Our November 5 presentation on the current global migration crisis featured a stimulating and proactive discussion with François Crépeau, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, joined by Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN.
UN Day Humanitarian Awards Gala Dinner Celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the UN
From left: UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake; UNA-NY Executive Director Ann Nicol; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Madame Ban Soon-taek; Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri; UNA-NY Executive VP Robin van Puyenbroeck; UNA-NY President Abid Qureshi; UNA-NY Board Member Andrew Komaromi. | Photo: MelanieQuinnPhotography.com | Click on above photo for enlarged view
Diplomats, business leaders, local dignitaries and other distinguished guests gathered on October 22 at the J. W. Marriott Essex House in New York, when the United Nations Association of New York announced the honorees for its annual Humanitarian of the Year awards, during a celebratory UN Day gala dinner which commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations.
To help mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, more than 300 iconic monuments, buildings, landscapes, museums, bridges, and other landmarks in more than 85 countries across the globe were lit up blue — the official color of the United Nations — on UN Day, 24 October 2015.
October 22, 2015 | Inherent in the idea of the United Nations is the notion that the peoples of the world are bound by more than geography — that we all belong to a community that is capable of working together to protect our security, our environment, and our health; that is committed to ensuring the dignity and rights of people around the world are safeguarded; and that is dedicated to preserving the cultural and natural treasures of the earth. As we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, let us resolve to forge a future of greater peace and cooperation. With enduring effort and dedication to make real the ideals that guide us, continued progress can remain within our reach.
Our late summer Screening the Issues event was an exclusive New York presentation of The Good Lie, followed by a panel discussion about the experience of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan and the refugee crisis during the years of the Sudanese war. The inspiring film was enriched by an equally inspiring panel of special guests on hand to discuss and engage the audience after the screening.
UN Commends Tunisian Dialogue Quartet on Nobel Peace Prize Win
The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet: Wided Bouchamaoui, president of the Tunisian employers union; Houcine Abbassi, secretary general of the Tunisian General Labour Union; Abdessattar ben Moussa, president of the Tunisian Human Rights League; and Tunisian lawyer Fadhel Mahfoudh. Photo: EPA/HO
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet on being awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Peace.
"I congratulate the members of the Quartet – the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers," said a statement issued by Mr. Ban's spokesperson in New York.
The UN chief lauded Tunisia for "managing to avoid the disappointment and dashed hopes" that arose after the Arab Spring, that tragically have emerged in other regions. He added that this tribute highlights the lasting progress of an inclusive process.
Historic New Sustainable Development Agenda Unanimously Adopted by 193 UN Members
A bold new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at the start of the Summit on Sustainable Development.
Jeffrey Sachs | The United Nations will mark its 70th anniversary when world leaders assemble next month at its headquarters in New York. Though there will be plenty of fanfare, it will inadequately reflect the UN's value, not only as the most important political innovation of the twentieth century, but also as the best bargain on the planet. But if the UN is to continue to fulfill its unique and vital global role in the twenty-first century, it must be upgraded in three key ways.
The UN Security Council discussed homosexual and transgender issues for the first time at an informal meeting on August 24. The United States and Chile co-sponsored the session, which focused on how LGBT persons in the Middle East are increasingly the target of self-styled Islamic State fighters.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters outside the closed session that it was about time the Council discussed this issue. "It's historic, seventy years after the creation of the UN, that the fate of LGBT persons who fear for their lives around the world is taking center stage," she said.
Summer BookTalkUNA Guest of Honor: Dr. Alejandro Toledo
On July 13 our summer BookTalkUNA event, presented in co-operation with the International Institute of Education, featured honored guest Dr. Alejandro Toledo, the former President of Peru, who was invited to present his new book, The Shared Society: A Vision for the Global Future of Latin America.
In 2001, Dr. Toledo was the first Peruvian president of indigenous descent to be elected in five hundred years. In serving his country, Toledo fought against poverty by prioritizing investments in health care and education. With the resulting economic growth and social policies directed to the poorest of Peru, extreme poverty was reduced by 25 percent during his five-year term, and the Peruvian economy grew at an average rate of 6 percent, making it one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America.
UNA-NY's 2015 Summer Soirée Draws an Ever Bigger Crowd
This year's Soirée held its rendezvous at The Hudson Terrace on July 23, attracting many UNA-NY members and even more friends and guests than ever before to this fun, relaxed gig aimed at facilitating networking and camaraderie throughout the 800-plus member strong organization.
First Lady Michelle Obama Inspires at the Girl Up Leadership Summit
In July, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the Girl Up Leadership Summit. There was a line through the lobby and down the stairs as participants and chaperones eagerly tried to get seats in the hall, and the energy in the room was at an all-time high. The room was packed with 225 girls all rapt with attention as the First Lady talked about one of Girl Up's five main pillars: education.
The most captivating part of her speech was when the First Lady put all of us in the shoes of the 62 million girls who can't go to school. "Think about what it would be like to see your brothers going off to school every day while you were stuck at home," she said.
And she's right. Now it's our job to be there for the 62 million girls who don't have anyone who believes in them. The first step towards educating these girls is to have faith in them and give them the opportunity to go to school.
UNA-NY Receives 2015 Earl W. Eames Jr. Communications Award
The United Nations Association of New York received this year's Earle Eames Communications Award given by UNA-USA at their recent Annual Meeting. The New York chapter's website re-design by Littlefield and Company was the beginning of new efforts to promote a more effective communications outreach by UNA-NY, and was a significant contributing factor to this award. The website as well as other promotional efforts, such as emails, newsletters and social media have been actively managed by UNA-NY and its members, as well as volunteers.
Read the 2015 Briefing Book — and Know Why the UN Remains a Critical Partner for the U.S.
The UN is not a perfect institution, but it serves a near-perfect purpose: to promote global cooperation and address some of the world's most pressing challenges that no single country can resolve alone. Among other things, the UN is a platform for multilateral efforts to counter terrorism, stem the proliferation of nuclear weapons, increase economic development, provide humanitarian aid, promote democratic governance and, through peacekeeping missions, maintain order in some of the world's most dangerous places so U.S. forces don't have to.
As Congress works to protect our national security and foreign policy interests, and as the U.S. faces unprecedented challenges abroad — the UN remains a critical partner for the U.S. Be sure to let Congress know!
'Evidence Is Clear: Equality for Women Means Progress for All' Ban Ki-moon Says in Address to UNA-NY Awards Dinner
"The empowerment of women, the theme of your dinner tonight, is a matter of fundamental human rights," said the UN Secretary-General. "But it is also crucial for building the future we want. Despite important gains in access to primary education for girls and political representation for women, progress remains far too slow and uneven. Discrimination and violence against women remain widespread, across the world. We cannot fulfil 100 per cent of the world's potential by excluding 50 per cent of the world's people. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all."
The UNA-USA and UNFCU Alliance:
Strengthening Support and Member Benefits
United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) and the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) recently announced an alliance extending UNFCU membership to UNA-USA members, who can now benefit from all of the financial products and services exclusively available to the United Nations, its specialized agency staff, retirees and their families worldwide. The good news capped UNA-USA Members' Day, a gathering of over 800 UNA-USA members, senior UN officials, and diplomatic corps at the United Nations headquarters in New York.