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By Contributing Writers. October 24, 2011 - 7:04 pm
About five years ago some former HPU students got together to share a vision — of one world that needs the same human rights, international security, peace, and economic development. The result is the United Nations Club at HPU.
The UN club has become a registered independent organization with the Student Life and First Year Programs and involves 18 active members.
Christopher Ota, president of the UN club and international relations major, has been a member for about two years. He also organizes a variety of club activities in the Hawaiian community as well as annual trips to the UN headquarters in New York.
“We will get to meet a few of the ambassadors, Ecuador for instance, and have the chance to present our research results we have made about their country during the semester,” said Ota about this year’s conference on April 1 to 5. The conferences are held at a hotel in New York City with over 8,000 students participating from all over the world.
HPU students not only represent the school, but they also meet with members of non-government organizations, exchange phone numbers, and possibly are recruited for jobs or internships. An award is given to students who show the greatest potential to be diplomats.
The “Children & Youth Day,” a more recent event, was held Oct. 2 at the State Capitol in Honolulu. It is organized annually in partnership with the United Nations Association of Hawaii.
“At this event we focus on the importance of children’s education in our next generation,” Ota said. “This is why we also want to focus on projects in Hawaiian high schools.”
Ota, who is of German-Japanese ancestry, wants to encourage more high school students to travel to other countries to share the Hawaiian culture and cultivate a global cultural awareness.
Another goal is the improvement of the HPU International Relations program. Until now, the UN Club organizes and finances its trips to New York through fundraisers.
“It would be awesome if HPU could make this trip a part of the program to gain more practical experience,” Ota added.