The Rotary Club of Briarcliff Manor participated in Rotary International's "UN DAY" at the United Nations on Saturday, November 2, 2012. The annual event, which is held at the United Nations, featured speakers and participants from all over the world, and highlighted the enduring partnership between Rotary and the UN's humanitarian activities.
Rotary and the United Nations have a long history of working together and sharing similar visions for a more peaceful world. In 1942, Rotary clubs from 21 nations organized a conference in London to develop a vision for advancing education, science, and culture after World War II. That event was a precursor to UNESCO. In 1945, 49 Rotarians went to San Francisco to help draft the UN Charter. Rotary and the UN have been close partners ever since, a relationship that’s apparent through PolioPlus and Rotary's work with UN agencies. Rotary currently holds the highest consultative status offered to a nongovernmental organization by the UN’s Economic and Social Council, which oversees many specialized UN agencies. Rotary maintains and furthers its relationship with a number of UN bodies, programs, commissions, and agencies through its representative network, and has a representative to the UN. Rotarianne Past District Governor Helen Reisler from Westchester is an alternative representative.
This year, the keynote speaker for this event was Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information of the United Nations. This was followed by six panels: Health and Peace, Water and Peace, Building Peace, Practicing Peace, Literacy and Peace, and Youth and Peace. The full-day program focused on Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka's motto for the year, "Peace Through Service." Participants highlighted Rotary's work in each of these areas all over the world, with a focus on the needs of today in various countries.
The Rotary Club of Briarcliff Manor was represented by President Kris Chittur and Director Scott Lanoff.
"It was an inspiring event," said Chittur. "It highlighted Rotary's focus on international understanding and the opportunity for service."