BookTalkUNA: Revealing the Inner Faces of Dag Hammarskjöld
Our recent BookTalkUNAevent, was held partly in observance of the 60th anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld's inauguration as second Secretary-General of the United Nations. It was also a delightful evening of special insight as author and historian Roger Lipsey revealed many facets of Hammarskjöld's mind and character. Drawing on previously unpublished sources and correspondence, and directing our attention to more substantial and spiritual aspects of Hammarskjöld's life, Lipsey has created in his book Hammarskjöld: A Life a work of great scope and penetrating access.
UN Commission on Women Adopts Global Plan to End Gender-based Violence
Michelle Bachelet addresses participants at a CSW side event. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon looks on. | UN Photo: Eskinder Debebe
March 2013 | Top United Nations officials today welcomed an agreement by more than 130 Member States on the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, and urged governments to translate the outcome of the 'historic' gathering into concrete actions to protect and promote women's human rights and fundamental freedoms.
From left: Ban Soon-Taek, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and actress Susan Sarandon attend the March On March 8 at United Nations in New York City. | Photo: Jamie McCarthy (Getty Images North America)
The United Nations member states are committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. This historic initiative brings together governments, private sector leaders, international organizations, financial institutions, donors, and civil society groups, among others, to continue their unified global efforts to accomplish these goals.
Students and educational faculty can join this very important and historic global campaign by establishing a United Nations Association of New York Student Alliance at your school. Student Alliances are action-oriented school programs that encourage globally-minded high school, undergraduate and graduate students to educate, inspire and mobilize Americans and the U.S. government to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations.
The Worldview Institute was one of six academic organizations cordially invited to attend a special event on February 20 with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, to engage in an open discussion about his latest book Building A Better Future For All. This book is not a publication written about the Secretary-General, nor is it a book written by him. It is as much a book about the United Nations and its mission and core principles, as it is a selection of Ban's speech moments along the way of a six-year tenure, reflecting the implementation of these principles.
Winter 2013 Worldview Institute participants who attended Ban Ki-moon's book event
The United Nations works across the world for peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law. In this collection of speeches, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shows the breadth of those efforts, advances and struggles alike, at a time of profound transition for the human family. Since taking office in 2007, he has sought to mobilize the international community behind global solutions to urgent challenges ranging from climate change and poverty to armed conflict and the spread of deadly weapons. The goal: dignity, freedom and opportunity for all.
On Wednesday February 21, the Secretary-General met with students and discussed this new book. Some of our current Worldview participants attended the session, which is available to the public via webcast here.
The UNA Advocacy Program remains a vital part of our present and future agenda. The Advocacy Leads of the nationwide Chapters and Divisions have recently completed a survey requesting priorities that UNA-USA should consider for the 2013-2014 advocacy agenda. One of the most successful pieces of previous advocacy efforts has been the Rapid Response.
Our 2013 Winter edition of UNA TODAY has a fresh collection of news articles, highlight features and a rundown of our varied yearly events — reminding everyone about the reasons our New York UNA chapter is such an exciting one! You will see why our members enthusiastically attend and participate in all our programs — through which we present the most interesting, thought-provoking and important facets of The United Nations — while continuing our commitment in support of its important goals.
This past month, a UNA-NY training program hosted students in an educational outreach which included areas of leadership, diversity, career and service. One highlight was a field trip to the UN on February 27, during which representatives privately hosted participants in a STEM panel discussion with scientists, engineers, and attorneys. UNA-NY recognizes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) as the national educational initiative for all students which is critical to U.S. standing and competitiveness in the world. During the panel, students heard STEM professionals talk about their educational journey, their aspirations and career choices.
UNA Humanitarian of the Year Addresses Key Global Challenges
The economy is not a goal in itself, but a means to contribute to people and the planet, according to Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM, and a recipient of the 2010 United Nations Humanitarian Award for his outstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility. "When the richest quarter of the world's population use about half of our global resources — and take the liberty to produce half of the global waste — while another third live in poverty, it is clear that our economic and societal systems are failing us… You cannot be successful, nor call yourself successful, in a society that fails," he said.
