An Era of Conscience

Student Brings a Glimpse of Love and Hope to the World

“I have a mission here in New York,” said Richard, an 18-year-old college student at Oregon State University.

Richard is a youth volunteer of the Association of World Citizens, NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC and associated with the UN DPI. The AWC is one of the NGOs to participate in this year’s 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference in New York.

“The rise of geopolitical problems ranging from climate change to territorial conflicts is threatening the world’s sustainable development,” continued Richard. “My mission is to inform everyone that a peaceful world and a sustainable planet requires everyone from all walks of life to spread love and do right deeds”.  


Richard participated in the three-day 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference. This conference is designed for civil societies to convene and plan for the future of global development from 2015 and onward. 2015 is the deadline for the “Millennium Development Goals” or MDGs, a set of goals established by the United Nations in the year 2000 to address pressing global issues such as hunger and poverty. So far, only efforts to address poverty have seen the most success, with 600 million people across the world being lifted from extreme poverty over the course of 15 years. However, other goals have yet to achieve much progress as the deadline approaches.

Just recently, United Nations estimated the death toll of the Syrian War to reach more than 191,000. Crisis in Ukraine is increasingly alarming as it affects the entire Europe’s stability. Ebola virus outbreak in parts of Africa is becoming a threat to the world as the outbreak getting out of control and potentially spreading to areas outside of Africa. Climate change is widely apparent as many countries witnessed record temperatures in this year’s summer. Rising sea level due to climate change is threatening the survival of small island nations like Maldives.

With all these looming crises threatening mankind’s survival today, youths like Richard actively participated in youth discussions hosted at the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference to plan for post 2015 agenda.


“The world is increasingly chaotic day by day,” said Richard. “We have created irreversible impacts on this planet, and we are now paying the price.” During the three-day conference, Richard participated in several workshops with topics ranging from social problems such as women’s rights and human rights, to environmental degradation and climate change. After the workshops, Richard sensed the responsibility to tell everyone that the root of all these man-made problems is the heart.

“People’s selfishness is the reason all the NGOs convene today here in United Nations to discuss ways to make our world a better place to live. Many of us crave for material comforts and power. Since material comforts come from natural resources, we ultimately become selfish, thus, conflicts over resources and lands are not unusual. The abuse of power and privileges is also responsible for creating an unequal world for minorities and underrepresented group,” stated Richard. “This world needs more love, more tolerance, and more conscience. As a result, the AWC and I are promoting the idea of An Era of Conscience to every person here in United Nations. Since these people came from different backgrounds, I tried to explain to them that conscience is extremely vital because conscience can motivate people to do the right things and make the right decisions, which can benefit everyone and the environment.”

When asked about people’s responses to An Era of Conscience movement, Richard enthusiastically recalled, “Everyone I approached


all strongly supported this movement. However, one person came to me and said ‘Is world peace even possible?’ So I answered, ‘It is possible, but I would need your help to spread this movement to your family, friends, and even to your country!’”

After the three-day conference came to a close, Richard plans to create a club at his college. The club would invite students and staff from his university to write or say words of conscience to spread more love to the world. “If this club is successful,” said Richard. “I hope it can be the model for other colleges to emulate. If more people can participate in An Era of Conscience movement, there is hope for a peaceful, sustainable world for each of us to share.”

If you would like to participate or to further understand about An Era of Conscience movement, please visit www.aneoc.org for more information. Since "An Era of Conscience" movement started on January 1, 2014, there have been over 1.4 million visits to the movement’s website. Tens of thousands of people from 1,600 organizations in 184 countries have taken part in the movement. We would like to cordially invite you to submit your words of conscience (100-300 words) with your photo to the movement’s website at www.aneoc.org. Or send your video or audio recording (about 30 seconds) or drawing, painting, or comics to info.aneoc@gmail.com. 

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