On 25 – 26 March 2009, eight award-winning junior and senior high school students visited the United Nations and the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN through the Oku / Inoue Commemorative Youth UN Visit program. The students, who wrote speeches about global issues, such as non-proliferation and the rights of children, were the winners of a national speech contest held in Tokyo last year.
During their UN visit, the students were briefed by UN Staff about the workings of the UN. The students also visited the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
On 26 March, the students heard a briefing from Minister Mikio Mori at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN who explained the importance of Japan’s participation in the UN.
The students also made visits to the Permanent Mission of France to the UN and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Brazil. At the French Mission, the students had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Stephane Crouzat, the Press Counsellor. Mr. Crouzat pointed out the similarities of France and Japan and discussed the significance of the Security Council. The students then received a briefing from Counsellor Norberto Moretti. Counsellor Moretti described how Brazil and Japan had important active roles to play in the future of the United Nations.
The program enables the students to spend five days in New York, where they not only learn about the UN, but also visit a local high school for a student exchange.
The Oku / Inoue Commemorative Youth UN Visit program is an annual program sponsored by the Government of Japan and the U.N. Association of Japan for the purpose of enhancing student’s understanding and interest in the United Nations and the international community.