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DMU and the United Nations Together

As part of the #DMUglobal visit to New York in January, hundreds of students attended a summit at the United Nations Headquarters to launch DMU’s involvement in the UN’s Together campaign, which aims to offer worldwide support to refugees.

DMU has been asked by the UN to take the lead in engaging universities across the world to create an international network of universities committed to finding ways to successfully integrate refugees into communities, while spreading messages of tolerance and understanding.

At the summit, students and staff from the ten partner universities were joined by senior representatives from the UN as well as the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN.

See then full list of partner universities

Attendees debated the current challenges faced by refugees in local communities and shared ideas for practical ways that universities can use the skills, experience and voluntary power on their campuses to support those in need in their local areas.

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Partner universities also signed a UN Together Action Charter to signal their intent to be part of the campaign.

DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard, who led the discussions, emphasised the important role of universities in meeting one of the world’s biggest challenges.

He said: “We are enormously proud to have been chosen as the academic lead for the Together campaign. We are faced with a significant human crisis, but we have the same spirit and aspiration. Universities are uniquely placed to make a difference.”

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The partner universities, which are from countries such as Germany, China, USA and Cyprus, will now put the action charter into practice before reconvening to discuss progress and decide the next steps for the campaign.

Perhaps the most important panel member of the day was ZamZam Yusuf, a refugee who is now a first year Youth Work and Community Development student at DMU, who outlined her experiences and explained the support that has been provided to her by DMU.

Following the summit in New York the first year Youth Work and Community Development student spoke to UN Radio to share her experience and encourage greater tolerance for refugees around the world. You can listen to her interview here.

Third year International Relations and Journalism student Olly Sullivan documented the experience from a student’s perspective in a blog for the Times Higher Education magazine. In his blog, Olly talks about the awe inspiring surroundings of the United Nations headquarters and the sense of unity he felt during the discussions about how universities can help refugees.

DMU has also been invited to joined the United Nations Academic Impact programme, one of the world’s largest higher education networks.

The UNAI - which has more than 1,000 members - aligns higher education institutions with the goals and mandates pursued by the UN.

 
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