Unit 3

is it like to go on a UN Mission?



Mission in Cambodia
Marie-Francois and friends in Cambodia  

 What's it like to go on a UN Mission?


This unit includes some United Nations staff members' memories of missions.

The grammatical focus of this unit is the use of the past perfect and the unit's "writing task" shows how to write a mission report. 

The unit begins with an excerpt from a poem by Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. The poem captures his memory of a very hopeful UN mission to Sarajevo. In the preface to his poem, Mr. Tharoor writes, "This prose-poem was written on an aircraft carrying the Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his delegation out of Sarajevo in October 1999, when he had just anointed a new-born baby as the world's six billionth inhabitant." 
Here is the last stanza of "Baby Six Billion":

"I will always remember the day you were born.
A birth after so many deaths, the reassertion
of the miracle of life triumphing over the
Flowers bloom in the cemetery. A bouquet is thrust
into your mother's hands, the traditional coin
of good fortune pressed into her palm, a United Nations
medal of peace. We made you a symbol, a milestone,
a metaphor. But you are also a boy. Baby Six Billion.
And you will grow up, I pray, in a city of healed wounds,
bright lights, joyous music, chattering friends
who will not wear ethnic labels
on their belts.
Let peace light the flame on the candles
of your birthday cake, Baby Six Billion.
In Sarajevo, city of hope."

(click for  entire poem)

Go Ahead to Reading Passage



Grammar Practice Unit One