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United Families International was privileged to have university students accompany us to the Commission on the Status of Women. Emma Zuniga shares what she learned while at the United Nations.

I remember the first time I went to the United Nations. It was a little over a year ago, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Would my presence really make that much of a difference? What could I, a twenty-three-year-old, possibly do to make a change? This year as I attended for the second-time similar questions still ran through my mind.

At the United Nations, I attended events, visited with the representatives from a few countries, and spent hours setting meetings with them. Throughout my daily activities there were times I still found myself wondering,

What difference am I making?

I attended an event on abortion and bodily autonomy that was hosted by France. There came a point when the speakers began mocking those with a religious background. I remember being angry and sad. I remember feeling like something should be said, our voices needed to be heard. The hosts of this event did not offer us that chance. The questions for the Q&A portion had to be written down during the event so they of course were filtered. The only questions asked were the ones that agreed with their view.

It was instances like these, among others, that shocked me. This year at the commission we attended a Q&A with the Secretary General and it was the same thing. The questions were filtered. Again, I found myself asking,

What difference am I making? What can be done?

While at the United Nations I saw, and heard a lot that made me feel angry and sad. There were things said that I wanted to unhear, things that were outright unbelievable.

What stood out the most though, out of both Commissions that I attended, were not the ridiculous remarks or the demeaning comments but the wonderful people that I was able to attend the commissions with.

So back to my nerves I mentioned at the start of the blog, those nerves went away every time I realized that beside me stood some of the strongest men and women that I have ever met. Each with their own talents and skills to contribute. They each had their own reasons for fighting for the family but our different experiences led us together.

I remember at each event we would attend where someone from our team had the chance to make a comment or ask a question, there would be people who approached them afterward and would say things such as, “I believe in the family too” or “it is so nice to know that there are others here who believe what I do”. Those are the things that stand out to the most.

A wise man once said, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

In other words, don’t focus on the negative but on the positive and on strengthening the good. That is what I choose to focus on. I choose to focus on strengthening and promoting the good that is still in the world, I choose to remember that there are others fighting with me. I choose to empower those who stand by my side.

As I watched my fellow family advocates at the United Nations, I learned two things:

  1. You are enough.
  2. You are not alone.

In a world, whose values are constantly changing it is easy to forget that there are others, it is easy to feel inadequate. Let me repeat myself:

  1. You are enough.
  2. You are not alone.

Let us remember what we stand for and why we stand for it. We each have our own talents to contribute. You don’t have to go to the United Nations to defend the family. You can find your own ways to fight. Even your presence is making a difference and sometimes that makes all the difference.

This time say it with me:

  1. I am enough.
  2. I am not alone.



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