UN 75 Short Assembly

P U R P O S E:

  • To highlight the UN’s achievements in the last 75 years and to enhance our ability to rise to the challenges that await us in the next 75 years.
  • To empower and inspire the young people on whom it will fall to deliver on those challenges, and to re-ignite their faith in the UN to support them;

F O R M A T:  This format is designed for use as a School / Year Group Assembly presentation, prepared by staff and/or external advisers (UNA Members) with the students.  It can also be used by Sunday School + religious youth groups, scouts, guides – any group that involves gatherings of students under the supervision of an older member of staff.

The songs and dialogue offered here are, of course, open for debate, research and re-writing. Some will want to make the dialogue more, others less, combative. [Please, ALWAYS! check Facts] You may want to use different Peace Child songs.  Where we hope you will all end up is agreeing to Work TOGETHER.

A Children’s Chorus waits at the back of the stage. The older person introduces the presentation in a few brief words.  Music starts – and a young soloist comes on and sings:

Song: Reach Out!

[SCORE  /  AUDIO  /  VIDEO (@ 1hr.17mins. 43secs)/  INSTRUMENTAL]

Reach out for a star!

Come out from where you are

Show me what you can do

Believe in me, I believe in you!

Reach out for your dream

It’s not as hard as it may seem

Together we can make it through

Together – me and you!

Wake up -open our eyes,

This is our world, our paradise.

Reach out, don’t be afraid

Come on now, we” find a way

There’s a whole new world for us to see

There’s a universe in you and me.

Reach out, put your hand in mine!

Oh see! – see how we shine!

Together – we’ll make it through,

Together me and you!

Don’t be shy, just be yourself!

You are your greatest wealth!

Reach out for a star!

Come out from where you are

Show me what you can do

Believe in me, I believe in you!

Show me what you can do

Believe in me, I believe in you!

The Older Person (OP) comes forward and, backed up by the UN @ 75 Thought Leadership Powerpoint, narrates the following:

OLDER PERSON – POWERPOINT HISTORY OF 75 YEARS OF UN ACHIEVEMENTS

Ladies and Gentlemen, we come together to mark the 75th Birthday and celebrate the achievements of one of the most precious institutions our human family has ever created:  the United Nations. The UN has asked us to answer the question: “What three things can save the World?” – so we want you to listen carefully to our presentation and, at the end, come up with your own answers to that question. We owe so much of what happens – and what does NOT happen – in our daily lives to the thought leadership and diplomatic skills of the UN and its staff – some of the most committed public servants the world has ever seen.  Let’s review its 75 year history [be sure to open the pictures in Google slides and print out the Speaker Notes that explain them.]

INTER-GENERATIONAL DIALOGUE

As the Powerpoint presentation ends, 5 Young Chorus (YC) members come forward and challenge the older person, in a nice way:

YC 1         But – with the greatest respect – it’s record is a bit mixed, isn’t it?

YC 2         It’s promised a whole lot more than it’s been able to deliver, hasn’t it?

YC 3         I mean, it was set up to save humanity from the scourge of War, but 109 million people have died in wars since 1945

YC 4         Wars rage in Yemen, in Syria, in Central Africa

YC 5         The age of empires may be over – but the great powers extend economic imperialism over many small countries

YC 2         Over a billion people still live in Poverty

YC 3         Millions of young people like us are un-employed – or under-employed!

YC 1         – and our world is dying – dying from climate change and environmental pollution!

All             Listen – (Music starts)

Song: W O R L D  (1)  

[SCORE  /  AUDIO  /  VIDEO  /  INSTRUMENTAL]

Note: on the VIDEO, you will find that we use slides to illustrate the words of the song. Several of these are NOT appropriate for younger audiences – so we urge you to work with your young people to choose pictures that they feel are appropriate and reflect the concerns that they feel.

World – look at the way we are

Look at the things we do

Look at the words we say

Life! – look at the way we live

Look at the love we had

Look at the things we’ve made

Gone, gone are all those lovely days

Gone are all the peaceful ways

All that’s left is old and grey

And our world is fading

Our world is dying – today!

