference focused on different approaches to reach the SDGs, such as through the involvement of the private sector, youth, and effective use of data.  Various participants were invited to show what their company is doing to address climate change and poverty.

privatesectors

Panel discussing different approaches to reach the SDGs through involvement of the private sector

It is important to work towards the SDGs, but it will be hard to reach these essential goals for global sustainability if most people in the world are not aware of them. Therefore, Peace Boat encourages youth to travel to Latin America in the summer of 2017 with Peace Boat to learn directly about the SDGs as part of a special study program. To see the full itinerary of the Peace Boat voyage in which the program will take place, visit: http://peaceboat.org/english/index.php?page=view&nr=122&type=4&menu=64

 

Sailing for Sustainability and Climate Action

nyc6

Jon Bruno, Executive Director of the International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

How can world leaders and decision-makers understand the fear that people living in small island countries face regarding the effects of climate change–and how can they viscerally understand the need to take urgent action–when global discussions about the problem take place in comfortable hotels in cities like Paris, far removed from the realities of those on the frontlines?  This was the question posed by Peace Boat Director Yoshioka Tatsuya at an event called “Sailing for Sustainability and Climate Action” held on September 22 as part of Climate Week New York City. Climate Week is an international event that gathers business and government leaders together to demonstrate how continued investment in innovation, technology and clean energy will drive profitability and lead toward net zero emissions.

nyc4

Yoshioka Tatsuya, Founder and Director of Peace Boat

At the event, Yoshioka spoke about how Peace Boat is currently developing the world’s most sustainable cruise ship—a project that will decrease the vessel’s CO2 emissions by an astonishing 40 percent through the use of wind and solar energy.  This Ecoship will also feature vertical gardens, a zero waste water system, and other innovative features. Peace Boat’s aim in building the ship is to not only offer a solution to climate change and set a high new standard in the shipping industry, but to take thousands of people around the world every year to places that are directly feeling the effects of rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change.  This will give people a much better understanding of the urgency of the problem, and of the need to help find solutions with those who are most affected.

ambassador

Ambassador Ahmed Sareer of the Permanent Mission of the Maldives Republic to the United Nations speaks about the effects of climate change on island states. 

Peace Boat was joined at the event by Ambassador Ahmed Sareer of the Permanent Mission of the Maldives Republic to the United Nations, who emphasized the importance of taking action on climate change.  Wanjira Mathai, Chair of the Board of the Green Belt Movement, highlighted the important role that Peace Boat plays in providing education and experiential learning opportunities to young people, noting that Peace Boat has given people the opportunity to help plant trees in Kenya and learn from Green Belt Movement members about reforestation and other issues. John Bruno of the International Ecotourism Society noted that Peace Boat’s plan of reducing emission by 40 percent is truly groundbreaking, considering other companies and organizations generally aim for cuts of 2 percent. Margo LaZaro of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development expressed the importance of forming partnerships to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and lauded Peace Boat’s plan to use the Ecoship as a flagship to sail for the SDGs.  Clayton Banks of

img_3097

Clayton Banks, Founder of Silicon Harlem

Silicon Harlem spoke of the need to provide young people greater access to the technology they need in order to succeed in education, and noted that Silicon Harlem and Peace Boat have the shared goal of giving people access to the technology and opportunities they need to reach their fullest potential. “We are all united in this,” he emphasized.

The speakers also agreed that being on a ship in the middle of the ocean is akin to our experience here on Earth—just as one cannot simply leave the ship when waste builds up or suddenly find new resources while at sea, human beings cannot simply exit the Earth to leave behind our devastation or to seek out new solutions. We must be aware of our existing environment and work together to find solutions to keeping it sustainable. Creating and expanding partnerships with governments, the private sector, schools, and civil society organizations is the key to making this happen, they concluded.

Ecoship4.png

Yoshioka Tatsuya, Peace Boat Founder and Director; Margo LaZaro, Co-Chair, NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY; Jon Bruno, Executive Director of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES); Emilie McGlone, Peace Boat US Director

Peace Boat is aiming for its Ecoship to sail in 2020, and experts from various fields have already met and created the ship’s design. To contribute ideas to the project, including on how to fund the ship’s construction, contact Peace Boat.  No idea is too big or small for consideration.

wanjira

Wanjira Mathai, Chair of the Board of The Green Belt Movement speaks about empowering communities to take action for climate change.

group-photo

img_3086

This post was created by and published Cecilie Barmoen (Intern from Peace Boat US)

9/11 Memorial

Fifteen years ago this month, Peace Boat joined the world in feeling deeply saddened by the September 11 attacks on the United States. This year, as a number of 9/11 anniversary img_1766
events were held in New York City–including moments of silence at the World Trade Center, a Tribute in Light that illuminated the New York City Sky at the 9/11 Memorial
Plaza, and the ringing of the Bell of Hope at St. Paul’s Chapel across from the World Trade Center–we again remember the innocent lives that were lost.  We also pay tribute to those who survived, to those who helped others to survive, and to those family members and friends who lost loved ones.

 

When Peace Boat’s ship docks at Pier 90 in New York City on October 20-21 of this year as part of its Global Voyage for Peace, our hope is that it can be a small symbol of the inherent yearning for peace that citizens around the global share.  A symbol of the rejection of violence, and of the importance of creating new opportunities for friendships, learning, and positive action.  A symbol of the value of people-to-people diplomacy, and of the importance of minds coming together to create a sustainable world in which all people call thrive.

img_1727As we open our ship to the New York City public and welcome onboard officials from the United Nations, from governments of countries large and small, educators, students, civil society representatives, artists, musicians and others, we look forward to creating an “International floating village” here in New York City just as we do when our ship is sailing around the world.  We look forward to the exhilaration that is felt when people of different walks of life come together and share a common vision of humanity living up to its highest potentials.

Lastly, as we prepare to visit New York City next month, 15 years after 9/11, we feel tremendously grateful to all those who made extraordinary efforts in the days, months and years after the tragedy to help the city to recover.  It is your resilience and caring that makes our visit of peace possible.

 

This post was created and published by Cecilie Barmoen (Intern from Peace Boat US)