United Nations and charitable nonprofit groups meet on UVU campus

NGO Conference 

Utah Valley University’s Office for Global Engagement hosted leaders from the United Nations and Utah-based international NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on campus Oct. 29, 2018.
Presenters included Astrid S. Tuminez, president of UVU, Jeff Brez, chief of United Nations-NGO relations, Mr. Felipe Queipo, UN information officer, Jackie Biskupski, mayor of Salt Lake City; along with leaders from Utah-based international NGOs including Choice Humanitarian, Engage Now Africa, Women of the World, Globus Relief, Big Ocean Women, LDS Charities, along with a UVU student.
Leaders from the United Nations convened the conference with the help of UVU and the Salt Lake mayor’s office. The theme was “Working Together, Making a Difference.” It provided opportunity to discuss collaboration on improving living conditions around the world, and participation in the upcoming 68th U.N. and DPI Global Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City in August 2019.
Speakers outlined how their organizations are working to solve global societal issues, and discussed ways to collaborate with the United Nations and other organizations to extend their services to more people. President Tuminez said the 2019 conference will create a platform for all to discuss ways to solve problems through partnerships, and to do good, which will require all to step outside of their comfort zones.
“This preliminary event was organized to jump-start the planning for the worldwide UN NGO conference to be held in Salt Lake City August 2019. It has been my dream to bring this conference to Utah to create a platform to give our UVU students an opportunity to learn, network, and serve in the important work being done by many organizations in our community and throughout the world,” said Dr. Baldomero Lago, UVU’s chief international officer, who organized the summit.
United Nations leaders from the Department of Public Information took the opportunity to outline their upcoming conference,and asked for attendees’ support in planning and organizing the event. “The annual conference attracts approximately 4,000 representatives from over 500 NGOs representing more than 100 countries,” said Jeff Brez, chief of United Nations-NGO relations. “The 2019 conference in Salt Lake City will be the first time the event is held in the United States outside of New York.”
Mayor Biskupski praised the building momentum for the 2019 conference. She looks at it as a chance to look beyond partisan politics, and work on issues that everyone deals with. The conference is for all civil society organizations, NGOs, or charitable organizations with interest in learning from the United Nations Department of Public Information as well as current NGOs and societies associated with the U.N. 
For more information about the 2019 conference, contact Baldomero Lago at lagoba@uvu.edu.