29 Before 29: Visit the United Nations

9 Feb

In my 29th year of life, I’m attempting to do 29 new things. Full List Here. All Bucket List Adventures Here.

General Assembly Hall

General Assembly Hall

This morning, after walking the dog that I’m sitting for and grabbing myself a blueberry smoothie, I left the country. All it took was $20 and an online reservation.  I passed through the security at the United Nations building on the East River in New York City and entered international territory.

I’m currently staying with a pug, Ellie Mae, and her cat brother, Lucas. They are regulars of mine and happen to live about a block away from the United Nations. So when me and their owner set up a couple of days for me to stay with them this February, I made sure to also set up a UN tour for myself.

Glass mural representing a world of peaceful collaboration.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It was only an hour long, and I was the only American in my group of about 20. It was great though. We got to see all of the assembly halls, including one that had a session going on. We got to see a number of different gifts to the UN from member countries. I found it fascinating and wished that I had studied International Affairs in college so that maybe I could somehow work there. They do a lot of interesting work, and it’s amazing that 193 countries come together and try to make the world a better place.

I was particularly moved by a display by a Brazilian artist of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration was drafted by a committee in 1948 headed by Eleanor Roosevelt and enumerates the basic rights that every human being is entitled to. It was sad to read some of them, such as the right to education or the right to be free from torture and know that many people in our world are denied these rights.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

It was a fun diversion on a bitter February day. I also learned about the website Free Rice which I learned about in college. It was created by the UN as a simple education tool. It has trivia and for every correct question, they use the money from the ad sponsors to donate 10 grains of rice to countries in need. Finally, a way to waste time on the Internet and not feel guilty.

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