7.25 Background Research

The UN

The UN is an intergovernmental organization (IGO, as opposed to a nongovernmental organization, or NGO) that seeks to maintain world peace and increase the standard of living around the world. One of the UN’s main efforts is their Sustainable Development Goals, which intend to improve the quality of life for both developing and developed countries. The goals are set to be achieved by 2030, and include ambitious intentions like eliminating poverty, hunger, and gender inequality; health and sanitation; clean energy and economic growth; and climate action. The UN also helps to prevent conflict among nations’ governments through peaceful negotiations.

Model UN

Model UN is a chance for high-schoolers to simulate negotiations of the UN by representing countries. It helps to teach students research, public speaking, negotiation, and writing. Students debate issues based on the committee they are in, like DISEC (Disarmament and International Security) or ECOFIN (Economic and Financial), with the ultimate goal of writing a resolution that the most people agree to.

The UN Logo

The UN symbol shows a globe from the North Pole surrounded by two stylized olive branches. It was designed by a team of designers led by Oliver Lincoln Lundquist in 1945. The UN logo is used as a solid-white image on a blue background for flags in the UN’s operations. The blue-and-white color scheme is used to signify peace and international cooperation, especially in areas in conflict. The olive branches especially signify peace while the globe signifies unity among all countries. White and blue are the official colors of the UN. It was originally designed to be a pin to identify delegates in UN committees. Blue was chosen as “the opposite of red” which represents war, conflict, and violence.

The UN logo and flag are also used by UN personnel in areas of conflict as a protective sign, to prominently assert the personnel’s neutrality and to prevent attacks.

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