Students for eradicating poverty in mountains


The written statement contributed by Mountain Partnership members The Mountain Institute and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, together with the Utah China Friendship Improvement Sharing Hands Development and Commerce (UCFISHD&C), was approved by the United Nations Secretariat for contribution to the 56th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development (CSocD56), to be held on 29 January–7 February 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Under the theme “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”, the statement discusses the challenges, in particular due to the growing level of food insecurity, faced by mountain communities worldwide in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As a way to eradicate poverty among rural mountain communities, the statement cites the efforts of the Mountain Partnership and its members to encourage youth and students to contribute to implementing the SDGs, including the three mountain targets and others. It highlights the work of Utah Valley University (UVU), a Mountain Partnership member since 2006, to engage students, especially non-traditional ones (ones who may have delayed enrolment into postsecondary education, attended university part-time and work full time, are financially independent for financial aid purposes, have dependents other than a spouse, are single parents, and/or do not have a high school diploma), through the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at UVU. The UIMF is at the core of the UVU service-learning model, helping students to gain professional skills and experiences by addressing real-world problems with a faculty member supporting them as a mentor.

The statement discusses students’ efforts in successfully hosting the international Women of the Mountains conferences since 2007 and transforming this initiative into one of the major grassroots forums for advocating for mountain women, as well as for sustainable mountain development in North America and globally. The statement also emphasizes how the UVU service-learning model “can be used by other universities in rural and mountain states of North America and globally to provide similar benefits to their students, and at the same time encourage them to contribute to advocating for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a focus on poverty eradication.”

The statement for CSocD56 represents a successful example of the UVU student-engaged learning model, whereby UIMF members built a partnership and earned recognition from the NGOs that submitted the statement by working with them and contributing to important advocacy initiatives for the mountain targets on local, regional and international levels.

The organizations that submitted the statement are in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Russian Academy of Natural Sciences has general consultative status with ECOSOC, and The Mountain Institute and UCFISHD&C have special consultative status with ECOSOC.

How to apply for ECOSOC Consultative Status

If your organization would like to work with ECOSOC in future sessions, you can apply for ECOSOC consultative status at this link:

Please note that applications must be received by 1 June of the year before the NGO wishes to be considered for recommendation by the Committee. Therefore, applications submitted between 2 June 2017 and 1 June 2018 will be taken up in the year 2019.

Read the statement (available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) 
Learn about CSocD56 
Read more 

News submitted by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and Utah Valley University

Photo: FAO/Irfan Ahmed

Home > mountain-partnership > News