The Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University (UVU), is actively preparing for an advocacy campaign at the 65th Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65).
On Monday, March 22, 2021, at 10am MST, the UIMF will host a virtual parallel event titled, “Mountain Women Empowerment Through the Inclusive Student-Engaged Learning Model.” The event is co-sponsored by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS), and Utah China Friendship Initiative Sharing Hands Development & Commerce (UCFISHDC), two NGOs in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and members of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) Mountain Partnership.
Statements from UVU students and faculty will feature the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a focus on promoting mountain communities and Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD), Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #5 on gender equality, in interaction with the three mountain targets 6.6, 15.1, and 15.4.
The goals of the parallel event:
- Demonstrate how UVU students use a unique student-engaged learning (SEL) model to effectively gain professional advancement, leadership skills, and positively contribute to their communities and localities while promoting SMD on the local, national, regional, and global scales.
- Report on UVU and UIMF’s efforts to contribute to the UN 2030 Development agenda by advocating for SMD and mountain women and communities.
- Showcase Utah as one of the examples of SMD.
Pertinent background to the importance of promoting mountain communities is contained in the Summary of the UN Secretary-General’s 2019 UNSG Report on SMD (A/74/209); which also acknowledged UIMF advocacy at CSW62.
You can also view a UIMF piece on How to advocate at the United Nations
During CSW65, the UIMF raises awareness about the current situation and challenges which mountain communities face both in Utah and globally. Mountain communities are among the most vulnerable to modern challenges such as climate change and food insecurity, and are among the poorest and most neglected regions in the world. SEL allows students to be directly involved in addressing real-world problems of mountain communities as a group with faculty serving them as a mentor.
Dallas Karren, Vice President, UIMF