Yanko Dzhukev: End of a Marathon, Beginning of a New Journey

I just finished my long marathon and completed my internship at the United Nations Secretariat, within the Office of Legal Affairs at the UN headquarters in New York. It was such a great experience. I continued my internship experience started at the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS). During my time at the UN Secretariat from May until the beginning of September 2016 I had an extraordinary opportunity to continue to advocate the sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda at the UN level, and ECOSOC in particular. As a representative of Utah Valley University (UVU) and Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), I both participated and coordinated the activities of UVU delegation during the session of the 2016 UN High-Level Political Forum under ECOSOC on 29 June 2016. Also, I met with Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and Mrs. Elizabeth Niland, representative of the UN Programme on Youth, representative of the UNAI and Permanent Representatives to the UN of several mountain nations, including the Kyrgyz Republic and Bulgaria among them. I held discussions with them about building partnership ties with UVU and UIMF, and how students and youth could contribute to SDGs implementation as part of SMD promotion. Also, I was able to be involved with the MPS, to assist the Secretariat to manage the social media activities and to produce the monthly newsletter “Peak to Peak,” and contribute to the mountain cause in general globally.

This has been a great experience of service learning, as part of the experiential learning model developed at Utah Valley University (UVU), so effectively implemented during last years. As one of the examples of it, I contributed to the successful hosting by UIMF members the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference (WOMC) in October 2015. Now, at the United Nations, I was able to apply the knowledge and the practical experience that I have gained at UVU in SMD promotion. It was a great opportunity for me during my internship to demonstrate, how we students, are able to contribute to the SMD on a global level, and be a part of student learning environment, to continue contribution to the mountain agenda, and be dedicated professionals to the mountain cause.

Yanko Dzhukev, Vice President of Global Affairs and Outreach, Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at UVU



(R to L) Santiago Villalpando, Chief of the Office of Legal Affairs of the UN thanks, Yanko Dzhukev for contribution to the Office of Legal Affairs



(L to R) Yanko Dzhukev discusses with Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth the possibilities to build partnership ties for UVU and UIMF



(L to R) Yanko Dzhukev meets Dr. Rusty Butler, Main UN Representative of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences under the ECOSOC, Associate Vice President for International Affairs and Diplomacy at UVU during 1992-2016, in front of the UN headquarters



Yanko Dzhukev in the United Nations General Assembly Hall