UNITED NATIONS

PICTURE BOOKS:

A PICTURE BOOK OF ELEANOR ROOSEVELT by David A. Adler. NY: Holiday House, 1991.  — The early life of Eleanor Roosevelt for primary – aged children.

FLAGS STICKER ATLAS (for primary and intermediate grades) — Contains simplified maps of the world by continent and flag stickers for every country. Includes fascinating facts about flag designs and their history. UN bookstore. 212-963-4475 Ext. 6.

THREE PROMISES TO YOU  by Munro Leaf. — Originally published in the US by JP Lippincott, 1957, this is virtually a collectible. But there are still some used copies at Amazon, worth having, as it is one of the few really simplified efforts to address the goals of the UN for primary-aged children.  In a kind of coloring book format Leaf questions very young children about their own differences, needs and fears, explains how families interact, how nations function as a world family and why working together makes sense.

UNICEF: UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND by Anastasia Suen. PowerKids Press, 2002.   —   Part of the Helping Organizations Series, children K-3 learn when the UN and UNICEF started, what it stands for, and some of the ways it raises money and helps children and families worldwide. Includes details on how children can be fundraisers (“trick or treat” for UNICEF). Available through amazon.com.

INTERMEDIATE AND YOUNG ADULT

ENCHANTMENT OF THE WORLD SERIES  NY: Children’s Press, a division of Scholastic Inc.  –  Individual color-photo books devoted to many of the member states of the UN – provides background information for young participants in Model UN.

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS  — A good introduction for middle and secondary school students – colorful, informative, many visuals –an excellent resource for teachers as well. Part of the School Kit provided by the Public Inquiries Unit, Dept. of Public Information, United Nations, NY, NY 10017. 212-963-4475. E-mail: inquiries@un.org; On the web at http://www.un.org/en/faq ; For online info on the UN Charter, go to www.un.org/en/documents/charter; for the UN flag go to www.un.org/Depts/dhl/maplib/flag.

LENDING A HELPING HAND: HUMANITARIAN RELIEF OPERATIONS by Roger Smith. Philadelphia: Mason Crest Publishers, 2007. www.masoncrest.com — Part of the Mason Crest series, this book chronicles one of the most successful roles of the UN, large-scale, compassionate disaster relief; colorful photos and accessible text.

STATESWOMAN TO THE WORLD: A STORY ABOUT ELEANOR ROOSEVELT by Maryann N. Weidt. Millbrook Press, 2012 www.lernerbooks.com  — An easy to read large print bio with black and white illustrations.

UNITED NATIONS – PEACEKEEPER?  by Edward Johnson. NY: Thomas Learning, 1995; UK: Wayland (Publishers) LTD. Available on Amazon.  — Part of the Global Issues Series, provides not only a guide to the UN’s peacekeeping missions around the globe, and the difficulties involved, but also acts as a springboard for discussions on the successes and failures of the UN as peacekeepers.

ADULT

ACT OF CREATION: THE FOUNDING OF THE UNITED NATIONS by Stephen C. Schlesinger. Cambridge, MA: Westview Press, 2003.

Recounts the story of the incredible undertaking at the San Francisco Conference in the two – month period between April and June 1945, to bring about a deeper understanding of the UN and why it must be preserved, and the historic role of the US in its creation. The geo-political obstacles, negotiating struggles and compromises necessary to get the 51 original member states on board come alive in the telling.

CHASING THE FLAME: ONE MAN’S FIGHT TO SAVE THE WORLD by Samantha Power. NY: Penguin Books, 2008. (Available on Amazon.com)  — Details the life of Sergio Vieira de Mello, Brazilian chief of the UN mission in the Middle East, and his work in such hot spots as Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo, before his tragic death in a terrorist attack in Iraq in 2003. The author reveals the dilemmas and contradictions of coping with humanitarian crises against a backdrop of violence, poverty, UN red tape, inadequate funding and uncaring Western governments.

HAMMARSKJOLD by Brian Urquhart. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972.  — The definitive, in depth and well-documented account of the second and perhaps most revered Secretary-General’s years at the United Nations, by a former Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, who describes him as “that most unusual of creatures, a truly good man.” Some wonderful anecdotes here, of Hammarskjöld’s use of personal diplomacy, when 11 American airmen were shot down over China, Khruschev’s shoe-banging episode in the General Assembly, as well as the struggles in the Middle East, Hungary, and finally the Congo, which cost Hammarskjöld his life.

HAMMARSKJOLD: A LIFE By Roger Lipsey. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013.  — This most recent and comprehensive biography of Hammarskjold, is a bit more academic and slower going than the Urquhart book (above), but informative nonetheless. It attempts to correlate Markings with concurrent events in Hammarskjold’s personal life and at the UN, and to correct inaccuracies in the translation, in order to arrive at an understanding of his emotional and spiritual whereabouts. It also puts an end to rumors of alleged homosexuality, and offers insights into causes of the plane crash in Ndola.

