UN visit

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The First thing that one sees upon entering the United Nations grounds in Nairobi are all the member country flags. These flags surround the path that leads up to the main building. I like to call it ‘the walk of Flags’. When reaching the main building one sees a huge sign reading ‘Karibuni’. This loosely translates to welcome all or all are welcome, from Swahili. This means that the United Nations is open to anyone from anywhere.

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The United Nations has four main offices; New York (headquarters), Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. I feel so fortunate to actually have one of the offices within my city,  around 2.4km away from where I live. The United Nation office in Nairobi also happens to the headquarters of the UNEP ( United Nations Environmental Programme), and on 29th of September I got to visit the grounds again after two years. The last time I was there was for the MSMUN (Middle School United Nations) conference, these conferences usually last through a period of four days and during the four days the youth debate on on going issues around the world.

During the visit we got to go inside the conference rooms, got a tour of the grounds, saw the trees planted by various leader, saw the UNEP office and other artistic gifts given by other nations to the United Nations grounds in Nairobi Kenya. We got to see a tree, rather a seedling, that was planted by the Prime Minister of India (Narendra Modi).

The tree that I felt honoured to see, was that Planted by Late Professor Wangari Maathai who was a  was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She is always going to be my role model. Wangari Maathai was also a winner of a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Wangari Maathai tree is planted in the middle of a circle of trees. These trees were planted by the member nations of the security council. The trees stand tall together forming a protective circle. The reason for them being planted like this is to send the message that when people come together, the more we can achieve.

Since the visit was organised by the Press club of my school, we were fortunate enough to view an on going conference that had representatives from all 15 countries that are within the security council. We did this from the platform of the press and media. In general we got to see how the UN operates and we got a glimpse of 140-acred land that United Nations occupies. Overall the whole experience was amazing. It was also inspiring and I felt honoured and proud to live in a country that is fortunate enough to have this within it.

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The octopus seen in the back is in fact a gift from a country.
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The UNEP HQ office block

Also though I received the pictures a bit late I would like to thank the girl who took the pics. I was hoping for more but something happened to her memory card and this was all I got. If I do get more in the future from my teacher I’ll upload them for sure. Also if you want to know more about the UN Nairobi you can visit this site – http://visitors.unon.org/

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