INTER-GENERATIONAL DIALOGUE

As the song ends, the Older Person (OP) comes out fighting:

OP            I think you’re over-dramatising. Yes! – there’s still work to do, but your generation is the most healthy, best educated, best fed and most secure of any generation that’s ever lived. Let’s work together to solve the remaining problems – not argue about them.

YC 1         But our lives will be worse than your’s!

YC 2         That’s not fair!

YC 3         Since 1950, the world’s population has grown from 2 billion to almost 8 billion.

YC 4         6 billion more mouths to feed!

YC 1         6 billion more individuals to educate, keep healthy, create livelihoods and build houses for.

YC 5         Your generation said you would do nice things to stop climate change – but actually you’ve done practically nothing: you still drive your cars to school, fly off on your summer holidays, and eat your fat steaks!

OP            So do you?!

YC 1         Because, though we spend hours each day in your classrooms, you still have not thought it a priority to teach us about this stuff:

YC 2         We’ve had to learn about it on our own!

YC 3         And what we’ve learned is that your generation has been asleep at the wheel!  You have let things – EVERYTHING – get much much worse. 

YC 4         (accusingly) WHY??

OP            I – I…  I don’t know.  We did our best…!

YC 1         But it wasn’t good enough, was it?!

YC 2         You are passing on a world that is in much, much worse state than the one you inherited from your parents.

YC 3         That’s why we are so angry!

YC 4         That’s why we’re going to make some changes around here…

YC 5         Listen – !  (Music starts)

Song: W O R L D  (2)

[SCORE  /  AUDIO  /  VIDEO  /  INSTRUMENTAL]

Can’t you see the tide is changing?

Don’t you know that truth is fading?

People coming out from under

Slowly rising to the thunder

Listen to the shouting people

Broken churches, broken steeple

There’s no one for them to follow

Every one’s a God tomorrow

Can’t you see the world is dying?

Repentant people all are crying

Law and order has been drowned

Chaos rules and has been crowned!

World – look at the way we are!

Look at the things we do

Look at the games we play

Life! – look at the way we live

Look at the things we build

Look at the love we’ve killed

Gone, gone are all those lovely days

Gone are all the peaceful ways

All that’s left is old and grey

And our world is fading

Our world is dying – today!

INTER-GENERATIONAL DIALOGUE

The Older Person, chastened and humble, addresses the whole chorus:

OP                I hear you – and I agree that our generation should have done much, much more to address the global challenges your generation will face, and I apologise. But – in turn – I would ask you agree that we can get much further by collaborating together – rather than fighting each other.

YC 1             Of course, we agree on that.

YC 2             We are angry – but we don’t want to create enemies.

YC 3             We know we need to work together and make every one our friends.

YC 4             A happy, global Human Family.

OP                Well – in my experience, that might be a little hard.

YC 1             Why?  Black / White;  Muslim / Hindu;  Male / Female – we all have talents we can offer.

YC 5             Your generation may have missed that – but we are all totally cool with that.

YC 1             That’s why we’re going to succeed where you failed.

OP                So – what are your priorities?

YC 3             Ending poverty – of course!

YC 4             The world has enough to cover everyone’s needs –

YC 5             – but not enough to cover everyone’s greed!

YC 1             Stop Climate Change! Transition immediately from a brown, fossil fuel economy to a green, sustainable one.

YC 2             Criminalise the use of fossil fuels.

YC 3             Tomorrow!

YC 4             Or at least in five years time.

YC 5             Make wars illegal. Replace the law of Force with the Force of Law;

YC 2             Achieve Health, Education and Food for ALL

YC 3             Leave NO ONE behind!

YC 4             And let’s have a United Nations organisation with some TEETH!

YC 5             So that they don’t just make nice speeches – but actually prosecute governments that terrorise and kill their people!

YC 1             Let’s have a United Nations that guarantees every single human being’s Human Rights!

OP                These are all very noble goals – goals that I myself have spent most of my life pursuing.  But it’s harder than you may think to achieve them.  So – may I work with you?

YC 1             That’s very generous of you – but don’t you think you’ve screwed up enough?  It’s time for you to pass the baton!

OP                How about we share the baton?  I have 70 years of experience that you lack. We can be better together!

YC 2             I can live with that.

