United Nations Youth Leadership Network delegates visit BCC
On Thursday September 27, 2018, a group of nine West African delegates to the United Nations Youth Leadership Network/ROJALNU visited Bronx Community College at the invitation of President Thomas A. Isekenegbe. The diplomatic guests were participating in the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. President Isekenegbe coordinated the visit with Dr. Djibril Diallo, Senior United Nations Africans Diplomat and President and Chief Executive Officer of African Renaissance and Diaspora Network, Inc. Dr. Diallo suggested bringing the delegates to BCC to meet with students and faculty and discuss the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which support economic and structural advancement in less developed countries.
The Youth Leadership Network delegates were from Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, France and Guinea. Heading the group and acting as translator was Mbaye Mbengue of the United Nations Children’s Fund. The delegates spoke to the audience about the importance of the United Nations in today’s geo-political environment. M’jid El Guerrab of France reminded them that African countries don’t need financial aid from the West — instead, they need investment. “Africa has an abundance of resources,” said Mr. El Guerrab. “What we need from the West is technical assistance and investments in our growing infrastructures.” The group appealed to BCC students, faculty and staff to help forge global connections with the United Nations Youth Leadership Network. Alioune Gueye, Secretary General of the Youth Network in Africa, stated, “African students in the United States offer considerable skills and perspectives that can benefit the global work of the United Nations”.
Gene Adams, Director of BCC Collaborative Education and Staff Adviser to the BCC African Students Association, encouraged the audience to research the UN Sustainable Development Goals and possible career pathways into international service. “You can begin your journey to international involvement while you here at BCC by joining student clubs and tackling global issues on campus,” said Adams.
Musa Bugubdu of Nigeria, who recently retired from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, informed the audience that he started his education in the United State as an international student at a community college. “I believe that BCC’s academic programs offer a solid foundation for entering international service and gaining the skills required to help implement the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Bugundu. At the close of the session, students asked questions about the United Nations and thanked the guests for visiting BCC. Gene Adams plans to explore further potential UN projects with the Youth Leadership Network.