Ryan Quinn’s father uses his job with the United Nations Development Programme to travel the globe and conduct secret work for the Emergency Rescue Committee. Although I don’t personally know any real-life adventurers working there, the United Nations Development Programme is very real. The work they do helps millions around the world.
The United Nations was founded after World War II so that countries could work together and prevent a war like that from ever happening again. Today, the UN is made up of nearly 200 different governments, which means almost any country you can think of is represented there. The UN meets between September and December at their headquarters in New York City, but the work they do is year-round and spans the entire globe.
Since achieving world peace is no small goal, the UN is comprised of many smaller programs that each focus on specific ways to help. The focus of the United Nations Development Programme is to improve the lives of people living in some of the poorest parts of the world. During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the UNDP was one of the first groups to respond. But the organization does more than just provide aid during a crisis. Every day, the UNDP works with underdeveloped nations to reduce poverty and promote democracy for a better future.
Several real-life celebrities have become “Goodwill Ambassadors” for the organization. Film and TV stars like Michelle Yeoh, Antonio Banderas, and Connie Britton use their fame to help raise awareness for issues important to the UNDP.
Because the United Nations deals with so many important issues, it often appears in works of fiction – and not just my novel. Just recently, the UN was featured in the hit film Captain America: Civil War. So the next time you pick up a book or go to the movies, be on the lookout. You might be surprised just how frequently the United Nations pops up, and now you’ll know what it’s all about.