UNA-NY presents

NYC and the United Nations:
A Partnership Beyond Brick & Mortar

Join us for a discussion with

New York City Commissioner for International Affairs

UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and
Public Information



Thursday, March 9, 2017

5:30 - 6 p.m. | Registration and Reception
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. | Program
7:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Reception

4 Columbus Circle (58th Street and Eighth Avenue)
New York, NY



UNA Members: $10
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $15

Price includes wine and hors d'oevres reception

Scroll down to "ADMISSION" at bottom of page for registration links.

Join us for a discussion with Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs, and Cristina Gallach, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, about the importance of NYC as Host City to the United Nations Headquarters and a partnership based on values for a more equitable world.

The United Nations Impact Report 2016  was released in December by the Mayor's Office for International Affairs and outlines the economic costs and benefits to New York City due to the presence of the permanent headquarters of the United Nations and UN Community. The study presents the significant economic benefit from hosting the UN and UN Community in New York City and showcases how the city supports this global community in its diverse metropolis.

Among its findings, the 2016 UN Economic Impact Report shows that the UN generates $3.69 billion in total economic output to the City of New York's economy. It also demonstrates how the household earnings and operating expenses of the UN Community help to create and sustain jobs for thousands of New Yorkers and showcases the investment New York City makes to support the UN Community. According to Commissioner Abeywardena, "the UN is much more than the sum of its economic impact – working to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today, from catalyzing action on climate change to assisting refugees. Now, more than ever, the partnership between the City of New York and the UN is of paramount importance. This study celebrates that partnership and the UN presence in New York City for seven decades."

The Mayor's Office for International Affairs also launched Global Vision | Urban Action, an initiative designed to highlight the synergies between the UN Sustainable Development Goals  and New York City's local sustainability and development programs that are discussed in OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City. Through the Global Vision | Urban Action program the office published a two-part booklet called: A City With Global Goals that highlights the synergies between the two groundbreaking plans.

In 1946, New York City competed with cities from London to San Francisco to host the official headquarters of humanity's greatest postwar hope. In the words of John D. Rockefeller Jr., "New York is a center where people from all lands have always been welcomed and where they have shared common aspirations and achievements. It is my belief that the City affords an environment uniquely fitted to the task of the UN and that the people of New York would like to have the UN here permanently."

Please join us on the evening of March 9 to hear why New York continues to agree, as we welcome Penny Abeywardena, New York City's Commissioner for International Affairs, and Cristina Gallach, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, who will discuss why the presence of the United Nations in New York City, along with several primary UN offices, agencies, funds and programs, is a testament to the City's status as a global center.


Click here to read the full United Nations Impact Report 2016. You can also visit www.edc.nyc/UNImpactReport2016 which contains additional information on data sources and methodology for the report.

PENNY ABEYWARDENA is New York City's Commissioner for International Affairs. As head of the Mayor's Office for International Affairs, she is leading the City's effort to build a global platform from which the City is promoting its goals for a more just and accessible society, showcasing the diversity of New Yorkers, and sharing policies and best practice with the world. Since her appointment in September 2014, the International Affairs team has launched a series of initiatives focused on connecting New Yorkers and City agencies to the diplomatic community as well as more effectively serving NYC's diplomatic corps, which is the largest in the world. Prior to joining Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, Penny was the Director of Girls and Women Integration at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a non-partisan organization that convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing problems.

Penny joined CGI in 2009 to develop strategy highlighting and integrating the gender lens throughout the organization's various platforms. She led the program's evolution into one of CGI's most successful efforts. While at CGI, Penny was responsible for the portfolio of CGI commitments focused on empowering girls & women worldwide, developing year-round programming, and integrating the gender lens throughout the CGI platform. During her tenure, she advised multinational corporations, philanthropists, NGOs, and multilateral institutions to increase investments in gender-focused development initiatives; and expanded the community of CGI members who incorporate the gender lens in their work. Before joining the Clinton Global Initiative, Penny worked in both development and programmatic areas for Human Rights Watch, the Funding Exchange and the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.

In 2016 Penny was named by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Development Corporation, New Course, Global Partners, Inc and the Eastside Greenway and Park. On her personal time, Penny serves on the Innovation Advisory Committee for 92Y and the Founding Member Committee of Lincoln Center's Global Exchange. She has previously served on the Hillary for America Policy Working Group on Global Women's Issues, the World Bank's Advisory Council on Gender and Development, and the Board of Directors of Sakhi for South Asian Women and Resource Generation. Penny is a contributing author to "Women in the Global Economy: Leading Social Change," and in 2012 was recognized by the United Nation's Decide Now Act (DNA) Summit, as one of 101 Global Innovators for her work to put women's rights on the global political agenda. She's a graduate of the University of Southern California and completed her Master of International Affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Penny lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and son. She loves to explore the five boroughs for regional cuisines and jog in Central Park.

CRISTINA GALLACH of Spain was appointed as UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information in December 2014, succeeding Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal in the post.

Ms. Gallach has a wealth of experience in communications, information, public diplomacy, international affairs and security policy, combined with transformational leadership and hands-on management expertise. She is also an experienced newspaper, radio and television journalist.

Before joining the UN, Ms. Gallach had served as Head of the Public Relations Unit in the Council of the European Union, Directorate General for Information and Communication, Brussels, since 2010. In that role she was responsible for designing and implementing the EU Council's communication strategies and for its public relations and outreach to key partners, including opinion-makers, civil society and academia.

Prior to that, Ms. Gallach was Spokesperson of the Spanish Government for the European Union rotating Presidency (2010); Spokesperson and Chief Media Advisor of the European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (1999-2009); and Deputy Spokesperson of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Chief Media Adviser for the Secretary-General (1996-1999).

Ms. Gallach spent more than 15 years as a journalist, during which time she held the positions of senior correspondent for EFE, the Spanish news agency, in Brussels (1993-1996) and in Moscow (1990-1992). She was also a correspondent with El Periodico newspaper in Barcelona (1986-1990), a United States correspondent for Avui newspaper (1984-1986) and a reporter with TVE Barcelona (1983-1984).

Ms. Gallach holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University, New York, and a degree in communication and journalism from the Universidad Autonoma, Barcelona. She has been a frequent lecturer on communications and public relations in universities and at conferences.

Born in 1960 in Barcelona, Ms. Gallach speaks English, French, Spanish and Catalan. She is married with two children.


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