Category Archives: Academic

Student Spotlight: Liya Khalikova at the United Nations’ Counterterrrorism Executive Directorate

Liya Khalikova (IPED ‘18) is an intern with the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) at the UN Headquarters in New York City. CTED  was created in 2004 to strengthen and coordinate the global terrorism monitoring process and to support the United Nations’ Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, established in 2001. CTED currently employs approximately 40 individuals, primarily holding roles as legal, political, and human rights affairs officers.

Liya Khalikova, IPED Class of 2018

Liya’s position is in the public information section, helping CTED’s communications advisor. Her daily responsibilities include compiling media digests, assisting with social media, drafting posts/documents, assisting in the organization of briefings and meetings, taking notes in said briefings, helping with research, etc. LIya says of her work: “Tasks are not limited to anything in particular and are based on the sphere of my interests. I can [always] find something exciting to do!”

Liya, who is a Fulbright Student from Russia, says that the internship has allowed her to become more comfortable writing in English and has exposed her to the unique “UN language.” She continues to say, “Part of my internship was helping to translate committee’s website into Russian which took a lot of time and effort. The Russian version of the website should be online sometime soon.”

Liya and her fellow interns at the CTED

Liya found the internship through the UN careers website and applied by filling out a standard UN application on Inspira. After several weeks she was called for an interview. The whole process took around a month. Initially the position was for three months, but was then prolonged for an additional three months.

Liya shared the following advice for those applying for internships. “Apply for positions that have a direct interest to you and can impact your future career, and be patient – sometimes the recruitment process, even for an internship, can take several months.”
Liya pursues her studies with IPED as a full time student and Fulbright Fellow while fulfilling her internship duties on a part-time basis.

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Student Spotlight: Alex Zakrzewski at the United Nations’ Department of Public Information

Alex Zakrzewski (IPED ‘18) is interning for the United Nations’ Department of Public Information, NGO Relations & Advocacy Section (DPI/NGO). The office is tasked with serving a liaison between civil society and the United Nations. The NGO Relations Section within the United Nations’ DPI is the link with approximately 1,500 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) who are partners and members in association with the Department of Public Information and support the UN efforts to disseminate information on the priority issues on its agenda, including sustainable development, creating a safer and more secure world, the importance of prevention, helping countries in transition, empowering women and young people, and addressing poverty, among others.

Alex at the DPI/NGO

Specifically, Alex is on the association team which includes reviewing documentation of NGOs’ applying for formal association with DPI. His tasks include reviewing and verifying these NGOs’ documents and work and fielding questions concerning the attainment of association status. He also works with the association team on examining their current NGOs annual reviews, reports demonstrating their continued commitment to the UN’s agenda and goals.

Alex’s work-space at the DPI/NGO office

Alex shared his thoughts on his most recent weekly briefing: “Last week’s [briefing] was a particularly successful gathering with over 400 attendees and focused on faith-based NGOs and their work with refugees. The briefing was led by a strong multi-faith panel including individuals from Islamic Relief Society, UNICEF, the US Department of State, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was very well received and particularly poignant given the state of current world affairs.”

Alex found his position through an email received from the Fordham Alumni Office and applied via the United Nations Inspira portal with the engagement and support of a Fordham staff member who frequently participates in UN activities.  

The United Nations Headquarters

Alex is a part time student in the IPED program while he performs his duties with the DPI.

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Student Spotlight: Maggie Hutchison at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations

Margaret “Maggie” Hutchison (IPED ‘18) is an intern with The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The Holy See is the political entity of the Vatican and is an “Observer State” to the United Nations, which means they do not have voting privileges, but they can still make interventions and participate in debates.

United Nations Headquarters

Maggie’s work as an intern involves covering issues of migration and other topics that the Nuncio and Monsignors find important to the Mission. In these meetings she is engaged in taking detailed notes that are later compiled into a report that is eventually sent to Rome for the Vatican Holy See officials read.

Maggie standing in the General Assembly

Maggie spoke about the advantages of working the Holy See at the UN: “During my time as an intern, I have been able to take advantage of many UN opportunities such as evening events and language classes. These activities have improved my learning outside of the classroom and I am grateful for the experience.“

Maggie was introduced to this internship through Dr. Schwalbenberg, Director or the IPED Program, as part of her fellowship to the program, however she mentioned that her fellow interns at the Mission found the internship through reaching out, making connections with someone in the Mission and passing along their resume. She says, “It is wonderful UN experience and allows you to understand the system better and to make strong connections.”

Maggie out in front the General Assembly at the UN

Maggie is a full time student in the IPED program while she carries out her internship duties at the Holy See Mission.

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Student Spotlight: Luther Flagstad at the Council on Foreign Relations

Luther Flagstad standing outside the Council’s subtle entrance in Manhattan.

