“I had the privilege and pleasure of attending SUNIA 2011 as guest speaker from the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Working as economist in the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, I gave lectures on economic development issues and discussed with the students some of the major development challenges the world is currently facing – in a seminar, but also during lunches and recreational activities (such as amazing hikes in the Rockies). The week at SUNIA was a fantastic and very rewarding experience – for me and, I am pretty sure, also for the students, who showed enormous enthusiasm and excitement for the topics we discussed. What I loved most about the experience, was the sense of working and learning together to make our planet a better place in an environment where everyone had a great time. I am certainly looking forward to participating at SUNIA again one day and I can recommend it to each student interested in the work of the UN and the most important political, social and economic issues at the international level.”

– Ingo Pitterle, Economic Affairs Officer at the U.N. Guest Speaker, 2011

“I have been associated with the Seminar on United Nations and International Affairs (SUNIA) since 1994.  The educational program for high school students organized by university-aged students and held annually is the most rewarding experiences I have had throughout my career with the United Nations.  I have participated in the program, so far, four times: 1994, 2006, 2008 and 2011.  I can attest to the fact that the one-week learning experience for each group consisting of about seventy students each week is unique in many ways;

First; it is the only program that students stay at the learning center the entire period.  They get to know each other, work, travel, eat, dance and learn as an interactive group.

Second; it is the only program that invites two UN officials for each week. The UN experts stay in the same compound and share same activities. They lecture, hold seminars and discussions with students but also share with them recreation trips, sports, and social activities.  They avail themselves to person–to-person discussions and get to know the students at the personal level.  I, personally, established long lasting friendship with some of the students and counselors who visited me here at my UN office and my home;

And Third; SUNIA is the most diverse student-oriented program that not only teach about the United Nations and global affairs alone but includes, as well, a number of recreational activities, sports and talent and mental development-exercises.

I am so proud to have been associated with SUNIA for many years as a UN official and as a professor.  I am so happy to know that many of the students I met at Goldeye Center became successful professionals in all fields.  It is my pleasure to continue to work with such talented and dedicated councilors who are committed to bringing up globally-aware young professionals.”

  – Hamid Abdeljaber, Professor of Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies (Rutgers University) and Former U.N. International Staff and member of DPI’s Speakers List.  Guest Speaker, 2011

“… for [more than forty years] students from throughout Western Canada havecome to the Seminar to learn about the key problems facing the international community and the world Organisation’s endeavours to resolve them. This is an especially welcome tradition in view of Canada’s long-standing and active commitment to the United Nations, a committment which initiatives such as the Goldeye Seminarhelp to sustain …”

– Javier Perez de Cuellar, former U.N. Secretary General

“… an invaluable opportunity for young students to gain first-hand and realistic experience in the area of international affairs and United Nations activities …”

– Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the U.N.


Here are some first hand accounts from past participants of SUNIA!

  • This camp ROCKS! I am so glad that I chose to come, one of the best summers ever!
  • The memories you create, friends you make, and views you see are just some of the many reasons why I love SUNIA!
  • I’m so happy I had the opportunity to take part in SUNIA, I wish everyone could!
  • I’ve never had so much fun learning.  This is no ordinary summer camp.
  • SUNIA has opened my eyes in so many ways, i have a new appreciation for my country.
  • This week I have made new friends, tested my physical limits and opened my mind to the issues in the world. SUNIA has taught me so much about myself and everything around me.
  • The entire program was very creative and inspiring!…It was fantastic!
  • The atmosphere and energy was inspiring and educational. Iwas amazed, impressed and energized by the people and events. Creative,crazy, interesting!
  • Thank you for giving me the chance to exercise my mind and body and meet some great people!
  • I wish I could come again — when I return to school I will most definitely recommend that everyone I know should come next year!
  • SUNIA was a great place to meet new friends and people concerned about global issues.
  • Thanks for the best week of my summer and possibly my year.
  • I have had one of the best times of my life! It was the best!
  • This was a very enriching experience. I will never forget it or the people I’ve met.