UNA-NY's 2016 Summer Soirée:
The More the Merrier!
This year our ever popular Summer Soirée, hosted at The Hudson Terrace on July 15, attracted even more UNA-NY members, and even more of their friends and guests, than ever before — this fun-filled evening of relaxed networking and camaraderie collected a cool head-count of 500-plus reservations, our strongest attendance yet.
Tomorrow's Decision Makers:
Youth at the UN DPI/NGO Conference
In June, a delegation of youth representatives travelled to Gyeongju in the Republic of Korea to attend the 66th UN Department of Information/Non-Governmental Organizations Conference. The conference organizers invited youth representing different regions around the world to promote and participate in all conference events, including on-line and off-line youth activities. The young participants undertook a process of knowledge sharing, consultation and drafting, in order to develop a Youth Declaration to disseminate their united perspective and recommendations to the Gyeongju Action Plan, to support global education and implementation of the SDGs worldwide.
Participants, including a very young guest, during the recent May 29 commemoration of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).
"On this International Day of International Day of UN Peacekeepers, we honor our heroes: the more than one million men and women who have served under the UN flag with pride, distinction and courage since the first deployment in 1948. And we pay our highest tribute to the more than 3,400 peacekeepers who have lost their lives while in service during that period," remarked Ban Ki-moon during the occasion.
UNA-NY Youth Rep to Attend DPI/NGO Conference in Korea
This year UNA-NY has co-sponsored a student to attend the UN DPI/NGO Conference in Korea, as part of UNA-NY's educational outreach. The Conference is a dynamic platform that brings together various actors on global issues. This year's conference, with the theme, Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together, will be held in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea from 30 May – 1 June.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre right) is presented with a traditional chapan coat from a father and son bicycling team from Afghanistan, Nader Shah Nangarhari (right) and Feruz Khan (centre left). The two cyclicsts have been biking around the world since July 2015 on a mission of peace and solidarity. Also pictured is Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN.
2016 UN DPI/NGO Conference
The dynamic UN DPI/NGO Conference brings together many actors on global issues. Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the SDGs Together is the theme of this year's conference, to be held in Korea from 30 May–1 June.
Youth are directly impacted by decisions made regarding education around the globe. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the presence of youth voices is needed now more than ever.
Conference organizers are calling on youth representing different regions around the world to promote and participate in all conference events, including on-line and off-line youth activities. It is important to raise the voice of young people from around the world in global conferences tackling pressing issues on the international agenda.
Governments Made a Covenant with the Future, as World Leaders Sign Landmark Climate Accord
With their signatures of the landmark Paris climate accord, "governments made a covenant with the future," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the end of a United Nations ceremony that saw the largest single-day turn-out for such an event, and which puts the world on a path towards low-carbon growth and a more sustainable future.
Yet, while the signing is a "vote of confidence" in a new approach to climate change, it is imperative that the strong political momentum continues to grow, the UN chief stressed, in concluding remarks to the Ceremony for the Paris Agreement.
UN Takes Historic Step to Open Selection of New SG
The United Nations has taken a historic step to open up the usually secret process of selecting the next secretary-general, giving all countries the chance to question candidates on such issues as how they would resist pressure from powerful nations, tackle sex abuse by UN peacekeepers, and improve efforts to achieve peace.
Montenegro's Foreign Minister Igor Luksic was the first of eight candidates to face members of the UN General Assembly, citing his small Balkan nation's multiethnic and multicultural diversity as well as his experience as a former prime minister and defense minister in seeking the UN's top diplomatic post. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and former UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres followed.
General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft called it "a historic moment ... without precedent at the United Nations."
UN Commission on the Status of Women
Urges Gender-Responsive Implementation of Agenda 2030
New York | The 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women concluded with UN Member States committing to the gender-responsive implementation of Agenda 2030. A set of agreed conclusions called for enhancing the basis for rapid progress, including stronger laws, policies and institutions, better data and scaled-up financing.
The Commission recognized women's vital role as agents of development. It acknowledged that progress on the Sustainable Development Goals at the heart of Agenda 2030 will not be possible without gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Last month, the United Nations Association of New York was delighted to offer its inaugural winter soirée, entitled A Winter Masquerade. Conceived in the same spirit as our popular summer soirée, it added mystery and an elegant atmosphere, warming up a February 25th winter evening in grand style.
UN Honors Memory of Former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali
The 193-member United Nations General Assembly honored the memory of former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who passed away on February 16 at the age of 93, recalling his legacy in helping the world body find its footing in a new global landscape during the tumultuous early 1990s.
Addressing the Assembly's special tribute at UN Headquarters in New York, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Mr. Boutros-Ghali had both the fortune and the misfortune to serve as the first post-Cold-War UN chief.
"While the United Nations was never as paralyzed during the Cold War as many have portrayed, the new dynamic gave the Organization new leeway to act. This brought promise and peril — and Mr. Boutros-Ghali experienced both," Mr. Ban said.
UN: Bees Help Boost Food Security of Two Billion Small Farmers
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlighted the publication of a new study that quantifies, for the first time, how much crop yields depend on the work of bees that unknowingly fertilize plants as they move from flower to flower.
In doing so, the agency says bees may have a key role to play in improving the production of some two billion smallholder farmers worldwide and ensuring the food security and nutrition of the world's growing population.
Quality Education in Mother Languages Vital to Success of 2030 Agenda
21 February | Mother languages are essential to providing quality education, which in turn supports the achievement of the new global development agenda, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said on the International Day established to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.
Marking International Mother Language Day, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova emphasized that "mother languages in a multilingual approach are essential components of quality education, which is itself the foundation for empowering women and men and their societies." She underscored the need to recognize and nurture this power, in order to "leave no one behind" and "craft a more just and sustainable future for all."
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.
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.
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.
'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.