Welcoming the UN to Burnaby North

burnaby_north_southendYou may agree with newly-appointed Secretary-General that the world is, “facing very challenging times”. His stated belief is that, “only global solutions can address global problems and the UN is the cornerstone of that multilateral approach.” Recently, former UN Refugee Agency Chief Antonio Guterres was sworn in as the 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The Global Issues Speaker Series at Burnaby North Secondary has been organized to connect students with global experts from the United Nations who can address the issues currently challenging the international community. Participating students will attend three sessions, and engage with speakers via a combination of videoconference and live presentation. The topics will include: humanitarian food aid, migrants and refugees and peacekeeping and conflict.

On Thursday, January 19th, a student informational meeting will be held for 15 minutes in the 3rd floor Gallery at Burnaby North Secondary beginning at 11:45am. At that meeting, students will receive information about series’ procedures, leadership opportunities available during the series and the certificates attainable for students who attend all sessions.

The first speaker of the series will be Mr. Firas Kayal, the Senior Policy Advisor from the United Nations’ High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) based at the UN Headquarters in New York. He will be addressing the students via videoconference. This session was originally scheduled to be held in the Gallery at Burnaby North on Monday, February 6th, 2017. Due to the speaker’s illness, the session has been rescheduled tentatively to March 30th and registered students will receive further details about this. New registrations are welcomed.

On Thursday, March 2nd, Ms. Julie Marshall, a Canadian spokesperson for the UN agency called the World Food Programme (WFP), will speak to students about the progress of her organization on addressing hunger virtually via Skype from Ontario, Canada.

On Thursday, April 13th, Mr. George Somerwill, of UN for All Education Outreach and former UN Director of Public Information in the UN Department of Peacekeeping (UNDPKO), will present to students regarding UN peacekeeping and the myths and realities of peacekeeping in relation to Canada. He will be presenting in person.

All sessions will be held starting at 11:30am and ending at 12:30pm; students will be asked to leave their classes ten minutes early to attend on time and they will return to their first afternoon classes ten minutes late. Teachers will be notified ahead where possible. Students will be able to eat their lunches quietly during these “Lunch-and-Learn” style sessions.

Register at burnaby.events@gmail.com. Please provide a name, email address and cell phone number (if available) for text reminders.

Additionally, indicate, in order (1 being first choice), which leadership facilitation duties preferred: Audience Greeting, Speaker Introduction, Audience Registration, Audience Seating, Thank you, Speaker Hosting, or Any Duty (meaning that you will do any job assigned). 


71 years ago, the UN Charter was signed in San Francisco with the goals of maintaining world peace and security, building cooperation between nations to solve international economic and humanitarian problems and providing a forum for countries to discuss and resolve the problems.