Insights from CHARM-EU Students at the UN's Regional Academy

The RAUN has been an adventure that has profoundly added to my time in CHARM-EU, Sophia Healy, CHARM-EU student
Tue, 05/07/2024 - 18:18

Last autumn, four students from the CHARM-EU Master’s in Global Challenges for Sustainability Anouk Kelhout, Liv Angerer, Melissa Dachrodt, and Sophia Healy were selected to participate in the prestigious 2023 Regional Academy for United Nations (RAUN). The programme concluded in April 2024 with a three-day conference at the UN Headquarters in Vienna.

During the conference, final papers were presented and experts from UN institutions provided insights into their work and aspects related to the theme of this year's programme: "Crisis management and resilience: responding to future global challenges." In this article, Anouk, Sophia, Liv, and Melissa share their experiences.

Being close to the heart of international relations

During her time at the RAUN academy, Anouk Kelhout conducted research on strengthening Democratic Resilience in times of crisis. Anouk collaborated with the Office for Security and Co-Operation in Europe and researched into their initiatives on civil society and human rights. She was very enthusiastic of the opportunity to broaden her knowledge on such an important topic and to get a glimpse into the world of international organisations.

“The final conference at the United Nations in Vienna was truly a unique experience. It was very insightful to discuss topics like international security, climate migration and global health with different scholars from all over the world. Being so close to the heart of international relations was a dream come true for me!” said Anouk.

Learn more about career opportunities

Sophia Healy broadened her horizons by developing research on the Global Goal on Adaptation for the UN Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens. Together with her team, Sophia developed an understanding of negotiations on adaptation at COP28. They concretised the outcomes into actionable next steps for the Ban Ki-Moon Centre to take to strengthen adaptation on the global scale. The result was a final research paper, which will be published on the RAUN website.

Sophia claimed: “At the UN in Vienna, we showcased our findings, as well as learned more about the exciting career opportunities available within the UN through internships and junior positions. My favorite highlight from the experience was meeting guest speaker Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens, who provided valuable insight based on her journey. Ultimately, this has been an adventure that has profoundly added to my time in CHARM-EU!”

Meeting inspiring experts

For Melissa Dachrodt, the RAUN programme was an exceptional opportunity to collaborate with other young researchers and gain a better understanding of the UN system. Melissa has shared with us her findings:

“Together with Liv, Sophia and Marti (PhD student), I explored the topic of global climate adaptation governance and recent outcomes of COP28 on behalf of the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens. Focusing on such a recent topic and working with an UN-affiliated organisation allowed me to meet many dedicated and inspiring experts in the field over the course of the research, broadening my professional network. Throughout the last months, we also benefited from online sessions on diverse topics and skill development workshops with professionals from various UN entities.”

Exciting to exchange research findings

For all the students, the conference at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna was a great experience since they were able to present their final research results.

“We got to present our findings to our peers, mentors, and family in one of the UN’s conference and negotiation rooms. Not only was it exciting to be giving a presentation in such an environment, it was a great pleasure to engage with the research each group had done. Over two days, we covered diverse topics such as climate migration, engaging men in gender equality, and the influence of AI on media transparency and quality.” said Liv Angerer

The journey of Anouk, Sophia, Liv, Melissa, and their peers through the RAUN academy and their participation in the final conference at the United Nations in Vienna was not just an academic endeavor but a transformative experience. As they researched into critical global issues under the theme of crisis management and resilience, they found themselves at the forefront of international relations. From conducting research to presenting their findings, each student embraced the opportunity to make explore potential career paths within the UN system. As they reflect on their journey, it's evident that their experiences have not only enriched their academic pursuits but have also equipped them with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration to make a positive impact on the world.