Africa: General Assembly President Hosts Children From Around the World, On MLK Day read full article at

Children from a dozen countries met with the President of the General Assembly and toured the United Nations on a federal holiday in the United States honouring the late civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Martin Luther King Jr.

Swarming the office of President Csaba Kõrösi, the children – who ranged in age from toddler to high-school teen – pulled on the UN and Hungarian flags that flank a UN seal in the office and ran around to look at the skyline outside of the balcony. Meanwhile, parents tried to keep them from touching anything and nervously eyed a glass table that usually holds talking points for meetings with Heads of State and Government.

“Will there still be a world by the time we have kids,” one of the children asked the President.

“That’s what the work of the General Assembly tries to guarantee,” replied Mr. Kõrösi, who sometimes mentions his now adult daughter in speeches, recalling the motivation she has given him to keep pushing for a sustainable transformation in the world.

UN Tour Guide Jonathan Mishal explains the UN to a group of young children.Inspiring the next generation

The next stop for the group was a tour of the United Nations, led by UN Tour Guide Jonathan Mishal who helps to lead the UN’s children’s tours twice a week.

Sitting the multilingual group in front of world flags pinned into a wooden tree, Mr. Mishal discussed the importance of the UN for global cooperation: “This is the one place in the world where countries that are at war sit right next to each other, go downstairs for coffee, and discuss why they disagree.”

The group then visited the General Assembly, where they sat in the Member States’ seats and posed for photos at the podium where world leaders and invited guests speak.

Mr. Mishal noted also the importance of young people’s involvement in the UN, referring to Malala and Greta Thunberg – both of whom addressed the chamber.

Bringing Dr. King’s dream to life

The setting was known to the older children, whose parents work for the UN, and have grown up in international settings speaking Arabic, French, English, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Mandarin, Romanian, and Spanish.

Comfortable in their surroundings, the children made suggestions for improving world affairs on the local stage – “my parents don’t always listen to me” – to improving the actual General Assembly –