In two articles for The Guardian and The Huffington Post, Mr. Sijbesma points to the urgent global challenges which provide the impetus to redesign our economic system. This requires an approach which will create value on three levels simultaneously: People, Planet and Profit. The primary goal for business should be to create societal, ecological and economic value. But since change triggers resistance, this necessary transition will require coordinated leadership and courage, in which businesses will need to join forces — just as governments effectively do at the United Nations.
UNA-NY Donates to UN Women for Peace to End Violence Against Women
Last October, the United Nations Association of New York facilitated the sale of the "Dove of Peace" vases at our 2012 UN Day Gala Dinner. The pieces were custom-designed by world-renowned potter, Miranda Thomas. On this occasion, the proceeds from the sale of these pieces were donated to the UN Women for Peace, in support of their campaign to End Violence Against Women. The entire limited edition, with one featured at each table, was completely sold out at the silent auction.
The United Nations Association of New York
2012 UN Day Humanitarian Awards Dinner
On October 25, UNA-New York awarded Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz
Al-Nasser its 2012 Humanitarian Award for his leadership of the 66th General
Assembly and accomplishments in mediation, cross-cultural understanding and
dialogue. He was also recognized for his strong commitment to realizing the
vision of a world free of intercultural conflicts. Ambassador Al-Nasser was
recently appointed by the Secretary-General to be the UN High Representative
for the Alliance of Civilizations. The awards dinner, which also celebrated
the 67th Anniversary of the United Nations, was attended by close to 200
guests at the Essex House in New York City.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with 2012 Humanitarian Award honoree Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser. | Photography: MelanieQuinnPhotography.com
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REFLECTIONS FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
Welcoming America Inspired My Public Service
Ban Ki-moon | As secretary-general of the United Nations, I have more stamps in my passport than I can count, but there is none that I treasure as much as the first one.
"United States of America," it said. The date: August 1962. I was a wide-eyed 18-year-old from a rural village in war-shattered Korea. The American Red Cross had invited me to join 112 teenagers from 42 countries to travel across the United States visiting Red Cross chapters, meet each other and learn the value of service. It was an incredible privilege.
As soon as I stepped off the plane, I was overwhelmed by the warmth of the people. The wealth and plenty was a cultural shock to a very poor boy from devastated Korea. But what moved me most was the spirit of helping others I witnessed from small-town America to the capital...
President John Kennedy: Speaks with a group of Red Cross volunteers in 1962. Ki-moon is circled.
Poll: Americans Want Strong U.S. Relationship with the United Nations
Many Americans seem to be understanding the message which Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute delivered at this year's UNA-USA annual members meeting: "There isn't an alternative to the UN. Either this works, or the world fails."
New bipartisan polling data released today by the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Campaign, demonstrates that across party lines, the majority of American voters support a strong relationship between the United States and the United Nations. More than 8 in 10 American voters say it is important for the U.S. to maintain an active role in the UN, and 64 percent of those polled favor the U.S. paying its dues on time and in full, including majorities of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats.
The goal of reducing by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water has been achieved — well ahead of the 2015 deadline for reaching the globally agreed development targets aimed at ridding the world of extreme poverty, hunger and preventable diseases, the United Nations said today.
Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells, according to a joint report by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
Students from Piramerd Basic School celebrate UN World Water Day, in Badawa, Erbil Governorate, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq last year. The school, housing grades one through nine, is one of the educational institutions in the governorate where the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is undertaking projects to improve infrastructure and academic standards. | UN Photo: Bikem Ekberzade
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Screening the Issues
UNA-NY Film and Discussion Events
As an effective way to educate and motivate a community, Screening the Issues has been promoting the work of the United Nations with events that serve a dual purpose: to commend the intelligence of filmmakers who have the courage and passion to address crucial human concerns while presenting important global issues to a culturally aware New York audience. The mission of UNA-NY is to educate, inspire and mobilize the NYC community and to raise awareness of the vital work of the United Nations.