UN Day 2008: Thank you, Turin!
A sunny day welcomed the hundreds of visitors who decided to visit the UN campus in Turin, which hosts the International Training Centre of the ILO, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and the United Nations System Staff College. For the second time since its creation, the campus opened its doors to celebrate United Nations Day (24 October) by giving the local community an opportunity to discover the scope, mandates, activities and premises of the three UN organizations it hosts. Activities such as presentations by international staff members, photo exhibitions, video displays, guided visits and more aimed at satisfying the visitors’ interest. To give a real “taste” of what working and living in an international community means, an ethnic meal with dishes from all continents was served.
The largest-ever UN flag, created by the visitors in 2007, was presented to the public by the Directors of the three organizations: François Eyraud (ITC-ILO), Sandro Calvani (UNICRI) and Carlos Lopes (UNSSC). The flag is a beautiful collage made of a thousand pieces of cloth on which citizens had used drawings and words to express their own vision of topics such as peace, social justice, cooperation and development: a true demonstration of the dreams and desires of real people.
"Opening the doors to the public is our way of thanking the host city and country for their continuous support for our activities," said Mr François Eyraud in his opening speech. "We are proud that, in return, thousands of people from all over the world, every year, become Turin’s ambassadors around the globe after taking part in our training courses, seminars and workshops."
According to Mr. Michele Dell’Utri, city councillor responsible for international relations and cooperation, this pearl by the banks of the river Po has been contaminated by the understatement typical of the "Torinesi". "Nonetheless, the campus must unveil itself to the local community, because its activities are of great relevance. Turin owns many hidden treasures, which are not well enough known locally or internationally: it is high time that the citizens became aware of the resources they have at hand, and the UN campus is one of them".
Inaugurating the city’s "Crescere in città" programme - which features a series of workshops and visits to the UN campus by local students and teachers, the city councillor responsible for education, Mr Luigi Saragnese, said that "putting younger generations in touch with such institutions, and the fundamental issues such as poverty, education and human rights they deal with, can only be a good thing. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity and I hope that, in the future, we will expand our collaboration and give more students a chance to have this unique experience".
The world of sport wanted to show its support for such noble values, too: interviewed by journalist and writer Bruno Gambarotta, two local football stars, Alessandro Rosina (F.C. Torino) and Pavel Nedved (Juventus F.C.), made it clear that they share the values endorsed by the United Nations and, at the same time, took the opportunity to discover this unexpected and still unknown place. Just like the crowds of families and citizens who decided to spend this day with us.
Thank you, Turin!
See also: Event's website