Author: Carole Perry (WB2MGP) Media Mentors inc. PO Box 131646 Staten Island NY 10313*0006 ©
An Invitation to 4U1UN
Most of us would agree that any 8th grader should be able to speak intelligently about the United Nations, its background and its role in *he world today imagine my surprise at learning that only 20% 01 my 400 students in the 6th 7th, and 8th grades could even identify the world famous profile of the UN Building at 42nd Street in New York City. My incredulity grew as I discovered that most of them didn’t realize that we in Staten Island where within 45 minutes of the UN Complex.
You can hardly open a newspaper or listen to a TV news broadcast without some visual representation of the UN in the background. The world crisis centering around the Persian Gulf and the recent role of the General Assembly. should have prompted provocative discussions in every school in the country. El is appalling to think that so many youngsters have disfranchised themselves intellectually from discussions or opinions about world events The responsible adults along us should point out that n s their future hanging in the balance, too, and that they have an obligation lo be well informed about the decisions that world leaders are making.
We often get involved in discussions on current events as a direct result of contacts we make on the radio to different pans of the world. The leacher of an amateur radio course can easily bring in topics from other studies to the classroom. I was especially delighted, therefore, when t received an invitation to visit the United Nations amateur radio station, 4U1UN This would be a great opportunity to bring information about this world body back into the classroom in a meaningful and veiling way.
I shared my feelings of excitement with the children Suddenly, students were telling me what they’d heard about the UN on the news on TV and they began bringing in newspaper articles about the General Assembly and the Security Council.
On Tour the United Nations
When the big day arrived, J was given a list of questions prepared by the children in their social studies classes. Their teachers were delighted with the interest! and it was gratifying to me lo be part of a team effort in education.
Upon my arrival at the U N. t was me! by David Rosen K2GM the station manager of 4U1UN. David was my gracious hero for the day, During a wonderful lunch at the UN restaurant, we spoke about the background and history of the UN.
The UN is an international organization of sovereign nations. established to serve the cause of peace. According to its Charter, the UN attempts to do mis through political act.on, such as mediation or prevention Qt conflicts among nations, and promotion of higher living standards through economic and social action Its purpose is to develop friendly relations and cooperation among nations, and to serve as a center for harmonizing international action
Since 194i „ the UN has had several different sites. In 1946, the General Assembly accepted £8,500,000 from the American philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr lo purchase a 16-acre site bothering the East River between 42nd and 48th Streets in Manhattan. Later the site was granted extraterritoriality status under the Headquarters Agreement concluded between the UN and the U.S. on June 26. 1947 Plans tor the famous UN Complex were drawn up under the guidance of American architect Wallace Harrison, and unanimously adopted try the General Assembly in November 1947, The cornerstone was laid on UN Day. October 24 1949 and work was completed by the middle of 1952.
The four main buildings are the General Assembly Hall the Conference Building, the Dag Hammarskjold Library, and the Secretariat Building, which houses the amateur radio station 4U1UN.
In 1946, the UN adopted its official emblem, a map of the world seen from the North Pole, surrounded by two wreaths of olive branches. The UN flag, adopted in 1947, displays this emblem in white, centered on a light blue background.
After an extremely informative tour of the complex, we spent several hours at 4U1UN UN staff from all over the world, such as Panama, Sri Lanka, and Poland, comprise the UN Amateur Radio Club, of which Raymond East KB2BKO is president.
Inquired for the slat-on to assist more efficient by a special group of volunteers has been organized. The group consists of both amateurs and none amateurs from the UN staff Since 1986, 4U1UN and this support group have participated in 11 disaster operations.
Most importantly, the group has expanded to include a growing number of amateur stations outside of Headquarters who work closely with 4U1 UN during crises. Most of these stations have been prominently involved with emergency activities in the past, they include WA1KKP, VP2MO, NP2CM. W8CZNT 0A40S, VSGVO. W9ARV. and K2EWB Many other stations have recently joined the activity,
David emphasized that the Radio Readiness Group is entirely an amateur radio undertaking, and that stations interested in assisting 4U1UN when the normal channels of com munitions have been severed, are welcome to call in.
During disasters, when amateur communications are required, the net will meet on specified frequencies. The principal frequency is 14,266 MHz, with 14.168 as an alternate (traffic Is also handled on other alternate frequencies as specified at the time). Other frequencies are 3768/3868, 7068/7266, 21306/28469
During disasters, 4U1UN has been in liaison with relief agencies and other official entities, One such agency la UNDRO The United Nations Disaster Relief Organization am as a coord into in She provision of aid to stricken areas. During emergency periods, 4U1UN has furnished UNDRO with post event information about catastrophes. Situations involving hurricanes, volcanoes, and earthquakes are helped by the rapid relaying of information by the amateur community.
Between the UN Headquarters-based Radio Readiness Group *that all of I heir area and language expertise, and the dedicated efforts of the Radio Readiness Group with the assistance of amateurs worldwide. it is hoped that 4U1UN and the Radio Readiness Group can make a difference.
David offered these priorities:
1. To address the emergency requirements in the disaster area as it pertains to the preservation of HQ.
2. To determine in a precise manner the extent of damages and needs e.g. medicine, food, and shelters.
3. To optimize activities to be of the most value to the stricken area requires organizing the Headquarters and on-the-air group so that both elements may efficiently respond.
4. To efficiently expedite health und welfare traffic.
Members of me 4U1UN station fee1 that their amateur radio efforts meet the participates of the founding countries of the UN. It embodies what the nations of the world expected of the UN when they founded it.
They hasten to add that emergency support activities are also prioritized by all the amateur radio service, and they acknowledge the good work other emergency nets have done,
David pointed out that Resolution No 640; Relating to the International Use of Radio communications in the Event of Natural Disasters, in Frequency Sands Allocated to the Amateur Service (WARC 1979) has now amateur radio station
Photo A Carols Perry WB2MGP, enjoying working 4U1UN.
Photo B. David Rosen K2GM station manager of 4U1UN stands beneath the 4-element Yagi on the UN building s root been incorporated into the amateur regulations of several telecommunication administrations.
On the roof, there is a wonderful array of antennas1 including a Hy-Gain TH4. a Cushcraft 1D3CD. a Create CL 1QDX 6-element 10 meter beam, dipoles for 40 and 00 meters, and a DX*88 7-band 10-80 vertical A rugged sized Tellrex 20M536 5-e lament, 20 meter beam is on hand and awaits installation. At the station, which I had the pleasure of working that day, is a Kenwood TS-940S and a Kenwood TL922A amplifier. David said their objectives are to install equipment sufficient to allow 4U1UN to operate on several bands simultaneously
My visit to the UN was a personal treat for me, and also provided the opportunity to bring world events into the classroom through amateur radio. Peace through communications should be a goal for us all!