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Department of Public Information

Engaging the Public

A guided tour at UN Headquarters in New York.  (UN Photo/Andrea Brizzi)

A guided tour at UN Headquarters in New York. (UN Photo/Andrea Brizzi)

In response to the growing interest in the United Nations, the Department reaches out the public in a variety of ways – through its offices around the world and through exhibits and guided tours at its Headquarters in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

Empowering students

  • Through live video chats or global videoconferences, students at all educational levels have the opportunity to work with their peers to find solutions to global problems. They get the chance to interact with UN staff and diplomats from around the world and to manage student conferences at the UN.  These experiences empower students to take on leadership roles in their schools and communities and motivate them to become more involved in the work of the UN. Annual events for teachers and students include the International Day of Peace (21 September), International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March) and Human Rights Day (10 December).

Creating resources for teachers

  • There are many resources created by the UN to enhance teaching on global issues at the primary and secondary levels. These resources, which include online curricula on the UN cyberschoolbus website and videoconferences, are useful in helping to prepare students to understand current social issues from a global perspective.

Involving the next generation of youth leaders

  • Model UN simulations are an important educational tool for engaging young people in global issues and teaching them about how the UN functions. In 2009, DPI started the Global Model United Nations Conference for university students to serve as a model of best practices. The aim of the conference is to prepare student leaders to have a voice on international issues. In August 2011, the 3rd annual conference will be held in Incheon, Republic of Korea and will focus on sustainable development.

Lest we forget

  • The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme mobilizes civil society for Holocaust remembrance and education and to help prevent future acts of genocide. Seminars highlight practices in Holocaust education and the role of the international community in helping to prevent genocide.
  • Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade Programme mobilizes and informs educational institutions, civil society and other organizations to inculcate in future generations the “causes, consequences and lessons of the transatlantic slave trade, and to communicate the dangers of racism and prejudice”.