Friday, June 26, 2020

The Art of Life – the UN Path

The United Nations Headquarters in 1952
Today marks the signing of the United Nations Charter 75 years ago which is taking place during an unprecedented time in history as the high-level debate of the General Assembly will take place via pre-recorded statements.

When I moved to New York for the first time in 1989 to work at the United Nations, I felt so at home working in an international environment while living in such an exciting city, rich with its cultural diversity.  I had the chance to meet some wonderful people who are, to this day, still my friends.

While working at the United Nations in New York in the 1990s, I had the opportunity of meeting people from all over the world and, as a result of my working in the office the Under-Secretary-General for Public Information, I also met some important public figures. At that time, there were a great many changes in the world.

Audrey Hepburn at UN Radio
I will never forget during an international conference for the Rights of the Child Summit when Audrey Hepburn came to our office to rest for I believe she was ill at the time.  It was a magical moment and inspiring for she was humble with a very kind disposition, unlike a movie star. What I admired the most about Hepburn was not only because she was a great actress, but also that she used her fame for a humanitarian cause.  In her biography by Barry Paris: “from 1988 until the end of her lifeHepburn became a special ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund.  Her trips to Ethiopia and Somalia demonstrated her whole-hearted and tireless commitment.  Never before had so great a star so vigorously lent herself to such a crusade.” 

Faced with a global pandemic, we are reminded what truly matters and if we look deeper, it’s more than the material and the need to accumulate things, it’s more about the love we give and receive, about compassion for those who are suffering.    

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