Luther Flagstad (IPED ‘18) is the U.S. Foreign Policy Volunteer Intern at the Council on Foreign Relations and in the David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR’s “think tank”–under Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill, the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy. The CFR is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher. The U.S. Foreign Policy program at the CFR seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities the United States faces overseas and to assess the pressures and political dynamics shaping its foreign policy choices. The program’s goal is to provide insightful analysis and recommendations that help policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and the general public better understand how the United States weighs its interests and values when it makes foreign policy decisions.

One of the meeting rooms at the Council.

As an intern, Luther works closely with Ambassador Blackwill’s Research Assistant, Ted Rappleye, researching current U.S. foreign policy issues. The CFR provides interns with expansive opportunities for professional development.  Luther writes: “At CFR I’ve been able to listen in on “not-for-attribution” meetings delivered by policy makers from around the world, attend sessions on writing and research skills, practice writing policy memos, and learn and absorb as much as I can from fellows, researchers, and other interns.” Luther was involved in the research for a piece published by Ambassador Blackwill in Foreign Policy titled, “Fact Checking Trump’s ‘Alternative Facts’ About Mexico”.

Luther Flagstad at his desk in the interns’ “pit.”

Luther obtained his position, initially, by attending the CFR’s back-to-school event where he created a network with the other research assistants. He was able to draw on these connections when positions when he submitted his applications.

Luther had this advice to offer: “If you are interested in a career in policy, I couldn’t recommend an internship with CFR enough. The exposure it provides to the field is outstanding.”

Luther maintains his status as a full-time students while performing his internship duties part-time.

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The Holy See And The Fight Against Human Trafficking: Falling Prey

On February 23, 2017, the US branch of the Vatican Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice and Fordham University co-sponsored the inaugural lecture of the Cassamarca Foundation Chair in Migration and Globalization, titled: “The Holy See and the Fight Against Human Trafficking.” The conference examined the realities of human trafficking today, what is being done, and what opportunities there are going forward. 

The audience listening to Archbishop Auza’s lecture

Falling Prey: Human traffickers set their sights on refugees

In 2015, nearly 250 million people moved across international borders. Of these, over 60 million people moved as a result of war (i.e. forced migration), and many of these asylum seekers are being targeted by traffickers.

“Human Trafficking has found an advantageous environment in which to work. Refugees are willing to take any risk. They are vulnerable.” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Pope Francis’ Representative to the United Nations.

On February 23rd, Fordham University’s graduate program in International Political Economy and Development (IPED) hosted a Consultation on Human Trafficking at which Archbishop Auza served as the event’s keynote speaker. “How many persons are victims of human trafficking?” he asks. “The honest answer is that the number is staggering, and nobody really knows!”

Archbishop Bernardito Auza
Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the
United Nations

Although there can be no definite numbers, the Archbishop shared estimates from a well-cited 2012 study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) that there are “about 21 million men, women and children who are trafficked, sold, coerced or subjected to conditions of slavery in various forms and in various sectors.” These figures continue to grow, especially in recent years, and as millions of refugees flee their homes, human traffickers are capitalizing on the opportunity.

“The flood of trafficking victims has multiple tributaries”, said Archbishop Auza, who shared that Pope Francis identifies four different causes to be economic, environmental, political, and ethical.

The Archbishop then offered two brief points for reflection: “First, the importance of a faith actively manifested in deeds. Pope Francis wants those who are religious to find in their faith the deepest motivation for leadership and involvement in this fight.”

“Second, deeds sustained by the hope that, together, we shall overcome.” As an example of overcoming such a colossal crime against human dignity, Archbishop Auza made reference to the historical politician and philanthropist, William Wilberforce, who was a leader of the movement to eradicate the slave trade in Britain.

“It took William Wilberforce only 20 years to end the British slave trade and only 30 more to abolish the slave trade across the globe, at a time when slavery was as accepted as natural as birth, marriage and death.”

Human trafficking must never be accepted. It is “a crime that’s occurring in our own backyards, it’s under our noses, and we cannot ignore it” said Archbishop Auza. He then went on to quote Pope Francis: “We must raise awareness of this new evil which, in the world at large, wants to be hidden since it is scandalous and ‘politically incorrect’.”

The Archbishop then concluded his remarks by exhorting the audience: “Let us bring that Wilberforce in each of us to bear in our fight against human trafficking and others forms of modern slavery.”

A written summary of the presentations and discussions from the Consultation on Human Trafficking will be sent to Rome as input for an international conference on human trafficking, to be held at the Vatican on May 18-20. For a full transcript of Archbishop Bernardito Auza’s speech at Fordham University, click here.

 

Written by: Owen Fitzgerald

Owen is a first-year student in Fordham University’s Graduate Program in International Political Economy & Development.

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