Lions Day with the United Nations

Lions Club International has decided to celebrate 73 years of partnership with the UN with the creation of two major events: the first at the UN headquarters in New York City and the second in Europe, at the Geneva headquarters, where I had the opportunity to participate last April 10.

The creation of these annual appointments commemorated the lasting relationship that has existed between our association and the UN since 1945, when Lions were called to collaborate in the drafting of the “NGO Charter”.

In Geneva, I had the opportunity to become official photo reporter for the Lions Club International headquarters, and so I took part in the event as a volunteer.

The day began with the guided tours of Palais des Nations, which gave Lions and Leos access to the beautiful rooms that over the years have hosted great figures of history.

With approximately 240 Lions from around the world, the conference began at 11:00 a.m., chaired by International President Gudrun Yngvadottir and H.Lee’s event Chairperson.

The day was not only attended by International Directors and Lions Presidents, but also by United Nations experts and diplomats who discussed about our common goals.

Hunger, poverty, education, the health of children, vaccines, diabetes and the environment are just some of the important issues that have been touched.

The comparison, and the presentations of the evolution of the data that have characterized these years have marked the interventions.

A series of videos and speeches showed how much the United Nations member States are committed in achieving the Global Objectives for Sustainable Development, which are also in line with our areas of action as Lions and Leos.

We, Leos, also stood out with the intervention by the Estonian ILO Andra Perv who presented the Leo European Activity  – Leo4Green.

Andra stressed the strength of this service, whose only limit is the creativity of those who decide to sign the manifesto, thus adhering to an environmental-friendly policy for our events and Leo services. She also encouraged everybody to speak up about environmental concerns and act upon them, by engaging the larger public and raising awareness.

After this truly unique experience I can say that I am even more proud to be a Leo, and again I was able to see how much the strength of our association is in having no boundaries.

Letizia Vanelli

International Area Officer MD108 ITALY