Mr. Milos Vukasinovic is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations. In the morning of Tuesday, March 6, 2018, the members of the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU), had the opportunity to discuss with Ambassador Vukasinovic about the planned visit and presentation at the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) at the United Nations. This is a part of the established tradition of UVU engaged student learning model where students have an opportunity to discuss with visiting dignitaries their activities with focus on the advocacy of the United Nations gender and sustainable mountain development agendas since the moment of establishment of UIMF in 2011. The model allows students to gain experiences and skills through hands-on activities promoting the UN agenda, which they implement as a group with faculty mentoring them when it is necessary. As part of that group, I had my special assignment to record the presentation of the Ambassador Vukasinovic on video camera with further editing content and then posting the final product on a special YouTube channel.
After short introductions, the delegation members discussed the importance of their presentation at CSW62 about fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals. They highlighted the role of the Permanent Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina along with Ambassador Vukasinovic in sponsoring a side event at CSW62 which presents the UVU student engaged learning model in order to globally advocate the cause of the mountain women. This happened for the first time in UVU history thanks to the role of the Global Engagement office and its head, Dr. Baldomero Lago, who were both able to get UVU accepted as Associate member of the United Nations Department of Public Information and to assemble a 26-member delegation to contribute to the agenda of the CSW62 on March 19-23, 2018.
The Ambassador then took a short moment to address the important stance of Bosnia and Herzegovina in working at the United Nations and in developing and improving the livelihood of mountain communities.
He also discussed important steps that Bosnia and Herzegovina have taken with the World Bank and European Union in order address the rights of the women in their society. Citing policy changes since the fall of the Soviet Union, Ambassador Vukaisnovic stated that in the social system more respect for women has been garnered than could have been thought possible. More than that, tradition and ground has been cleared for strengthening participation of women in socioeconomic as well as political systems. Citing a unique strength of the recent changes, Mr. Vukasinovic stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina actually have more female students than current male students. In recent years, the number of women in peacekeeping operations have soared as well, citing that though Bosnia and Herzegovina have few peacekeepers, female recruitment has been increasing popular.
Overall, it was a great opportunity for UVU students like me, and the UIMF delegation members who will go to the UN on March 19-23, 2018 to better understand the policies that Bosnia and Herzegovina have towards celebrating and empowering women and other mountain communities to better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
Andrew Jensen, member, Foreign Affairs Club at UVU
STUDENT REFLECTIVE ESSAYS