NEW YORK – Ambassador Dionyssios Kalamvrezos, Deputy Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations, met with New York City Junior Ambassadors at The Montauk (I.S. 223) in Brooklyn on June 15. During the discussion, Ambassador Kalamvrezos talked about his background, Greek culture and history, and his country’s priorities at the UN. He also discussed the importance of multilingualism and what it’s like to be an Ambassador. Ambassador Kalamvrezos also gave advice to the NYC Junior Ambassadors, saying that as global citizens, the students should work hard, read literature, and keep an open mind.
The Commissioner for International Affairs, Penny Abeywardena, commenting on the impact of NYC Junior Ambassadors, a program of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, said “Young people have a critical role in creating a more peaceful, sustainable, and equitable future. This experience will have a lasting impact on these students, helping them to see themselves as global citizens who are empowered to create positive change in their local communities and the world.”
The class is integrating the work of the United Nations into their curriculum through learning about the importance of water in the world, about people who are suffering from a water shortage, and how lack of clean water and proper sanitation affects people in different parts of the world through an enhanced science curriculum. The students are also learning how we get water, and what happens to waste water when we are done with it. In addition to having already received a specially designed tour of the United Nations campus and an in-depth briefing from a UN expert on clean water supply, Ambassador Kalamvrezos, who spoke to the students about his work at the UN.
Launched in October 2015, in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the UN, NYC Junior Ambassadors (NYCJA) was created to leverage the UN as a resource for NYC seventh graders and empower students in all five boroughs of New York City to become actively engaged with the UN and its mission of addressing some of the most pressing challenges in the world. Through innovative programming and unique opportunities for first-hand interactions, NYCJA seeks to expose a diverse array of teachers and students to the UN as a tool for teaching and learning in a variety of fields – from science to the arts to civics. Approximately 600 middle school students are participating in the 2016-2017 year of the program, almost double the number of those who participated in the inaugural year.
More information about the program is available online: nyc.gov/nycjuniorambassadors.
The New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs works to foster positive relations and encourage collaboration between the international community and New York City’s agencies and local neighborhoods. The Office serves as a global platform from which the City promotes its goals for a more just and equitable society, showcases the diversity of New Yorkers, and exchanges best practices with the diplomatic community.