In celebration of UN Day 2008, GRID-Arendal, Arendal Municipality and Aust-Agder County jointly organized a series of events at the UN House and the Arendal Cultural Centre and Municipal Hall. The theme of this year’s celebration is UNite to Combat climate change to support the call for a definitive agreement at the climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009. Norway’s Minister of Environment and Development Erik Solheim joined the celebration in Arendal.
The activities started with the visit of Minister Solheim to GRID-Arendal, followed by a parade of elementary school children and local officials. Minister Solheim opened an exhibit of children's paintings at the Arendal Cultural and City Hall. Showcasing selected winning entries from the UNEP's International Children's Painting Competition the paintings express the visions, fears, and hopes of the children for their future regarding the planet.
Video message from Executive Director Achim Steiner:
Recorded October 23 2008 - 4 minutes.
A local painting competition, co-sponsored by GRID-Arendal and the Arendal Library and supported by the Arendal International School, was also launched.
Minister Solheim, together with Mayor Torill Rolstad Larsen of Arendal, Mayor Laila Øygarden of Aust Agder County and Finn Ljøsne from Skanska Norge, delivered their UN Day messages to an audience of more than 600 students from secondary schools in Arendal. Congratulatory remarks from UNEP's Executive Director Achim Steiner was delivered via video. Presentations on selected environmental themes followed.
See programme (pdf)