23 January 2009
Deputy Secretary-General

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro’s remarks at the screening of a new documentary film by Romuald Sciora in New York, on 21 January:

Thank you all for coming here today.  It gives me great pleasure to say a few words before we watch the latest production by Director Romuald Sciora, who has already contributed so much to the United Nations.

Mr. Sciora’s television series, “At the Glass Building”, featured revealing interviews with former United Nations Secretaries-General, and shed new light on the great history of the United Nations.

Today, we are privileged to see the second part of his work on the United Nations:  “Planet UN”, a documentary focusing on the United Nations at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

In creating this far-reaching film, Mr. Sciora has covered the history and activities of the United Nations and its main agencies.  He spent more than five years on the project, and held hundreds of meetings with staff at all levels.  The end result is a wonderful depiction of the many ways in which the Organization can be an effective instrument for development, human rights and peace.

Mr. Sciora is showcasing the work of the United Nations in other ways, too.  His non-governmental organization, United Media, has collaborated with Marvel Enterprises on a comic book about us that will be launched in September.  I understand that he grew up following the adventures of Spiderman.  Imagine how satisfying it must be for him to have made it possible for his favourite Marvel characters to tell the story of how the United Nations fights poverty, disease and conflict worldwide.  It is certainly satisfying to us to know that these comics will be distributed to more than a million children throughout the United States, thanks to a partnership between Marvel Comics, the Department of Public Information and the United Nations Office for Partnerships.

Mr. Sciora has spoken passionately about the quote “need for a truly global vision for the general public to understand what the United Nations actually accomplishes”.

I could not agree more.  For better or for worse, people today learn about current events and real institutions through their depictions in popular culture.  We should all be grateful to Mr. Sciora for putting our life-saving work on the map in this way, too.

So it is with great appreciation and admiration that I invite you all to enjoy this new film.  And please tell your friends about it.

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For information media • not an official record