Slovak Teacher's Forum 2011
Building on the positive impact of the Danube Twins Teachers Forum in 2010, a special Teacher's Forum for Slovak teachers in Slovak language was organized on 20 September 2011 by the UN Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna together with the Vienna School Board as part of the EdTwin Project and with the support of the Permanent Mission of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations.
Welcoming the teachers as key partners to raise awareness about what the UN is doing to make a better life a reality for all, Janos Tisovszky, Acting Director of UNIS Vienna, explained: "Reaching out to young people is a key priority for the UN Department of Public Information and the UN Information Service in Vienna - in fact for the whole UN. The aim is to promote the ideals of the United Nations to future generations - for peace and development, respect for human rights and solidarity across generations, cultures, religions and civilizations. You as teachers have a key a role to play."
After remarks by Ambassador Marcel Pesko, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the United Nations in Vienna and Petra Feichtinger from the Vienna School Board, the participants - 25 teachers from eleven schools in Bratislava - were invited on a special guided tour through the Vienna International Centre, followed by a presentation of services, tools and information material that UNIS offers for teaching about the work of the United Nations by Nikoleta Haffar of UNIS Vienna.
By presenting the work of the UN organizations they are working for, Slovak UN experts Andrej Zeman, Nuclear Physicist at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Milan Demko, Industrial Development Officer at the United Nations Industrial Development Programme (UNIDO), gave an impressive insight into what the United Nations in Vienna is doing to address global challenges, like sustainable development, nuclear safety, etc.
Special guest Monika Marekova, Slovak Youth Delegate at the General Assembly of the United Nations, talked about her experiences as part of the UN Youth Programme and discussed with participants and UNIS Consultant in Slovakia, Jana Honschova, on how to best reach out to young people in Slovakia and engage them on the ideals of the United Nations.
At the end of the event and with the International Day of Peace to be held each year on 21 September in mind, UNIS Acting Director Janos Tisovszky also stressed the important role young people play to build bridges between one another, between cultures and communities and create a peaceful and harmonious world: "You as teachers pave the way and prepare them for their role in leading the world into a better and more peaceful future."