IR Student participates in Geneva United Nations session
06.11.2017

The student Pablo Gil González, who is in the 3rd year of the International Relations degree, has participated in a United Nations session held in Geneva about the respect of human rights by multinationals.

The participation was the result of a collaboration with NGO Justice and Peace (Justícia i Pau), an entity that is part of a global network that works to give voice to those communities that are affected by actions of some multinational companies.

It all began about a year ago, when Pablo started his journey into the real world of the United Nations and International Human Rights. He told us the starting point was a poster from the NGO of Barcelona, announcing they were recruiting volunteers.

From that point he started collaborating with the North-South commission at Justicia i Pau, and, a few weeks ago, he had the opportunity to defend the global campaign in Geneva, where he also worked in the creation of a binding treaty for transnational companies in relation to human rights.

He spent one week abroad, putting into practice all he had learned in his three years of his degree and with his background in volunteering.

Getting down to business

The trip to Switzerland consisted of going to the Palace of Nations, taking part in lobbying for the different missions and state representations and forming part of parallel civil society events: “The experience did not only consist of defending some ideals, but it also involved seeing how to organize ourselves to make them advance”, Pablo said.

For those interested in knowing, the treaty was majoritarily supported by South Africa and Latin American countries while the Russian federation and China were opposed to it. At the same time, the European Union, Mexico and Brazil were searching for a critical construct to make the treaty a bit more realistic.

This opportunity, that he found and self-financed, demonstrated to Pablo the importance of living out the degree. He believes it is essential not only to concentrate on studying but to take advantage of all opportunities that are offered to students during the degree. As he says they ‘don’t fall from the sky’ and therefore one must live and dive into them.