The Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN) focuses on today’s most important assignment – teaching our children about a world made increasingly interdependent by globalization.
We are, whether we like it or not, linked internationally through media and telecommunications, culturally through our social interactions, economically through trade, politically through our treaties and wars, and environmentally through the very air we breathe. We live in a world where borders are porous, security is at risk, and where protection from pandemics and food toxicity can no longer be taken for granted. We depend on other nations for energy, intelligence gathering, disaster relief, and the political will to get things done.
Education is a powerful tool for change. As the lives of our children are increasingly shaped by events in other parts of the world, how can we create active global citizens who can communicate across cultures, function in the global marketplace, respect diversity, prevent the conflicts that arise from environmental destruction and limited resources, and make peace when those conflicts do arise? How can we imbue them with the importance of international law and the conviction that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere?” (M. L. King, Jr.) How can we teach them that they are capable of making a difference, however small?
This enormous challenge lies primarily in the hands of educators. But no one can do it alone. The United Nations and its programs are crucial resources for this learning. CTAUN exists to provide opportunities for educators to learn, understand and appreciate the work of the UN, and to incorporate global awareness into curricula and school activities at all levels. We do this through annual conferences at the UN and in other parts of the US, and through the resources on our website.