December 2, 2013
There were several exciting events in November for members of the Humpty Dumpty Institute’s Higher Education Alliance (HEA). The program is part of The Humpty Dumpty Insitute's continuing efforts to build bridges between the United Nations community and institutions of higher learning around the world. A number of events took place during the month of November:
November 12, 2013: Savannah State University in Savannah, GA, was the setting for a lecture by Sergeant First Class Caesar Smith Jr., Chief of Operations for the Military Staff Committee (MSC) at the US Mission to the United Nations. Sgt. Smith delivered a lecture on “UN Peacekeeping Challenges: Supporting the Peace”, and addressed UN governing frameworks through which a peacekeeping mission can be authorized by the Security Council and explained the role of UN peacekeepers to monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing peace agreements. Sgt. Smith also offered the American perspective on how peacekeeping is a bargain for the US government and that while UN peacekeeping uses few American troops, the US military is frequently called upon to provide intelligence and financial support when quick action is called for, thus keeping American troops from harm’s way. Joline Keevy, Assistant Director of the International Education office said, “Sgt. Smith’s lecture really made me realize that the role of the US in peacekeeping is a lot more than sending troops, we can make a real contribution without endangering American lives.”
November 14, 2013: Texas Southern University in Houston, TX welcomed Dr. Justin Seruhere, Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations. Dr. Seruhere’s responsibilities include Tanzanian matters before the Security Council, disarmament and international security issues, UN and Security Council reform, and the UN Peacebuilding Commission. Dr. Seruhere spoke on “Tanzania, Sustainable Development and the United Nations” to several classes and outlined where his country stands against other countries in the region in terms of its long-term economic development. Dr. Greg Maddox, Dean of the Graduate School at Texas Southern, said. “It has been great to have Dr. Seruhere here to share his views on East African development given the University’s long standing connection to Tanzania.” Texas Southern is a Historically Black University which is part of the Humpty Dumpty Institute’s collaboration with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to bring a more international perspective to underserved colleges and universities.
November 19, 2013: Wilkes University
The Humpty Dumpty Institute and Wilkes University were thrilled to kickoff the first UN lecture of the year with Ms. Gordana Jerger, Deputy Director of the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) Division for Inter-agency Partnerships. Mrs. Jerger started off her day at Wilkes University with a special lunch to discuss what it is like working with the WFP in the United Nations. Following lunch Ms. Jerger had a classroom conversation about how the WFP responds to crises and what they are currently doing for the victims of the Philippines typhoon. She also brought in a food ration for the students to see what type of substance that people in emergency situations receive. After her classroom discussion Ms. Jerger delivered her main lecture on the World Food Programme in Syria, which she described as one of the “largest and most complex crisis the WFP has faced”. The WFP is currently delivering 31,500 tons of food to distribution centers every month. The situation in Syria is so difficult because it is a man made crisis, and she went on to explain that when the WFP responds to a natural disaster they do not have to negotiate for access to deliver much needed food. Ms. Jerger stated the importance of keeping politics and humanitarian aid separate to ensure access to the people. In Syria she noted that anything can happen while you are trying to reach a destination, a battle can break out causing aid trucks to be unable to reach those in need. Most of the WFP staff in Syria are local to the area. Ms. Jerger described how they are truly heroes because there are times when they are unable to even leave the office because of bombs or gunfire. Once her lecture was completed Ms. Jerger stayed to talk one on one with students. Dr. Andrew Miller, Wilkes political science professor remarked that, “The event was a great success. Both lectures Ms. Jerger gave were well attended and students clearly got a lot out of both of her presentations. She was also very personable and clearly enjoyed spending time with our students.”