KOFI ANNAN: A MAN OF PEACE IN A WORLD OF WAR by Stanley Meisler. John Wiley & Sons, 2007.   — Considered a “readable, wise, balanced and thoughtful” portrait of the widely admired 7th Secretary-General. Drawing on personal interviews with Annan, as well as numerous friends, UN colleagues, diplomats and world leaders, Meisler, a long time and respected reporter on the UN, examines Annan’s undeniable achievements, as well as events like the Iraq War and his son’s participation in the Oil for Food scandal that threatened to undermine his credibility.

MARKINGS by Dag Hammarskjöld. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964. Translated from the Swedish Vägmärken. Stockholm: Bonniers, 1963.  — Hammarskjöld’s spiritual journal, poetic and elusive in spots, which never mentions the UN, but is essential to understanding the personal side of the man, and his mindset during many of the crises in which he was involved. Many entries are dated, which helps in correlation.

MAN WITHOUT A GUN by Giandomenico Pico.  –  A real page-turner, chronicles the efforts of the author, an Italian diplomat working almost single-handedly with Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar to rescue Lebanese hostages in 1992; in spots his adventures read like a spy novel; yet his diplomacy with the leader of Hezbollah, ultimately winning his respect, is an example of what can be accomplished if people have the courage to talk with one another. Out of print, but available in libraries.

RALPH BUNCHE: AN AMERICAN LIFE by Brian Urquhart. 1993. Available through amazon.com. — This is the first major biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Bunche, by his closest assistant from 1954-71, who was given access to Bunche’s private papers by the Bunche family. Urquhart brings to life this “Jackie Robinson of American Diplomacy,” who was, at times, treated as a second-class citizen in his own country.

THE UNITED NATIONS: THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS by Stanley Meisler. Available through amazon.com.  — Reviews called it “A strikingly readable behind- the -scenes account of the UN’s first half century…sprinkled with rich anecdotes of a colorful cast of characters, warts and all.”

UN JIGSAW by Wilfred Grey. NY: Vantage Press, 2000.  — A wonderfully observant and wide-ranging overview, accurately defining the growing role of civil society in partnership with the UN system. Pays special attention to the role of women and people from developing countries. Available at the UN bookstore.

 

SUGGESTED TEACHER RESOURCES

Guided Tours –to book a tour for your class, call public inquiries at 212-963-4475 Ext. 1(for information) 2 (for reservations)

Model UN- a simulation for Middle School, High School and college students. For an overview, FAQs, How to start a Model UN club, How to Plan for a Model UN Conference, Research Tips etc.: www.unausa.org/modelun101.You can also google Model UN for examples of Model UN programs done at various schools and universities.

60 Ways the UN Makes a Difference. A sampling of what the UN and its agencies have accomplished since 1945, and the vast array of its undertakings. Online at www.un.org/en/un60/60ways

Posters – a large variety available from the Public Inquiries desk on the ground floor of the General Assembly, across from the coffee shop 212-963-4475.

Speakers Bureau –Invite a UN speaker to your classroom in person or via video conference, or arrange a briefing for your students at UN Headquarters (Minimum age: 14) United Nations Visitors Centre http://visit.un.org/content/speakers-bureau-briefings

UN Chronicle –A quarterly, easy-to-read magazine – covering a range of UN activities, suitable for high school and above. Available in the UN Bookstore or online at  http://unchronicle.un.org

My World Survey  www.vote.myworld2015.org    An opportunity to participate in shaping the Sustainable Development Goals and vote for issues that are important to you and your family.   You may also check out www.worldwewant2015.org to follow themes and updates.

MEDIA RESOURCES

A Virtual Tour of the United Nations. On CD Rom – contains 150 interactive panoramas, more than 2 hrs. of video, 114 gifts and artworks, the history of the UN, over 40 interviews, and a tour of UN Headquarters. For Mac OSX-3.9 and later or Windows 2000/XP. From Spinning Eye Ltd. www.spinning-eye.com

Visions of a Secretary General: Dag Hammarskjöld and the United Nations 1953-1961. A finely –tuned portrait using newly recorded interviews, and archival film and photo material gives a sense of Dag Hammarskjöld as a person, his struggles during the cold War and his death in a plane crash in Africa. In English and Swedish on DVD. Check the UN Bookstore for availability. 212- 963-4475 Ext. 6

USEFUL LINKS

http://www.un.org  United Nations Homepage. Links to all UN Departments and up-to-date news and activities in the six official languages.

www.unausa.org  United Nations Association of the USA This is a much more user-friendly website than the UN Homepage (above). In addition to a whole section on Model UN and a glossary of helpful terminology, there are also daily updates, press briefings, weekly videos, info on careers and internships, and global connection TV.

CyberSchool Bus. A variety of resources, activities and information for teachers and students in all grades. The site is currently (Jan. 2015) being renovated, but expects to open in a few months. For now, questions can be directed to education-outreach@un.org

http://www.unicef.org  UNICEF. Materials, news and information about children’s rights, health and education throughout the world.   See also www.teachunicef.org for teaching materials and activities.

UNFOLD ZERO. Aims to unfold the path to zero nuclear weapons through the accomplishments and current initiatives of various UN bodies, including the General Assembly, Security Council, Secretary-General, Office of Disarmament Affairs, International Court of Justice, Human Rights Council and others. www.unfoldzero.org

Additional Links