What better way to connect your members with the United Nations than by visiting its headquarters in New York? With careful planning and budgeting, students can take an once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York City to hear from prominent UN leaders. There are many opportunities to visit the UN and see it in action: in addition to UN-led tours of the headquarters, the United Nations Association organizes an annual event for chapters from across the country to attend Members’ Day at the UN. Depending on how far away your campus is and on how much fundraising you can do, students may have to pay for their own transportation and lodging costs. For more information on UN tours, visit: http://visit.un.org/
In 2014, UNA-USA chapters from across the country met at the UN Headquarters in New York for Members’ Day, joined by staff members from the national UNA office. In addition to touring the headquarters, members heard from experts, networked with community leaders, academics, and students, and spoke with representatives from think tanks like-minded organizations. Several groups were able to attend a special meeting with UNA’s Human Rights Fellow and attend exclusive happy hour socials.
Do it Yourself:
- Begin planning for your trip far in advance. Make sure to reserve a tour with the UN online several months before your preferred travel date – or, if your chapter is interested in attending Members’ Day with other UNA-USA chapters, coordinate your trip with the Association for the chance to meet GenUN members from across the country!
- Fundraise for your event as necessary. Research low-cost travel options if necessary and making them available to students interested in attending. This can make the planning process much less stressful.
- Select your mode of transportation – plane, bus, or car – depending on your distance from the headquarters. Arrange travel plans by purchasing tickets or finding drivers as early as possible.
- Contact UNA for extra opportunities in New York to meet with other UNA members and UNA staff!
- Remind all participants of important meeting and departure times several days before you leave for Headquarters. Confirm transportation to and reservations with the UN.