STATE DEPARTMENT AND THE UNWOMEN ARE OFICIALLY INVITED TO THE WOMEN OF THE MOUNTAINS CONFERENCE AT UVU
Tyler Brklacich and Caleb Tippetts, President and Vice President of Utah Valley University Student Association visited Washington D.C. and New York City in order to meet and officially invite representatives of the State Department and the UNWomen to participate at the Fourth International Women of the Mountains Conference, which UVU students will host on October 7-9, 2015 in Orem, UT.
It was a follow up to the visit of Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF) members in February 2015 and meetings in Washington D.C.
In Washington, D.C. they met and presented official invitation letters to Mr. Scott Driskel, desk officer for Kyrgyzstan at Office of Central Asian Affairs and Ms. Irene Marr, Office of Global Women’s Issues on March 16, 2015. State Department representative participated at the activities of the first International Women of the Mountains Conference in 2007 and it was important for UVU students to invite them to come back to Utah this coming fall and contribute to the success of the gathering.
They also visited the United Nations headquarters in New York City on March 20, 2015 in order to present an original invitation letter to Ms. Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of the UNWomen. Due to a busy schedule of Ms. Lakshmi, leaders of USUSA were able to meet Ms. Kristin Hetle, Director of Strategic Partnerships for UN Women and ask her to transfer original letter to the UNWomen leader.
Tyler and Caleb invited also Ms. Hetle and her team to the Women of the Mountain’s conference as well with positive outlook that they may be able to attend.
Whole trip was an amazing opportunity to be able to speak to these high ranking individuals whom are doing so much for women’s rights both in the United States and throughout the globe. It was possible thanks to the long-term efforts at UVU to advocate sustainable mountain development agenda of the United Nations including gender agenda as well as a practical example of embracing the vision of Utah Valley University of engaged learning locally, regionally and globally.
Deann Torsak, VP of the UIMF
Tyler Brklacich ( R) with State Department Representatives
Caleb Tippetts ( R ) with State Department Representatives
Winners of the Essay Contest and Organizing Committee
UIMF HOSTS ANNUAL HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST ON WOMEN’S ISSUES
For the fifth year in a row the Utah International Mountain Forum, a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU) hosted their annual high school essay contest. This year’s theme “Women of the Mountains of the 21st Century,” brought many fascinating essays from several high school students around Utah.
Members of the Organizing Committee of the essay Contest (L to R): Connie Lamb from BYU, Dr. Keith Snedegar, History and Political Science, UVU, Kiersten Dumas, VP UIMF, and Christine Biehle, UIMF media coordinator.
This contest has grown gradually every year, bringing essays from different students around our state. With the support of the Mountain Partnership, Utah Valley University, and the Orem Public Library we have been able to have a successful event every year. This contest is a group effort between many UIMF members and colleagues. This year helped to organize the efforts of both the UIMF and the high school students who entered.
Dr. Snedegar, a professor in the History and Political Science Department, has continued his support by being a part of the organizing committee and helping to judge the entries. His advising and guidance has made the combined efforts of these student’s a success. Connie Lamb, from Brigham Young University is another dedicated faculty, who contributes to the essay contest on regular basis and we so appreciate her involvement.
On the night of the essay contest, held at the Orem Public Library, contestants were able to give a short presentation on their research and the audience had the opportunity to ask questions. This adds a little more challenging element to the contest that helped the judges determine who the winners would be.
Chayston Woods from Copper Hills High school earned first place this year with his very well written essay. He brought light to the issues of women who live in mountainous regions and how sustainable development of these areas is vital. Respectively, Caroline Moss and Melissa Hansen from the same school took second and third place. These winners all won monetary prizes and a certificate from the UIMF recognizing their research. Also, these essays will be included in the third edition of the “Youth and the Mountains” journal.
This year we also had an honorable mention. For the first time we had a creative work submitted into the contest. All of the judges were very pleased to see the imagination and creativity that Gabby Andersen showed in her submission, and felt that she need to be recognized separately for her work.
By engaging these young students to research these issues that are facing people all around the world we are helping them get more engaged in their school and community. We hope that this contest will continue to bring this kind of experience to students all around our state, and that their efforts will be recognized by many people in our own community and beyond.
Kiersten Dumas, co-organizer of the Essay Contest, VP, UIMF
Subject: UNSG report on sustainable mountain development
Dear Focal Points of the Mountain Partnership,
We are contacting you to solicit your input for the 2015 United Nations Secretary General Report on sustainable mountain development.
