Form II Boys Tour United Nations Headquarters

On a morning of April showers, Form II boys visited the United Nations headquarters in midtown Manhattan as part of their studies in Spanish and history regarding the formation of the United Nations. The boys were fascinated to discover that the land the U.N. occupies was donated by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a student in Browning’s first graduating class in 1893. The docent who led the boys informed them that in good weather, 195 flags typically fly outside, representing 193 member countries and two independent ones, Palestine and Vatican City.

As the boys were led through the complex comprised of the General Assembly Hall, Conference and Secretariat Buildings, they noticed many murals adorning the hallways, including individual portraits of the Secretary Generals, a gift from Iran in 1997; Vela Zanetti’s 1953 piece, "Mankind's Struggle for Lasting Peace,” and Norman Rockwell’s 1953 “Golden Rule” mosaic.

The boys were excited to visit each of the assembly rooms where they learned about protocol, the issues regularly discussed there, and details of the impeding election of a new Secretary General. The docent helped the boys appreciate the peacekeeping mission and sustainable development goals of the U.N. The boys learned about the 30 human rights that every person is inherently entitled to as part of the U.N.’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On their way to the General Assembly Hall, the boys were led through a display featuring photographs and artifacts surrounding nuclear, chemical and conventional weaponry, including an emphasis on U.N. efforts to prevent the use of land mines. The tour guides explained that land mines are planted in times of conflict but often remain embedded for decades, eventually causing countless unexpected injuries and deaths to civilians.

At the conclusion of the tour, the boys left the U.N. and posed for another picture on the steps under bright and sunny skies.