UN Foundation Led Effort The People Speak Comes to Iowa

Marquee Debate In Des Moines Features UN Foundation And Former Governor

October 27, 2003


Megan Rabbitt

The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) announced today that its fourteenth nationwide marquee event will take place on Thursday, October 30th in Des Moines, IA. Across the country, over 1,000 debates have taken place in high schools, college campuses and community organizations as part of the UN Foundation’s The People Speak: America Debates its Role in the World initiative.

Debate teams from two Des Moines High Schools, West Des Moines Dowling and Okoboji High School, will debate the merits of unilateral action versus multilateral engagement in U.S. foreign policy. The two teams were chosen by the National Forensic League, the umbrella organization for High School debates and a national co-sponsor of The People Speak initiative. The National Forensic League joined the UN Foundation and fourteen other national organizations from across the political spectrum as national co-sponsors of this nationwide series.

The UN Foundation’s National Director of The People Speak, Sid Voorakkara, will give the keynote address and former Governor Terry Branstad will serve as its moderator. Special guests include representatives from the League of Women Voters and the Executive Secretary of the National Forensic League, Mr. J. Scott Wunn.

“This debate is exactly what the UN Foundation had in mind when devising the national program — ordinary Americans, young and old, engaging in a national debate at a critical time in our nation’s history,” said Mr. Voorakkara.

For more information, please visit the website at www.jointhedebate.org.

The event will take place at 11:30am on Thursday, October 30th, in the Main Atrium of the Capital Square, 400 Locust, in Des Moines, IA.


The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist R.E. Turner’s historic gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.