Today’s blog is written by Cyprus Fellow Sean Wright about being a part of a video conference with the United Nations relating to the International Day of Peace.
Today was a special day for us at PPI-CY as we got to take part in an incredible opportunity to be a part of a live video conference with the United Nations headquarters in New York. World leaders gathered to talk about the upcoming International Day of Peace on September 21, and what each of them is doing in their respective fields to help achieve peace. The theme for this year is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”
We achieved this through the help of our great friends at UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus). Since we work closely with them, we were asked to participate in this video conference. The event was running a little behind schedule, so we got to relax and hang out with Special Representative and Head of UNFICYP, Elizabeth Spehar. Ms. Spehar is a wonderful lady and leader with a wealth of knowledge. As much as we wanted to learn from her, she had twice as many questions for us. She was very intrigued and loved what PPI-CY is all about. (We need to get her a shirt!)
As we watched the conference and waited our turn, we got to hear some beautiful music from a violinist who has traveled all over the world and listen to the Rainbow Choir (children around 10-12 yrs old) who traveled all the way from Korea to be in New York for this event. I was star struck as Michael Douglas was the MC for a short period, and we got to see Leonardo Dicaprio give a speech regarding his upcoming documentary about the global climate change. As much as the girls were excited to see Leo, I think I was drooling more than them.
When it got to our turn we were all excited. Ms. Spehar gave a beautiful introduction about UNFICYP’s work here on the island. After that, the audience was shown a video with some of our PPI-CY kids, as well as some UN soldiers and peacekeepers. We were all ready to speak after the video ended, but unfortunately the new moderator skipped the last part of our section where the PPI-CY team would speak so we ended up not speaking. As disappointing as that is, we still had the video which was a great success and promotion. We were lucky enough to have it and we are grateful for the opportunity. Hopefully we will be able to participate in more events like this one.