We are pleased to inform you that FAO and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, in collaboration with governments, relevant agencies of the UN system and NGOs, are currently preparing the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Report on Sustainable Mountain Development to be presented under the sustainable development agenda item at the seventy-first session of the United Nations General Assembly as requested by the latest UNGA resolution (A/RES/68/217).
The document will describe the status and progress made in promoting sustainable mountain development at the national and international levels, since the previous UNSG report in 2013 (A/68/100).
Consistently with the paragraphs of the relevant UNGA resolution (A/RES/68/217), the 2015 report will highlight specific thematic areas of focus, provide an overall analysis of the challenges and include recommendations on how to achieve sustainable development in mountain regions more effectively.
We are contacting you to ensure that the forthcoming UNSG report provides an adequate overview of the results, impacts and changes achieved through action at national, regional and global level, in particular with reference to the statements of the resolution A/RES/68/217.
Hence, we kindly invite you to provide us with key information on the most important results in mountain development activities in your country or organization since July 2013.
· Projects and programmes benefiting mountain environments and communities;
· Progress made in establishing or implementing national plans, strategies or policies related to mountains;
· Compensation mechanisms for environmental services and goods provided by mountain areas;
· In-country coordination and collaboration mechanisms for sustainable mountain development.
When drafting your contribution, please make reference to the attached outline for the next report as well as to the previous UNSG report.
Your input to the reporting process will reveal a significant opportunity to raise awareness on important mountain issues, will gain visibility at the international level, and will contribute to drafting an official document of the UN Secretariat.
However, due to a strict limit of the report’s overall length, your contribution should not exceed 200 words. The UNSG report will provide selected examples and highlights of action, therefore we cannot guarantee that all the submissions will be reproduced in full or included in the final report. Our best efforts will be made in order to take all contributions into account.
We kindly request you to submit your input by 13 April 2015 at the latest to email@example.com.
Thank you in advance for your valuable collaboration.
The Mountain Partnership Secretariat
The Mountain Partnership is a voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain people and protecting mountain environments around the world.
UIMF CONTRIBUTED TO THE CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY AT UVU
On Monday, March 9, International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated in the Multicultural Center by students, including members of the Utah International Mountain Forum and the Sustainable Mountain Development Club. It was one of the gatherings at UVU which during March highlighted gender agenda and role of the global community and the United Nations as well.
The event was opened with my welcoming address and introduction to International Women’s Day, with a brief history and an overview of countries where IWD is an officially recognized holiday.
Deena Ainge greets audience during International Women’s Day Celebration
The United Nations signed the very first international agreement in 1945 that supported the idea of gender equality and has since promoted women as equal partners with men to achieve goals in peace and security, social and economic equality and moving toward global sustainable development.
International Women’s Day began in the United States in 1909 to honor the women of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers union in New York who staged a strike to protest against working conditions. The Socialist International met in 1911 and created and international Women’s Day to foster support for women’s suffrage worldwide and was approved unanimously by the conference.
In spite of the vast achievements globally in gender equality, it is recognized that there is still a long way to accomplish the goal of gender equality. One of the themes that has emerged in this year is “Not Quite There Yet”, and advertisers have taken photographs of women out of ads and replaced them with silhouettes. The Clinton Foundation, with Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Melinda Gates, along with an advertising group used social media and ads to promote their No Ceilings Initiative report on the status of women globally.
According to the World Health Organization, 35% of women will experience sexual or physical violence, that over one billion women worldwide will experience violence against women. Worldwide, women work more hours, earn less pay, have educational opportunities frustrated, and don’t have access to proper medical care or maternal leave. These facts remind us that while we are celebrating International Women’s Day, we still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality. It is very important issue also for the mountain communities and in Utah in particular.
As part of the IWD celebration at UVU, Jesler Molina, president of the UIMF, UVU International Student Council and Model UN club, on behalf of Dr. Rusty Butler, Associate VP for International Affairs and Diplomacy and focal point at UVU, made a presentation about UIMF contribution to gender agenda as a part of the sustainability in the mountain areas. His report included recent actions with focus on preparations to the Women of the Mountains (WOM) Conference, which UVU students will host in October 7-9, 2015 in Orem, UT: about participation at WeForShe campaign at Brigham Young University on December 4, 2014 when UIMF members invited BYU students to join organizing committee of the WOM conference; Participation at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. during the first week of February, when he and several other students met representatives the UNA-USA, the State Department and other institutions and NGO’s to encourage their support for the upcoming WOM Conference; recent meeting UIMF members with the United Nations Association at Utah on February 24, 2015 with the same goal of spreading a word about WOM conference among all interested institutions in Utah.
