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  Introduction to the UN
Updated 22 September 2003, 13.22
Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the UN
What would you ask Kofi Annan?

Citizenship 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
The United Nations

The UN was set up to work towards a more peaceful world in the aftermath of the Second World War.

What should the UN do to improve our world?

Learning aims

  • Learn about membership of the United Nations
  • Justify in writing a personal opinion about what should be done to improve the world
Read the story:

Introduce the United Nations and find out what the class already know:

  • What does the UN do?

  • Where are its headquarters?

  • When was it formed?

Main activity
Students draft formal letters to Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General which include personal opinions on:

  • The students' global concerns and worries.
  • The kind of world they would like to see in the new millennium.
  • The role they think they can play in creating such a world.
Students read out their letters to the rest of the class. The class comment on opinions expressed and the formal language used.

When the drafts are completed students can write up their letters for display purposes.
A possible address to use would be:

Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017

Teachers' Background

  • The UN originally had 51 Member States; now it has 191 members. The Vatican is not a member and Taiwan is not recognised as an independent state.

  • The UN logo shows the world held in the 'olive branches of peace'.

  • Kofi Annan of Ghana is the seventh UN Secretary-General.

  • Came into existence on 24 October 1945 (now United Nations Day).

  • The UN's purpose is to work for peace and development, based on justice, human dignity and the well-being of all people.

  • They meet in the General Assembly, which is the closest thing to a world parliament.

  • Each country has a single vote.

  • The Assembly's decisions become resolutions (not laws) that carry the weight of world governmental opinion.

  • The United Nations Headquarters is in New York City but the land and buildings are international territory.

Turn this into an assembly

  • Ask volunteers to compose notes on global concerns and the world they would like to see in the new millennium.

  • Read extracts from

For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
Our guide to the United Nations
WorldUN wins Nobel Peace Prize


Web Links
Kofi Annan biography
United Nations
Letters to Mrs Annan
Note: You will leave CBBC. We are not responsible for other websites.



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