Sunday, 23 July 2017

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UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Educational Resources

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United Nations: Resources for Students 

Young people are the future of the world. Because the United Nations is working to make the world a better place now and in the future, it tries to help students understand its work and offers many resources to do this. On this page you can find direct links to Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Model UN, Voices of Youth, Focal Point on Youth, UNESCO Youth Forum.

UN Public Inquiries Unit

The UN Public Inquiries Unit handles queries from the general public about the United Nations and its work.  Public Inquiries produces easy-to-read and topical Fact Sheets and has a variety of brochures, publications and posters published by the UN Department of Public Information, as well as by other UN Departments, Agencies and Programmes.

Global Issues on the UN Agenda

From the suffering of the Second World War emerged a new international organization - the United Nations. The UN's founding, in 1945, enabled its Member States and their peoples to work together to promote peace and cooperation, economic and social development, and a clear vision codified by international law. Ever since, the UN system has addressed those uniquely global problems which require cooperative efforts. These are the Global Issues on the UN Agenda. This website offers an overview of some of these global issues, and links to other resources where you can gain additional information.

Dag Hammarskjöld Library Research Guide - UN Information for Young People

This research guide provides links to some UN resources for and about young people. Most United Nations websites are created for adults. They are usually written for policy-makers, government officials, and experts. There are not many UN websites or resources for young people.

UN Information Service (UNIS) Vienna – Teaching Resources

For teachers who want to teach their students about the work and goals of the United Nations, UNIS Vienna has several useful teaching resources available on the following topics: Peace & Security, Development, Human Rights, Humanitarian Affairs, and International Law.

United Nations Cyberschoolbus

CyberSchoolBus LogoThe United Nations Cyberschoolbus was created in 1996 as the online education component of the Global Teaching and Learning Project, whose mission is to promote education about international issues and the United Nations.
UN Cyberschoolbus is currently down for maintenance and will return in a few months with a new design and new content.


Selected Publications Available Online

Basic Facts about the United Nations 2014
Partial online version:

basicfacts2014This comprehensive handbook designed for the general public explains the structure of the United Nations, how the Organization works, the main issues it addresses and its importance for people everywhere. In addition to setting out the various roles played by principle UN organs and related organizations, Basic Facts about the United Nations documents the Organization’s contributions to international peace and security, economic and social development, human rights, humanitarian action, international law and decolonization. Appendices contain current data on UN membership and peacekeeping operations, as well as contact information for UN information centres, services and offices. This latest edition has been revised to take account of significant developments in the world and the Organization itself since 2011.

United Nations at a Glance (December 2012)

United Nations at a GlanceThis simple, authoritative guide provides a starting point for readers who are new to the UN. In clear language, this book explains what the UN does, how the UN does it, who the actors are, and when historical milestones occurred. Illustrated with photos and stories from the field, the guide examines the work of the UN in international peace and security, economic and social development, human rights, and humanitarian action. As a resource to students and teachers alike, additional features include definitions of frequently used terms, rich statistics, questions and answers, and the building blocks of international law. For anyone who wants to learn more about the world's foremost intergovernmental organisation, The United Nations at a Glance is the perfect place to start.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about the United Nations: For Students at Intermediate and Secondary Levels (April 2010)

Everything you always wanted to know about the United NationsThis booklet has been designed to enable students at intermediate and secondary levels to learn more about the United Nations, its work and achievements. It also presents a comprehensive overview of the main issues the Organization deals with, such as peace and security, the UN Millennium Development Goals, and human rights. Filled with photographs and statistical data, it is an easy-to-read and highly educational guide to the Organization for students and teachers.

Growing Together: Youth and the Work of the United Nations (2008)

growingtogetherThe brochure is an example of how the United Nations system and the young people it serves are growing together. By taking stock of UN system activities related to youth development, the brochure provides a chance to assess how effectively the United Nations system is responding to this important development challenge, and it helps to identify any gaps that may exist in our approach.

United Nations Publications – Resources for Educators

United Nations Publications offers a wide range of books that inform teachers and students about key issues facing the world today such as human rights, conflict prevention and peace building, economic and social issues, environment and sustainable development.

United Nations Chronicle 
“The Youth Issue” (Vol. XLVII, No. 4, 2010):
“Education” (Vol. L, No. 4, 2013):

UN Chronicle: The Youth Issue educationA must-read for every concerned world citizen, the United Nations Chronicle is a quarterly, easy-to-read report on the work of the United Nations and its agencies. Produced by the United Nations Department of Public Information, every issue covers a wide range United Nations related activities: from fighting the drug war to fighting racial discrimination, from relief and development to nuclear disarmament, terrorism, and the world-wide environmental crisis.



Other UN Educational Websites

United Nations Website

Disarmament Education: Resources for Learning (UN Office for Disarmament Affairs)

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme – Educational Materials

Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations - Educational Materials

International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005-2015 - Kids and Youth
The Water Decade offers the opportunity for everyone to learn and get involved on water issues. In this section you will find different resources (games, videos, tales, etc.) that can help you to learn more about water and inspire you and those around you to take action. We also hope you will share your work with us so that we can also learn from you.

