The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) UN Summer Internship program has begun with the arrival of two of the four interns to the United Nations (UN). Alec Mesropian and Anoosh Kouyoumdjian will be based in New York City during the summer, representing the ARS at the UN Headquarters during meetings and projects initiated by various UN missions, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations in affiliation. Azniv Khaligian and Arev Ebrimian will begin their internship in August 2019.
Mesropian is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. He is pursuing a B.A. in Global Studies with a special concentration in Global Development and a regional specialization in Asia; he is also studying Japanese at Berkeley. Kouyoumdjian is an undergraduate student at Fordham University. She is pursuing a B.A. in Natural Sciences on the Pre-Health Track. Khaligian is an undergraduate student at Carthage College, pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Music. Ebrimian is an undergraduate student at St. John’s University, pursuing a B.S. in Advertising Communication.
“The ARS is overjoyed to have such high-achieving undergraduate students joining us at the United Nations in New York this summer” said ARS UN Coordinator Christina Mehranbod. “We hope that this internship opportunity gives them insight on the relevance of the UN in all Armenian issues: be it women’s rights, domestic and foreign policy, health advocacy, humanitarian relief and more” she added.
As interns, both Mesropian and Kouyoumdjian will also be working on individual projects for implementation by ARS. Kouyoumdjian will be researching the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 in order to prepare and plan for the 25th anniversary commemoration, as well as preparing for the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. For his project, Mesropian will focus on the incorporation of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into ARS’s participation in Geneva Peace Week and how the themes of Geneva Peace Week and the UN’s SDGS relate to the concerns of both Armenia and the Armenian diaspora.
“It is an honor for me to be interning at the United Nations this summer, especially with the ARS, an organization that values human rights, gender equality, and more for the Armenian people and for others,” said Kouyoumdjian. “For pre-health students, it is essential to gain exposure to the way people live and how best we can help them. This opportunity allows for greater Armenian presence and voices at the UN, to show the role of Armenian youth in promoting a better future for all.”
“Walking the halls of the United Nations has been a dream of mine ever since I became interested in international affairs and global issues at a young age,” said Mesropian. “In an increasingly turbulent world, a diligent and careful understanding of world issues and global forces has become a necessity, and I am grateful to the Armenian Relief Society for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the salient dialogue fostered by the United Nations. I look forward to using my time interning this summer to both further develop my professional skills as well as contribute to the Armenian cause.
The public can follow their journey online.
Established in 1910, the ARS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that operates in 28 countries serving the humanitarian needs of Armenians and non-Armenians alike. The organization was admitted into the ranks of the UN’s Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC) in 1998. Through its active participation in various committees, the ARS remains a champion of human rights, social justice and universally endorsed values and principles.