WESTPORT, Conn. — The 51st annual jUNe Day celebration will take place on Saturday, June 25, as over 300 guests from the United Nations community converge on Westport and flags from around the world fly on the Post Road Bridge.
The United Nations Association of Southwestern Connecticut, also known as the International Visitors Committee of CT, and the Town of Westport will act as hosts of the event.
The public is invited to attend the opening ceremonies and welcome international guests at Saugatuck Elementary School on Riverside Ave. at 10:30 a.m.
This year’s guest of honor, United Nations Ombudsman Johnston Barkat, will offer brief remarks along with UN Under-Secretary General Joseph Verner Reed.
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and UNA President Bill Hass will welcome the guests, and jUNe Day Chairperson Michaela Maccoll will outline the day’s activities.
The annual jUNe Day celebration was established in 1965 by the late Ruth Steinkraus Cohen, founder of the UN Association of Southwestern Connecticut and International Visitors Committee of Connecticut. The event is held in observance of the signing of the UN charter on June 26, 1945.
The day’s main purpose is to promote world peace and international understanding through friendly interaction between UN visitors and their hosts.
An expert in mediation and conflict resolution, with emphasis on cross-cultural negotiation, Barkat has previously worked with the United Nations as a negotiations instructor. He also served as an Ombudsman at Pace University and taught conflict resolution and mediation at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, where he received his doctorate.
On jUNe Day, United Nations staff and representatives from governments around the world and their families will participate in a variety of sporting and recreational events.
There will be a soccer match between the UN team and the Westport Knights, a tennis tournament and a day of golf at the Longshore Golf Course.
Special tours of Earthplace, a nature center, and the town of Westport will be offered free of charge.
A special visit has been arranged to the Westport Town Farm for a chance to see a working farm.
Guests will have free access to Compo Beach and the town pools on the seaside at Longshore Park, and breakfast and lunch will be served to them at the Saugatuck School.