Celebrate UN Day with Model UN!

By Anja Crowder and Anna Nassiff

At all hours of the day, through sunshine and through hail, the United Nations flag waves over Macalester’s campus. It is a constant reminder of the role Macalester has played in the world and the goals many of us aspire to. After World War II, President Charles J. Turck began a trend that continues to shape the Macalester we know today: he began to recruit overseas. The immense expansion of the international population and the growing diversity was, and continues to be, highly formative to Macalester’s value set. During this time, not only did themes of internationalism and multiculturalism bloom at Macalester, but the popularity of community service amongst Mac students took off as well. In 1950, President Turck raised the UN flag as a symbol of commitment to international affairs and the promotion of peace. Macalester’s connection to the United Nations was strengthened by alum Kofi Annan ’61, who began working for the World Health Organization in 1962 and was elected Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1997. In 2001 Kofi Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Global Aids and Health Fund. He served for two full terms, working on difficult issues including the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US peacekeeping mission to Darfur, and the oil for food scandal. Mr. Annan has returned to Macalester several times for convocation and commencement speeches, recognitions, and awards. This coming Monday, October 24th, Macalester will commemorate United Nations Day. Current Secretary General Bank Ki Moon stated “UN Day is a day on which we resolve to do more. More to protect those caught up in armed conflict, to fight climate change and avert nuclear catastrophe; more to expand opportunities for women and girls, and to combat injustice and impunity; more to meet the Millennium Development Goals.” With all of the organizations, concentrations, volunteer commitments, internships and personal research projects that Macalester students take on, there is no better student body to celebrate this day. We as a campus not only reflect global citizenship, but dedication to the betterment of the world. Therefore, UN Day should be a reciprocal celebration, where we at Macalester celebrate the work of the United Nations, and know that the UN is celebrating motivated young adults like us who work to combat the issues of the world. Macalester’s Model United Nations team is initiating a campus-wide commemoration of this day as a time to reflect on Macalester’s role in both local and global communities. Join us in this celebration of self and of the UN by wearing a free button from Model UN! We will be located in the basement of the campus center from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 24, where you will have your choice of Kofi Annan, Ban Ki Moon, or the UN flag!