UN Water - For Youth and Kids


UN Funds, Programmes & Specialized Agencies

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - Children & Youth
Information available: Global Youth Biodiversity Network, Join the Green Wave: One School, One Tree, One Gift to Nature!, Children's Portal on Farming and Biodiversity

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – School Food & School Gardens

International Maritime Organization (IMO) – Kids’ Zone
“All aboard the IMO kids’ zone” The new kid-friendly website includes a specially-commissioned animation showing how IMO works to protect the marine environment and the atmosphere. By clicking on the colourful links, young people can learn more about IMO’s work. Topics include protecting the atmosphere; dealing with waste; clean oceans; invasive species; particularly sensitive sea areas; and protecting marine life from noise pollution.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Information and online learning activities about the IMF, money, and macroeconomics
This site has been created for intermediate, secondary, and college students. The IMF Centre for Students features games, interactive role-playing stories, and curricula about money, the IMF, global cooperation, and macroeconomics.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – Training and Education Materials
This series consists of publications aimed at supporting general human rights education efforts. It includes information on the World Programme for Human Rights Education, a study on human rights education and human rights treaties, and a practical book to support human rights education in schools.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Teaching about Refugees
Forced displacement has reached historic levels and schools all over the world are welcoming into their classrooms an increasing number of refugee children. Teachers are also facing the challenging task of teaching children about refugees, asylum and migration.
The subject is taught in most school curricula in some form, but with public debate intensifying and refugees and migrants featuring firmly on the world media agenda, many teachers are searching for quality teaching materials which they can use to help pupils make sense of forced displacement in all its complexity.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) – Youth Corner
The UNECE has developed a series of games that offer a fun way for children of all ages to learn more about how the United Nations and the UNECE work and the goals they strive to achieve. This section offers several interactive puzzles, quizzes, and games that challenge, inform and entertain.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future
This is an UNESCO programme prepared for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). It provides professional development for student teachers, teachers, curriculum developers, education policy makers, and authors of educational materials.

UN Environment  – Children and Youth
Children and Youth are advocates for future generations. As the issues we are addressing today will have a deep impact on present and future generations, the contributions of the Children and Youth Major Group are indispensable for UNEP’s work on policy and programmatic level. Hence, UNEP recognizes the need to promote intergenerational dialogue and solidarity by recognizing the views of young people. Through the UNEP TUNZA strategy a wealth of outreach and communication material towards awareness raising, education and capacity building is being produced to address youth.

Global Marine Litter Information Gateway - Kids Against Marine Litter
Several agencies and organizations working with the issue of marine litter (marine debris) offer educational material and special activities for children. The overall purpose of these efforts is to make children familiar with the marine environment, make them care about it and understand the consequences of abusing it. The educational programmes are about waste management in general and/or about marine litter in particular. A few examples of programmes and activities targetting children/students (and their teachers) are given here.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - CC:iNet Youth Portal
The Portal offers a broad range of information on climate change initiatives, projects, campaigns, educational tools, websites and publications, produced by and for young people.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) - KidPower
UNICEF Kid Power leverages easy-to-use technology with kid wearables and classroom lessons to promote global citizenship. Students and teachers everywhere are joining the Schools Kid Power Team, working together to help end global malnutrition.

UNICEF – Voices of Youth
Voices of Youth (VOY) was founded in 1995 as UNICEF’s online place for young people to learn more about issues affecting their world. Today, VOY is a vibrant community of youth bloggers from all over the world, offering inspiring, original insight and opinion on a variety of topics. Everyone is welcome to write, film, comment and engage in discussions.

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) - Information for Students
On this page is listed all information of relevance to students, including on the Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education, fellowships and internships within the Office.

Youth and the World Bank Group
What can you do to end poverty? The World Bank Group wants to empower young people and together contribute to its twin goals: ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

World Food Programme (WFP)
Students and Teachers:
Teachers and students are especially important to WFP because the more people learn about hunger, the more likely it is that the problem will be solved.
Youth Action Centre:
Get informed. Make some noise. Take action!

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) - Publications for Young People and Schools   
WIPO has produced a range of publications aimed at young people and schools. These publications are designed to foster the creativity and inventiveness of future generations, while at the same time raising awareness about the value of intellectual property (IP).

World Meteorological Organization (WMO) – Youth Corner
This web site dedicated to children and teens answers frequently asked questions you may have about weather, climate and water. It is also a starting point for a better understanding of how these affect every aspect of your daily life. Information on weather, climate and water is vital for protecting our environment and for making the planet safer for us all, especially for future generations.

World Trade Organization (WTO) – Students and young professionals
Explore this page to find out more about the work of the WTO, opportunities for students and young professionals, and how trade is relevant to you and your country.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - Child-friendly learning materials

world largest lessonThe World’s Largest Lesson
(TES / Partners: UNICEF, Global Goals Campaign) 
“In September 2015 World Leaders committed to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. 17 goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality and injustice. Fix climate change. If every school in the world teaches children about these goals, we will help them become the generation that changed the world.”    


Further Information

Youth Delegate Programme 

Participation in decision-making is one of the key priority areas of the United Nations agenda on youth. One form of youth participation at the United Nations is through the inclusion of youth delegates in a country's official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and various functional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council.


United Nations on Social Media 


March 2017
not an official document - for information only