UNA Advocacy:
Attaining a Valuable Momentum for 2012

 

 

 

Approaching the end of this year and looking ahead to the coming one, we have seen it become apparent that there are a lot of uphill battles to tackle, with regards to a Republican congress hostile towards the United Nations, especially in matters of funding the important programs that the UN supports.

This past year has brought changes to the advocacy program, with the advent of expansion and unification of the advocacy effort. Since the partnership between the UNA-USA and The United Nations Foundation was established, and the Better World Campaign is in front and center of this expansion, changes are being made to strengthen the collective voices for educating and lobbying congress.

Instrumental in this push, Karen Mulhauser heads the UNA's National Capital Area, a national advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. This group, is composed of advocacy chairs from chapters and divisions from all over the country. They provide a unified voice in dealing with congress regarding important and current issues of the day, including reversing the decision of the United States to cut off funding to UNESCO, advancing Human Rights through the UN, as well as continuing to support the Millennium Development Goals.

Adding their endeavors are Peter Yeo and Roger Nokes, who host periodic conference calls, while UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden sends updates to members stressing the importance of letter writing, person to person contact with our congressional representatives, and face to face meetings whenever possible.

It is important to stress here that individual letters, rather than group correspondence, is vital to advocacy efforts. The number of individual calls and letters are carefully tabulated by the staffs of the various members, so: numbers do count.

We are now entering a political year in which we will elect a President, many Senators and a full House of Representatives. As the election of people who support the United Nations is crucial, let us not forget that these efforts start at the grass roots. Therefore, I strongly encourage all of us to be in the front line of advocacy for the vital issues of our day.

 

Joan Levy
Advocacy Chair
United Nations Association, New York City Chapter
and New York Southern Division