This tour is something I had to do! With only two weeks left in New York, today was the day I finally made it. The UN may have its flaws, but what they do is humbling and the impact they have can’t be denied.
The busy and positive atmosphere is infectious as soon as you walk into the hallways. This quote is the first thing I saw. I started smiling and couldn’t stop till I left the building. I found the mother ship!
German as I am, I was an hour too early. I spent almost the entire time in the book store. Two books was my limit and two books is what I got! 🙂 1) The Prize of Civilization by Jeffery D. Sachs and 2) Green House – eco-friendyl disposal and recycling at home. Sachs is my favourite Sustainable Development teacher and he works as a special advisor for the UN. So I kept looking over my shoulder to see if I run into him and get him to sing the book. Johnny Depp I ignored, but him I would approach in a second. I am such a nerd.
An exhibition about different projects part of the UNESCO Green Citizens 2015 was in the hallway. 8 stories from 8 different places that show how small things can have make a difference.
- In Japan a project teaches children to discover farming and to raise awareness about sustainable techniques.
- A business that has a positive impact on society – recycling. In Egypt people collect trash to sell it in order to survive and with UNESCO’s help a school has been founded to turn it into a genuine trade.
- “A commitment to sustainable fishing in Brittany” is a project that negotiated fishing rights together with local fishers and businesses depending on fishery.
We were able to see three of the councils:
The main purpose of the UN is to sustain peace. Which is a hard task when you compare the budget of the UN and the military expenditure. 2 Billion Dollars a day is currently spent on military expenditures. A day.
I am so glad I went – and I would love to go again. I wish they would open the sessions to the public again and that I could witness a decision being made.
Politics are everywhere and they aren’t left at the door of the UN building. But this quote below stuck and I am thankful that this many countries regularly get together and make commitments and decide on guidelines for the greater good. As faulted as they may be.