On Monday, October 24, 2022, Poly’s United Nations Association(UNA) Pasadena Chapter hosted speakers Paul Skoczylas and KhinSandi Lwin at Polytechnic School. The event’s purpose was to celebrate UN Day, the date marking the founding of the United Nations(UN) 77 years prior. This year’s UN Day theme was “Nourishing Peace.” Poly’s UN Day addressed the connection between food security, agriculture, and peace. At the event, both the World Food Programme’s Deputy Director of UN System and Multilateral Engagement, Paul Skoczylas, and UN program director KhinSandi Lwin and the World Food Programme’s Deputy Director of UN System shared powerful insights as to how their professions intertwine with the theme of “Nourishing Peace” via food security.
While I was not able to attend this event in person due to commitment conflicts, the event was luckily recorded for me to re-watch. After some engaging introductions from my fellow Global Scholars David L. and Ziko E, the event began with speaker Paul Skoczylas, via zoom, describing what the UN has done since its founding and explaining a bit more about its current role in the international world. In particular, Skoczylas explained how the Programme works to solve world hunger.
One topic that stuck out to me, in particular, was Skoczylas’s “thousand-day” idea. Skoczylas’s “thousand-day” concept essentially emphasized the importance of nutrients within a person’s first thousand days of living and highlighted the lifelong consequences that could result from a “thousand days” without proper nutrition. In order to combat these lifelong effects, the Programme focuses some of its resources on mothers and their children to ensure they receive proper nutrition during their “thousand days.” I was really impressed by this initiative and thought it was really effective to have such specificity in identifying and then solving the issue of food insecurity.
The other speaker, KhinSandi Lwin from UNICEF spoke specifically about the food insecurity crisis in Burma. Lwin’s portion of the event had much more of an emotional effect on me. Hearing about how severe the food insecurity is in Burma, the lack of media coverage and support from global powers, and those living under the military regime forced me to reflect on my own privileges and personal life. Oftentimes, I take for granted the food I eat, the country I live in, and the rights I possess. But not only was I reminded of what I have, but also of what I can do with my privileges. I loved hearing about Sabrina and Audrey’s projects because they inspired me and reminded me how people like me, even if many miles away, can have a global impact.