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UN Across AmericaThe Humpty Dumpty Institute Brings U.N. Ambassadors to Helena, Montana At Invitation of Governor Brian Schweitzer

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March 10-12, 2008

The Humpty Dumpty Institute at the invitation of Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, took U.N.Ambassadors Kirsti Lintonen (Finland), Talib Hamid Al-Bayati (Iraq), Carsten Staur (Denmark) and Dom Pramudwinai (Thailand) to Helena, Montana to experience "Big Sky" country in the Western heartland of the United States (see photos on the right).

The Humpty Dumpty Institute's "U.N. Across America" is one of the Institute's most popular programs. Over the past 18 months, we have taken small groups of U.N. diplomats to over a dozen cities across America to interact with Americans from all walks of life.

On their first day in Helena, the group toured one of the most beautiful State Capital Buildings in the United States, and then met with students and faculty of the University of Montana where discussions centered on the use of multilateral diplomacy and the relevance of the United Nations. In the afternoon, the U.N. delegation, Governor Schweitzer, Lt. Governor John Bohlinger and a number of energy policy experts, gave a presentation focusing on the gasification of coal and the extraction of harmful CO2 gases. Governor Schweitzer led a comprehensive discussion on how Montana is becoming the U.S. leader in energy conservation. That evening, business and civic leaders gathered to honor the U.N. Ambassadors at Helena's prestigious and historical Montana Club which was attended by leaders of the business and civic communities of Helena. The day ended with a private dinner hosted by Governor Schweitzer and First Lady Nancy Schweitzer at the Governor’s Residence.

March 11 started with a working breakfast with business leaders organized by the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce where conversation focused on Montana's international business development. The breakfast was followed by a historic tour of Helena and an in-depth presentation of Helena's fascinating history including the importance of gold mining to the development of the city and the contributions of French and Irish immigrants. The group also visited the magnificent Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint Helena. The afternoon of March 11 proved to be the highlight of the Ambassadors' visit. At the Montana Historical Society the U.N. Permanent Representatives were briefed on Contemporary American Indian Culture in Montana and were given a VIP tour of the spectacular exhibit “Neither Empty Nor Unknown: Montana at the time of Lewis and Clark”. Following the tour, a cultural program was arranged featuring traditional drum and dance demonstrations by the Old Medicine Singers and local intertribal dancers. The day ended with a uniquely Western experience: dinner at Marysville House, a traditional saloon/steak house in the old abandoned mining town of Marysville.

To learn more about this program and HDI, please contact alma.manzo@thehdi.org
< Chicago - May 2008
Nashville - Dec 2007 >