NYC: The United Nations HQ, World Peace & Bedazzler's...

The United Nations play a huge part in fighting humanitarian issues across the world, using their peacekeepers to restore calm in places like Palestine and Libya. I decided to take an unplanned trip to the United Nations Headquarters in New York to see for myself what Ban-Ki Moon and his colleagues are doing to make the world more peaceful. I won't forget anything!

Sitting on the banks of the East River the Headquarters of the United Nations stands proud with a procession of flags flying for each nation that plays a part in this non-for-profit organisation. Generally speaking its not the most traditional pick for visiting during a holiday or in my case a day off. I needed an intervention, my friends from England had finished their placement and the summer flight loads were so high! I missed my English friends, they had become brothers during our time shared in the USA! I found that the security at the Headquarters mirrored the procedures at any international airport. Baggage screening and body scanners checked each visitor, there was even a whole different entrance for visitors to enter due to the nature of the UN's operation, no person could enter without their purpose of visit defined. I felt relaxed within the safety of the United Nations Headquarters, that 'world peace' had me feeling nice.

I look back and think to a time where I tried to write a series of short stories about a group of peacekeepers who are called the 'Bedazzlers' these strong women are sisters and fight peacefully with power of their spirituality. Visiting the United Nations Headquarters made me think that if I was talking about real life 'Bedazzlers' what would they be like? They would be glamazons! I may have transitioned my writing into my blogs, I shall revisit the lives of the heroine I created one afternoon when I have nothing better to do. Belisha and her sisters were watching me, I had a sense that they were around me. I half imagined seeing one of her seven sisters walking through the highly guarded iron gates that surrounded the U.N HQ. I know that one day I'll revisit that writing phase, I feel that I'm doing just that with this blog. Seeing the flags of the agreeing countries had me feeling a sense of security once again. My friends has gone home, I needed to represent myself! I was ready!

I was all cleared to enter the visitors centre, so I took some time to view the exhibits on display, most of which could be described as thought provoking and somewhat sobering. Its not difficult to work-out that our world has troubles that affect people in the poorest corners of the globe, to see the facts in large print was quite an eye-opener to say the least. I really found the exhibits really quite something that made me take stock of my sheltered and trouble-free life because the world isn't such a happy place for lots of people in other continents. The amount of tourists capturing photos on their cameras almost seemed disrespectful because their manner was just so rude and quite inconsiderate comparing to what issues that were on display. Such issues like poverty, terrorism and past atrocities such as the Holocaust were highlighted for visitors to see as a reminder. I was ready to feel that sobering feeling, that was natural, NY!

I didn't need anybody to tell me that my day out could have been seen as 'unorthodox, did I care? No! I was being schooled, reminded that the world need to be ready to hear and see things from history that made them feel a little uneasy. I didn't have time to try to understand the guilt of the next person that was standing next to me, I used my afternoon to get my life together to feel clearer about the world that was going on around me. The United Nations isn't a playground, keeping things serious it was amazing to see the children's books that were on offer! If I don't fly high as a member of cabin crew, those books might be needed as a teacher in a far flung eastern land? After visiting Auschwitz a few years previous, the impact had me feeling all kinds of emotions as I stood inside the building that embodied the meaning of 'freedom'. I used that afternoon to pay thanks for all the work the United Nations does to keep people safe from harm, securing their rights! World, come on!

My wait was finally over as the audio tour which, I booked the previous day was about to begin. As shown in the picture captured to the left, I got the chance to sit in the assembly room that's used for debates and conferences to solves global humanitarian issues. Unfortunately, I didn't see the United Kingdom's desk but Turkey's was in clear view so all was not lost. It wasn't exactly Times Square but I want to believe that I'm quite a cultured soul with an appreciation for things that are a little deeper than the norm. This value for money tour lasted just over one hour, showing me various visuals and displays that showed hope for the future. Such issues like sending school boxes to remote places around the world to ensure children are literate showed that the United Nations has a clear and concise plan to help specific problems facing a large magnitude of people. At the end of the day, we are only human! Are we?

Listening to the terrible things that have now been stopped by the United Nations with the help of their peacekeepers was great to witness. As my afternoon drew to a close I sort of knew that I would have visited a place like this, one could say the outcome was nothing but positive. From the fluttering flags to the ever so predictable gift shop it was a pleasure to have seen the things that were on offer that day. In actual fact the Headquarters of the United Nations is currently undergoing a major overhaul, captured to the right is a photo of the ongoing construction work. I loved that some of the cement mixers were from Portuguese contractors, I live in an area that's highly populated with Portuguese and Brazilian people so it was nice to see that. Hopefully a new chapter for the buildings of the Headquarters could well mean that more positive movements can be accomplished. Feeling humbled by that experience I took my ass to Chinatown for some interesting food. Belisha, I see you!

World Peace!

Joseph Harrison


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