Next item on the agenda of IWD celebration was a report of the members of the organizing committee of the Fourth International WOM Conference about preparations for the event. Lisa Shepherd, Kiersten Dumas, Jason Linde and others, who already are responsible for panels on seven different issues of gender agenda of the WOM conference, shared their activities and plans in approaching different schools, interested scholars and individuals for their contributions to the conference agenda. Jesler Molina and Hailey Eggleston as senior leaders of UIMF summarized activities and identifies new targets and priorities.
Dr. David Connelly, Chair, History and Political Science Department presents the second volume of the “Youth and the Mountains” journal
As the third item on the agenda of the IWD celebrations, Dr. David Connelly, Chair of the History and Political science Department and editor-in-chief of the journal “Youth and the Mountains” presented the second volume of the journal, that stresses the importance of sustainable mountain development. The articles are written by students at UVU as well as high school students who have participated in a statewide essay contest that focuses on mountain development issues in Utah as well as global sustainable mountain development. Dr. Connelly also discussed some of the issues we face in Utah in achieving sustainable mountain development and stressed the importance of the inclusion of youth in the discussions, as well as the important voice women have played in the state in achieving those goals.
UVU students after screening documentary “Wiring the Amazon-WEB” with Tyler Brklacich, UVU Student body President (third from the right) and Jesler Molina, President of UIMF (holding video)
The final event of the day was an Award-winning documentary film “Wiring the Amazon-Web” that was introduced by Tyler Brklacich, UVU student body president, who contributes to UIMF activities on regular basis. UVU student body purchased and donated film to UIMF. It follows children in remote villages in Peru as they receive laptops through the program One Laptop Per Child, and gain internet access for the first time. Director Michael Kleiman’s goal was to highlight the idea of human connectivity and to expose the children to education resources that expand their opportunities for higher education and eliminating poverty.
The students that attended participated in discussions and were able to make connections as well as to celebrate the importance of gender equality, in particular in reaching sustainable development goals in Utah and in the world.
Deena Ainge, President, Sustainable Mountain Development Club
Background and challenges for sustainable mountain development
(including the mountain paragraphs of the Rio outcome document, the work on the SDGs)
Biodiversity conservation and mountain ecosystems
Climate change in mountain areas
Land Degradation and desertification in mountain ecosystems
Mountain water and watershed management
Disaster risk management in mountains
Food security and nutrition in mountain areas
Indigenous peoples issues in mountains
Gender and mountain development
Migration and urbanization in mountains
Economic and policy issues:
Mountain economies and livelihoods:
- Agriculture and products (including forestry, livestock, fisheries)
- Incentives for environmental services
- Renewable energy
Policy and law for mountain development
Advocacy and Knowledge:
Education, extension and capacity building for mountain development
Research for mountain development
Communications and awareness raising on mountain issues
Partnerships, transboundary cooperation and funding mechanisms
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Fifth Annual Utah High School Essay Contest
Women of the Mountains in the 21st century
Call for Papers
In 2007 Utah Valley University (UVU) organized the first international Women of the Mountains Conference under the umbrella of the United Nations–affiliated Mountain Partnership. Since then, UVU was joined by the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of UVU student clubs, in partnership with a growing network of individuals and institutions concerned with promotion of sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda under the United Nations.
In preparation for the 4th Women of the Mountains Conference to be held in the fall of 2015, the UIMF will host the fifth annual High School essay contest. The main focus of this contest is to educate and engage young citizens of Utah on the issues of women living in mountainous regions all over the world, and on women’s involvement with technology, sustainability, and agriculture and to contribute to the SMD agenda.
We will accept any type of written work that reflects a thoughtful consideration of the women in the mountains theme. Students may submit formal research and expository essays, but we will also accept short stories, persuasive essays, and other forms of written work. We encourage personal innovation and creativity in the selection and execution of essay topics.
Topics for submission may include, but are not limited to:
- Women of the mountains: past, present, and future.
- Women of the mountains and their contribution to sustainable development.
- Women of the mountains and their use of technology. [Note: The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies.]
