Back to News

Anglo European Students visit the United Nations in Geneva

A delegation from the Anglo European School visited the United Nations and its agencies in Geneva recently and spent a week of intensive briefings at the headquarters of the world organisation, the first time a UK comprehensive school has been able to undertake such a programme.

Headteacher, David Barrs, led the delegation which was a development of the work he did with his wife on behalf of the United Nations Association some years ago. “Gaining an insight into how the world works and the challenges faced in doing so is a really important extension of the international understanding we develop at the Anglo”.

“It made a real impact on the students who were both educated and inspired” he added.

The programme involved briefings on disarmament, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs within the Palais des Nations but also visits to the UK Diplomatic Mission to the UN, the World Health organization, the World Meteorological Office, the World intellectual Property Organization and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

A highlight was being briefed in the SHOC room at the WHO (Strategic Health Outbreak Co-ordination) where the WHO co-ordinates its response to outbreaks such as SARS and Corona virus. “This co-ordination made a significant contribution to stopping the spread of SARS recently. WHO are now in a state of readiness for the next threat to world health” said Mr Barrs.

A particular highlight for Mr Barrs was to find the United Nations Kits for schools that he edited in 1995 on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the UN were still on sale! “I think they are well past their sell by date but it was a great project to be involved with at the time” he said.

Participating student Henry Bennett said that he felt it was really interesting to observe the Conference on Disarmament in session as well as the 23rd Session of the Human Rights Conference.

After this preparatory visit the Anglo plan to build it in to their renowned annual programme of visits and exchanges and also open it up to delegates from other schools.

“This is a unique opportunity and if we can inspire succeeding generations of young people they we will be playing our part in securing a more just and sustainable world” said student Oliver Withams.