On 24 October, hundreds of people converged on “Beit Beirut” (Beirut’s House), a museum and urban cultural center that symbolizes Lebanon’s civil war, where the UN System in Lebanon celebrated UN Day this year. In an Open Day format, the public had the chance to mingle with UN staff and officials from the various 25 agencies operating in Lebanon and were introduced to their vast programmes and priorities in Lebanon that were exquisitely exhibited in the area under the One UN umbrella.
The exhibition area was adorned with the colorful 17 SDGs and included promotional material and videos, entertaining and educational games that allowed for casual engagement with the people, live cooking stations by UN beneficiaries and women cooperatives, as well as a splendid show that moved the crowds by three young men who preformed a rap song advocating for non-violence and safe school environment.
The Open Day culminated in a cocktail reception in the presence of senior Lebanese officials, Acting UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel, UN Resident Coordinator Philippe Lazzarini, UNIFIL Force Commander General Stefano del Col, in addition to other UN and government officials.
In her statement, Kardel stressed UN efforts “to support Lebanon in maintaining peace and security, while improving socio-economic conditions and promoting respect of human rights.” “These are no easy tasks, but we are certain that – with our continued partnership – they are something that can be achieved,” she added.
The Open Day was well received by all visitors from different age groups and backgrounds. “The idea of bringing all the UN agencies is great. I was personally introduced to the work of new UN agencies that I didn’t know they existed in Lebanon” said one visitor. “I am happy to attend this event and grateful for the explanations and important resources received from UN staff” said another.
“Beit Beirut is a very symbolic location to celebrate the UN Day, especially that it reflects the wars and peace processes that Lebanon had to endure throughout the years,” said a professional Athlete and advocate of UN work Michael Haddad.