- Women of the mountains and their role in family and community life.
- Women of the mountains and their role in soil management as the basis for: food systems, fuel, or fiber production. [2015 is also the International Year of Soil.]
- Give your full name, School name, District name, and a viable email address.
- Works must be between 1000 and 1500 words in length.
- Must be in MLA format
- Submit electronically
- Use file formats accessible through Microsoft Word
- Have no fewer than five non-internet sources (as always, Wikipedia is not acceptable as a reference!)
- Include a works cited page
- Creative works (such as short stories or poems) must be accompanied by a bibliography of sources that informed or inspired the author.
A panel of judges representing UVU and the UIMF will read the submissions and select ten finalists to present their work on March 27, 2015, at the Orem Public Library. The best three presenters will receive financial awards in addition to certificates acknowledging their contribution, and a chance to publish their work in the journal “Youth and the Mountains.” http://www.uvu.edu/hps/politicalscience/YM.html
All participants (schools and students) will be awarded certificates of participation on behalf of the Mountain Partnership of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O-U.N.) based in Rome, Italy.
In addition, three best papers will be presented at a special panel at the 4th international Women of the Mountain Conference to be hosted at UVU during October 7-9, 2015 in Orem, UT
Completed essays must be submitted by 12:00 AM on March 15, 2015. Please submit them to YouthMT@uvu.edu;
For more information, please contact us by phone or email:
– Dr. Keith Snedegar, Professor, History and Political Science, Utah Valley University, Co-Chair Phone: (801) 863-8847, email: Snedegke@uvu.edu
– Jesler Molina, Model United Nations Club, Phone: 801-427-4292, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UIMF Members Promote Women of the Mountains Conference at UNAU Meeting:
UIMF Members Promote Women of the Mountains Conference at UNAU Meeting and Dinner
The February meeting of the Utah Chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) took place on Tuesday, February 24 at the Millcreek Community Center in Salt Lake City. The gathering consisted of many dedicated and seasoned members of the UNA-Utah (UNAU) who are passionate about supporting and promoting the values of the United Nations of tolerance, to protect human rights and the natural world through education, and uniting communities.
Our participation at UNAU event was a follow up step to the visit of UIMF delegation to the UNA-USA-headquarters in Washington, D.C. on February 2, 2015 and desire both to expand membership in UNA-USA for UVU faculty and students and to strengthen UVU and UIMF ties with UNAU as official branch of UNA-USA in the state of Utah.
Victoria Baird, co-founder and co-president of the Utah Chapter of the United States National Committee for UNWomen before UNAU members.
UIMF members Hailey Eggleston and myself, along with Dr. Cholpon Akmatalieva and Dr. Baktybek Abdrisaev attended event. The UNA-USA hosted dinner and presentations of speakers Victoria Baird and Elise Reifschneider, co-founders and co-presidents of the Utah Chapter of the United States National Committee for UN Women. Victoria and Elise spoke about their organization created last year; their mission and goals as well as the history of their organization and their accomplishments in promoting gender issues and supporting gender equality and education for women and girls in the state of Utah. The women spoke about some of the most pressing issues for women and girls such as educations, economic independence, gender based violence and sex trafficking of women and children, and the cultural, religious or political systems that injure women and children.
(Left to right): Hailey Eggleston, Deena Ainge, Don Wilkerson, Victoria Baird and Dr. Cholpon Akmatalieva during the UNAU event.
Don Wilkerson, UNAU President invited Hailey, myself and Dr. Abdrisaev to introduce ourselves, goals and mission of the UIMF and to present the upcoming Fourth Annual Women of the Mountains Conference which promotes sustainable mountain development along with the needs and challenges of women in mountain communities. An invitation to attend and to participate in the upcoming Women of the Mountains conference was extended to the UNAU members, which offered support and appreciation for what is being accomplished at UVU for the United Nations and the values of sustainable development and the advancement of gender equality worldwide. Similar invitation was extended to UNWomen chapter in Utah and preliminary agreement with Victoria Baird was achieved about having follow up meeting to develop plan of joint activities.
It was an honor to meet with this group of distinguished and accomplished members of the UNA-USA Utah, to meet with the co-founders of the USNC-UN Women in Utah and to promote the Women of the Mountains Conference, and the UIMF and to encourage mutual participation and support for each of these organizations.
Deena Ainge, President, Sustainable Mountain Development Club at UVU