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Bumper Crop Of Sunday Tourists To UN Headquarters

Free Tours Bring Bumper Crop Of Sunday Tourists To UN Headquarters In June

New York, Jun 28 2005

United Nations Headquarters in New York celebrated the world organization's 60th birthday this month by offering nearly 9,000 free Sunday tours in an effort to further inform the public of its work in tackling global crises.

"This promotion was a wonderful start to our anniversary year," UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor said today.

"People emerged from the tours with a better understanding of how the United Nations tackles pressing issues and promotes global understanding. With the generous support of the United Nations Foundations, 8,700 visitors – three times the number we would normally have expected on Sundays in June – now know more about their United Nations."

Tour prices normally range from $6.50 for children under 14 to $11.50 for adults.

The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with a $1-billion gift from entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner. It supports UN causes and activities through grants and by building innovative public-private partnerships, and works to broaden support for the UN and global cooperation through education, advocacy and public outreach.

Organized by the Department of Public Information's Outreach Division, guided tours offer a direct link between the UN and the general public. Each day, 60 multilingual guides help members of the public better understand the world body, with stops in the Security Council Chamber and the General Assembly Hall and information about the premises and UN work.

During its 60th anniversary year, when the UN is focused on renewal – on new international threats and challenges, and ways to ensure the international system is up to the task of dealing with them – the tours provide information about a wide range of UN activities around the world and, equally importantly, reflect back to the Organization the concerns and questions expressed by a highly articulate and engaged visiting public.

Tours are offered in 20 languages, more than any other tour operation in New York, and are conducted daily, with a few exceptions (see www.un.org/tours), from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. Since the first tour took place in November 1952, over 38 million visitors have been guided through UN Headquarters.

ENDS

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