On Wednesday, September 18, the U.S.Department of State hosted a Google+ Hangout, The U.S. and the United Nations: The Case for Multilateralism, facilitated by United Nations Dispatch blogger Mark Goldberg. The panelists included the Enough Project’s John Prendergast, Assistant Secretary of the State for International Organization Affairs Dean Pittman, and U.S. Youth Observer for the United Nations Tiffany Taylor.
The conversation explored the relationship between the United States and the United Nations, and why youth, in particular, should care about multilateralism. Pittman stressed the importance of a multilateral relationship between the United States and the United Nations, stating that working hard to improve transparency and accountability in developing nations is a core national security interest in promoting multilateral communication. Prendergast added that the United States cannot further its international agenda without the help of United Nations’ programs, especially while working hand-in- hand to take the horn on issues like humanitarian relief, development, peacekeeping, and diplomacy.
Tiffany Taylor, U.S. Youth Observer for the U.N., spoke on how youth can increase participation in the international community, and urged youth to become active members of the international community by effectively utilizing social media and focusing on underrepresented youth populations. She emphasized that youth engagement will lead to a stronger voice from the generation that will be lead global conversations sooner rather than later. Reflecting on large scale crises like Syria, Prendergast emphasized that the cooperation of the U.N. is crucial, and while programs are sometimes not fully funded, and the policy and program processes can often take time, agencies such as USAID and private NGOs such as the World Food Programme are doing all that they can.
Watch the full conversation below:
Hannah Weitzman contributed to this post.