News Highlights


At Security Council, UN Chief Guterres Makes
New Case for Peace Efforts

10 January | Delivering his first formal briefing to the Security Council, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underlined the need for new, strengthened efforts to build and sustain peace ranging from prevention, conflict resolution and peacekeeping to peacebuilding and sustainable development.

"We spend far more time and resources responding to crises rather than preventing them. People are paying too high a price... We need a whole new approach," Mr. Guterres stressed at a Security Council debate on conflict prevention and sustaining peace.

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Building on Gender Promise,
Guterres Appoints Three Women to Top UN Posts

In a triple-play to install women in top UN posts, UN Secretary-General-designate António Guterres today announced the appointment of Nigeria's Minister of Environment, Amina J. Mohammed (right), as the next UN Deputy Secretary-General. The other appointments are that of Brazilian diplomat Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti (left), who will assume the role of Chef de Cabinet, and the Republic of Korea's Kyung-wha Kang, a senior UN humanitarian official, who is expected to serve in a new role of Special Advisor on Policy. Mr. Guterres has previously indicated that ensuring gender parity and geographical diversity in UN appointments will be a priority of his. Mr. Guterres will assume office on 1 January 2017, succeeding Ban Ki-moon whose tenure ends on 31 December 2016.

We congratulate both Ms. Mohammad, who was a recent speaker in our Worldview Institute seminars, and Ms. Viotti, who appeared in our Ambassador Series as well as our Screening the Issues film-talk events.


The United Nations Association of New York
2016 UN Day Humanitarian Awards Dinner
Commemorates 71st UN Anniversary

Commemorating the 71st Anniversary of the United Nations, this year's UN Day Gala Dinner took place on October 26th 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. Many dignitaries and other distinguished guests attended the gala, the theme of which was "Improving Global Road Safety."

This year the gala honored Jean Todt, the President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), along with actress Michelle Yeoh, who is FIA's High Level Panel for Road Safety spokesperson, as well as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador.

Read more and see more photos here


The UN's Next Top Diplomat:
Visionary Leader António Guterres

The UN General Assembly appointed by acclamation the former Prime Minister of Portugal, António Guterres, as the next United Nations Secretary-General, to succeed Ban Ki-moon when he steps down on 31 December. Mr. Guterres, aged 67, was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. He will become the world's top diplomat on 1 January 2017, and hold that post for the next five years.

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In Memoriam: Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed

We are saddened by the passing of Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed. He was a close friend to UNA-NY, as well as a Lifetime member of UNA. He received our 2008 Distinguished Service Award for his tireless support of our chapter and his lifelong dedication to the United Nations. Ambassador Reed was also the MC at many of our annual dinners over the years.

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UNA-NY Special Panel of Extraordinary Women Offer
Passionate Perspectives on Ending Child Marriage

On September 19, UNA-NY held a special panel on ending child marriages, at the Netherlands Mission to the UN. Joining us that evening were five passionate and extraordinary women who each contributed her own vital perspectives on ending child marriage globally.

Read more and see photos here


A Day of Art and Joy for Refugee Children in New York

On August 31, the United Nations Association of New York partnered with several organizations to host a group of recently resettled refugee children and their parents at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Originally from Syria and Eritrea, the families that participated in the day are now resettled in Connecticut and New Jersey.

Read more and see photos here


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.

Read more and visit the photo gallery


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.

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Commemorating International Peacekeepers

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.

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Secretary-General Meets Afghan Cyclists

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.


The United Nations Association of New York proudly salutes our Summer Scholar 2016 fellowhip winners: Mahua Bisht and Amanda Grossi. We offer them warm congratulations and wish them both the best!

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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.

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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.

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UNA-NY "Winter Masquerade" is a Smashing Success

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.

Read and see more photos here


Quality Education in Mother Languages Vital to Success of 2030 Agenda

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."

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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.

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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.

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COP21 Success as Nearly 200 Countries Reach New Climate Agreement

At the COP21 United Nations conference in Paris, officials from nearly 200 countries reached a new agreement to address the threat of global climate change. The conference reach went beyond national governments to welcome the engagement of civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, cities and states. Business leaders and investors now recognize not just the obligation to act, but also the economic opportunities in the growing clean energy economy.

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The Great European Migration Challenge

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.

Read about the event here


The World Turned UN Blue!

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.

See photos from the album here


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: | 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.

Read more and see the photo gallery for the Gala


WWD: Gucci's Bizzarri Honored at
UN Day Humanitarian Dinner

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UN Secretary-General Remarks
at the 2015 UN Day Humanitarian Awards Dinner

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Obama's Presidential Proclamation for UN Day 2015

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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.

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The Good Lie FilmTalk Panel

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.

See more photos from the event here


The UN at 70

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.

Read the full article at Project Syndicate here


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.

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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.

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Get inspired — watch Mrs. Obama's full speech


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.

Read the full story here


'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."

Read Ban's full message here


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.

Read more here




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