UKH student raises plight of Yazidis, Kurdish cause at UN headquarters in Geneva

2 years ago

A UKH postgraduate student who was the only representative from the Kurdistan Region and Iraq at the UN Graduate Programme for the year of 2018, said that she feels proud that she could raise the plight of the Yazidi women and girls and the Kurdish nation in Geneva, Switzerland.


Shano Barznjy, a postgraduate student at the UKH Executive Master in Business Administration (E-MBA), participated at the UN Graduate Study Programme (UNGSP) for the duration of two weeks in July 2018.


The prestigious programme drew in only 40 candidates out of thousands of applications. Ms. Barznjy said that she feels happy that she could attend the intensive training on the practices of the human rights advocacy at the UN headquarters in Geneva.


“I believe this was a significant experience and a milestone in my life as a young...woman,” she said. She went on to say that she was especially happy that she had the chance to raise two issues so close to her heart: the plight of the Yazidi minority who suffered a genocide at the hands of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), and also the Kurdish cause for an independent state.


She took part in an exercise that aimed to draft a resolution on Women and Girls Beyond Terrorism. The UN team who oversaw the training for the graduates accepted the draft for review that could eventually regulate and guide the practices of various UN bodies.


The group had the opportunity to witness a Human Rights Council voting on the 'Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls' in July 2018.


The 40-member team including Ms. Barznjy also had a chance to meet and discuss issues raised with senior UN officials in Geneva, like the then Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.


Despite her professional and academic elegibility to the program , one of the requirement to get admitted to the annual programme, in addition to the English language was fluency in French, a language Ms. Barznjy has basic knowledge of, but she was selected nonetheless because of her outstanding academic achievement and dedication to the cause of human rights in the Kurdistan Region.


Ms. Barznjy said that she was grateful that she could win the support of the University of Kurdistan Hewlêr in almost no time, that the UKH agreed to appoint her as the university’s ambassador to the intensive training, and that it soon agreed to fund her training in Geneva through a generous 50% contribution to the costs associated with the programme like providing accommodation and flight tickets.


The next window for applications for the coming year is to open in January 2019. Interested applicants can learn about the programme in detail by visiting the official website of the United Nations Office of Geneva.

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