The world is a complex place, and information technology coupled with globalization is only increasing the meaning of this idea. Yet despite this, and all its shortcomings, Dwight D. Eisenhower remarked that the United Nations “represents man’s best organized hope to substitute the conference table for the battlefield”; and it this idea that gives purpose to our work.
This is my first year joining as a new Youth Representative for Augustinians International, and I’m beyond excited to get started. NGO’s are continually rising in their importance in the UN system, and they give a voice to the individuals and groups whose needs and cries often are too easily ignored. NGO’s carry forward the principles and values that often aren’t present enough in the world, and they occupy a very special, but also a very vital place in international politics. Having heard of the Augustinians’ past work with ongoing human rights crises, such as in Congo, and working to further educational development, the Augustinians are just one of many NGO’s working tirelessly to improve the world. I take pride in being able to join this effort, because I believe in the capacity of humanity to work together. Diversity should not be grounds for conflict between cultures and groups around the world, rather our differences should form the foundation for curiosity, learning, and understanding. I look forward to working with Fr. Dueweke in pursing this vision. The challenges ahead are but a reminder of the necessity of work that the Augustinians, along with other NGO’s, strive to achieve in an effort to change this world for the better.
(Photo of Keenan in Moscow studying Russian)