Turin, 21 October 2007. The grand opening of the United Nations campus, Turin, was a huge success, with thousands of people participating.
When the gates of the campus opened, hundreds of visitors, accompanied by Massimo Gramellini (the Deputy Director of 'La Stampa' newspaper) - were welcomed by the three Directors of the organizations located on the Turin campus: the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO); the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI); and the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC).
Throughout the day, members of the public attended presentations by each of the three organizations, as well as by the Turin committees for UNESCO, UNICEF and UNIFEM and the Italian Association for the International Organizations (SIOI).
The visitors helped make one of the largest UN flags in the world. Each visitor decorated a small portion of the flag, with many dedicating their portion to ideals for a better world, and messages of solidarity and hope. Hundreds of messages adorned the flag, including; 'A great contribution to peace and development, thank you UN!,' 'Nothing replaces love, but love replaces all,' and 'To change the world first you must change yourself, to change yourself you must change your heart.' A further message read, 'A grandmother hopes for peace for little Victoria.' This lady told staff that the child was only 40 days old, and that the most precious gift she could give her was peace. The messages on the flag show that there is hope, and a genuine desire for solidarity and peace in the world: 'For a peaceful world, there must be respect for all differences'; and 'Sow seeds of peace and hope will live again.'
This Sunday was indeed a very special day for the United Nations: 'Today the people who have visited the campus have made us feel that they stand beside us in the fight for the future of humanity, a fight which we are leading. Their words of hope express the desire of all to live in a word of peace, where justice and human rights live on'. This was the comment of the Directors of the three organizations: Mr. Francois Eyraud (ITC-ILO), Mr. Sandro Calvani (UNICRI) and Mr. Staffan de Mistura (Staff College).