UNYA Talks – Denmark

Aalborg branch – 24. April 2017

On a gloomy Monday in the “Paris of the North”, UNYA Denmark’s Aalborg branch has held its first UNYA Talks event since its launch back in November 2016. Even though students all around the area are currently in the middle of their exam season, many young people were interested to hear the thoughts of Finn Reske-Nielsen, who has worked for the United Nations for over 35 years, on the United Nations (UN) and its relevance in the 21st century.

The event started with a few minutes of information about UNYA Denmark, after which Mr. Reske-Nielsen began his presentation by talking about his extended experiences with the United Nations. This included serving as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, holding posts with the UNHCR in Switzerland and Zambia and in the Department of Political Affairs of the UN Secretariat in New York, as well as working as Deputy Special- Representative for the Secretary General in Timor-Leste.

Next, he discussed what the four main purposes of the United Nations entail as well as the relevance of such functions and the UN in general in today’s day and age. Because of issues like the growing divide between rich and poor and different problems induced by globalization, Mr. Reske-Nielsen argued that the UN is definitely deemed relevant and necessary even so many decades after its founding. Our speaker also mentioned some challenges that the UN might face in the 21st century and how the organization could overcome said challenges, such as those in the field of peacekeeping.

Lastly, the audience had the possibility to ask Mr. Reske-Nielsen some questions, and many participants were very interested to do so – for example, one attendant asked if “all they do is talk” in the UN, to which the significance of diplomacy and negotiations was highlighted as a response.
After this successful Talks we have decided to host several more of such events here in Aalborg in the future, with the topics possibly including development, peace operations and human rights. Moreover, we would like to thank Finn Reske-Nielsen again for the fascinating presentation and for taking the time to be our speaker at the first UNYA Talks Aalborg event.

By Anna Sallai, head and board representative of UNYA DK Aalborg branch
Edited by Caroline de Carné, representative of the Communications group

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