One of the most exciting and enriching things about SUNIA is the chance to interact with high-profile individuals on a personal level. Every year, two speakers from the United Nations attend our program, along with a speaker from the Canadian Department of National Defense. These speakers are not only available to give lectures, answer questions, and provide students with an increased understanding of their field, they often spend the whole week with us. At SUNIA, you could find yourself hiking up Mount Baldy in front of a diplomat, or eating lunch across from an ambassador.

UN Speakers with Counsellors, Week B SUNIA 2016

UN Speakers with Counsellors, Week B SUNIA 2016

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“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 Pitterie, Economic Affairs Officer at the UN

Speakers who have attended SUNIA include

  • Javier Perez de Cuellar, former UN Secretary General 
  • Beppe Lovoi, Sustainable Development Officer at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the UN
  • Bryon Dempsey, Petty Officer First Class with the Canadian Armed Forces 
  • Brian Vitunic, Political Affairs Officer in the UN Department of Political Affairs 
  • Jean-Victor Nkolo, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly 
“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 teaches 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 counselors 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