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Concordia Language Villages to host U.N. rep

Concordia Language Villages (CLV) are celebrating their 50th summer with some distinguished visitors.

Concordia Language Villages students participate in the 2009 Global Summit. The 2010 summit takes place August 13. Photo provided by Concordia Language Village.

CLV began in 1961 with a two-week immersion in the German language. Since then, the program has grown significantly. In fact, the 50th anniversary is not the only milestone for the CLV, it also marks the fifth year of its Arabic program.

“The different villages come together and celebrate. They learn from each other, and share what they have learned,” -Carl-Martin Nelson

Given the growth of CLV, it makes sense that a United Nations representative would help celebrate. Shaaban M. Shaaban, the United Nation’s Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, will speak at this summer’s second International Day, scheduled for August 13.

International Day includes a global summit where students in the camp come together to discuss issues of worldwide significance. Shaaban’s presence will add a certain legitimacy to the CLV’s global summit. “In general [Shaaban] is in charge of managing the [U.N.] assembly,” Carl-Martin Nelson, CLV director of marketing and communications, told Metro Lutheran. “So Shaaban will be fulfilling his normal role when he facilitates our discussion of topics.”

“[The presence of a U.N. official] speaks to the U.N. recognizing that the Language Villages share many of the same goals of the U.N.,” Nelson said. The goal of CLV is to develop global citizenship in youth.

The administration of CLV sees the global summit facilitating this goal. “The different villages come together and celebrate. They learn from each other, and share what they have learned,” Nelson said.

This year’s global summit theme concerns the walls that divide. It is inspired by the fact that in 1961, the year CLV began, the Berlin Wall was being erected. “While the Berlin Wall has come down, there are still walls that divide us, be they socio-economic, prejudice, or intolerance,” said Nelson.

CLV began at Luther Crest Bible Camp in Alexandria, Minnesota, under the leadership of Concordia College, Moorhead.

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