Saturday, February 09, 2008

Background on CTAUN:

"You behave very differently if you think you're the only elephant on the block." (Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations)

"What does it mean to live in a global society? In this era, complete self-sufficiency is an illusion. We are, whether we like it or not, interconnected, and linked internationally through the media and telecommunications, culturally through our societal interactions, economically through trade, politically through our treaties, and environmentally through the air we breathe.

The issue of interdependence is not simply a case of emerging nations dependent upon the West. Nor can we afford to be arrogant about our own capacity for independence. We live in a a world where climate change is becoming a reality; our security is at risk; we are open to pandemics; and even the safety of everyday items - food, toys, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc. - can no longer be taken for granted. We depend on other nations for energy, intelligence gathering, and even disaster relief. In the summer of 2003, heat waves in Europe killed 35,000. In 2007, firefighters from Australia, Canada, and Mexico were needed to battle blazes in the American West. The UN itself depends for its effectiveness on the political will and cooperation of its 192 member states.

Teaching about interdependence should be a focus of curriculum at all levels. Education is a powerful tool for change. We cannot deny that the lives of children are increasingly shaped by events in other parts of the world." (conference brochure)

CTAUN provides educators with oportunities to learn about the work of the UN and to incorporate global awareness into curricula and school activities at all levels. 30 AAUW members from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut attended this year's conference. There are 7 AAUW New York State members on the CTAUN committee who were actively involved in planning the conference. Carolyn Donovan, AAUW's Representative at the UN, serves as CTAUN's Second Vice Chair. CTAUN is always looking for new members to help plan the annual conference. Send inquiries to

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