YC 3             We must work together, remember.

YC 4             Older people are as much a part of the human family as any one else!

YC 1             (to the Chorus)  Do you agree?

Chor            YES!

YC 2             (to the Audience)  Do you agree?

Aud              (Hopefully)  YES!

OP                Thank you!  If I’ve learned nothing else in my 70 years, it is that you only get somewhere if you work together – if you try to love – or at least – like! each other.  The vigour, optimism and dynamism of youth is invaluable as is the experience of us older ones. And that’s why the UN must remain our figurehead these next 75 years – for to unite nations, you must first unite people – people of all ages, genders, faiths, ethnicities, cultures and quirks.

YC 1 So – have we got an answer to the question the UN asked us?

YC 2 “What three things can save the world?”

YC 3 We’ve done enough talking: Now it’s your turn! Take five minutes and write your answers on the pieces of paper being circulated to you: hand them in to the stewards standing around the hall – and, if we have time, we shall discuss some of your answers.

YC 4 – and the best of them we shall send off the UN Website. And you can join in as well, on your own. Go to: www.un.org/un75.

Note: When you have gathered in your answers, first make sure that you are registered at the UN75 Website, then make a summary of the main ideas you gather, and submit them via facebook or twitter.

OP And remember: the UN is for ALL of us. We are one human family – young and old! And, remember, even I was a child once!  (Music starts )

Song: Child for a day  

[SCORE  /  AUDIO  /  VIDEO  /  INSTRUMENTAL]

     I was a child who ran full of laughter

      I was a child who lived for a day

      My heart full of sunshine

      My heart full of smiles

      I was a child for a day.

      We were the children who sang in the morning

      We were the children who laughed at the sun

      Who listened to those

      Who spoke with their wisdom

      We were the ones we would say

      We’re getting older as time goes by

      A little older every day

      We were the children of – yesterday.

      We are the men who worry of nothing

      We are the men who fight without aim

      Who listen to no one

      Yet speak of our wisdom

      We are the pawns in the game

      We’re getting older as time goes by

      A little older every day

      We were the children of – yesterday.

A N N E X A L T E R N A T E S

See: Peace Child Song Book for all Alternative Songs

Song: Listen to Me!  (in place of ‘Reach Out’)

 [SONG  / SCORE  / VIDEO (at 32 mins. 30 secs.)]

Please listen to me – hear the words that I say

We live in one world so our home is the same

The same sun is our fire

The same clouds give us rain

So whatever you desire – our future’s the same!

Chorus

Say not that you’re Christian – nor Muslim nor Jew

Say not that you’re red – nor that I am blue

Say only we are friends,

And that we want to live in Peace

In this here our world, let all war’s cease

For where would we go – if this world we destroy?

There’s only one home, this world, to enjoy

The same world fills our hunger

And we all breathe the air

So change your desires, this world we must share

Chorus

Say not that you’re rich – nor that you are poor

Say not that you’re less – nor that you are more

Say only we are friends,

And we want to live in Peace

In this here our world – let all war’s cease

In this here our world – let all war’s cease

Song:   S I N G !   (in place of ‘Child for a Day’)

[SCORE  /  AUDIO  /  VIDEO  /  INSTRUMENTAL]

Sing!  I do wish the world would sing!

I do wish the world would say

How they love to live and play

How they need each other’s  –

Peace!  That is all we want to have,

That is all we want to share

Let us live our lives in peace

Oh let us give this life a chance to –

Love! – love is all I need,

Love is all I want,

Love is everywhere

Peace! – Peace is all I want,

Peace is all I need,

Peace – everywhere!

During the instrumental interlude, two of the Young Chorus are hoisted on the shoulders of two older chorus members and carried out in procession through the aisles while the dancers fill the stage with a festive finale, flanked by solo singers.

Come into my joy!                              Love! – love is all I need,

Come into my pain!                            Love is all I want,

Come you be a friend of mine,           Love is everywhere!

I’ll be the same!

                                                           Come into my joy!

Peace! – Peace is all I want,            Come into my pain

Peace is all I need,                              Come you be a friend of mine!

Peace – everywhere!                        I’ll be the same!

 (Repeat x 3)