United Nations Association of the United States of America


United Nations Association of the United States of America

The United Nations Association of the United States of America or UNA-USA is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the United Nations among the American people. Its educational and humanitarian campaigns, including teaching students in urban schools, clearing minefields and providing school-based support for children living in HIV/AIDS-affected communities in Africa, allow people to make a global impact at the local level. In addition, its policy and advocacy programs stress the importance of nations working together and the need for United States leadership in the United Nations. The association is affiliated with the World Federation of United Nations Associations.

History

The American Association for the United Nations, UNA-USA's predecessor organization, grew out of the League of Nations Association in 1943. A group of prominent citizens, including first Executive Director Clark Eichelberger, activated AAUN to promote acceptance of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals in the late years of World War II. Among the Association's early actions was a nationwide tour by a number of US representatives who set out to spread the word about these important proposals and to gain support for US adherence to the proposed new international organization-the United Nations.

When First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt, a member of the AAUN Board of Directors, completed her term as a US Representative to the UN General Assembly in late 1951, she walked into the AAUN offices and asked to be given something to do for the organization. Her offer was gratefully accepted and in early 1953, she established an office at AAUN headquarters.

This was the quiet beginning of a major campaign in which Mrs. Roosevelt carried the message of AAUN across the country through personal appearances, recruitment speeches and fundraising efforts which continued until her death in November 1962. She was elected Chair of the Board of Directors of AAUN in 1961.

In 1964, AAUN merged with the US Committee for the United Nations, a group composed of 138 national organizations supporting the work of the United Nations, thereby creating the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Since then, several distinguished Americans have served in positions of leadership at UNA-USA. These include: Arthur J. Goldberg, former Justice of the US Supreme Court and US permanent representative to the United Nations; James S. McDonnell, former chairman of the McDonnell-Douglas Corporation; Elliot L. Richardson, former US Attorney General and US representative to the Law of the Sea Conference; William Scranton, former Governor of Pennsylvania and US permanent representative to the United Nations; Cyrus Vance, former Secretary of State; and John C. Whitehead, former Deputy Secretary of State.

In 1999, the Business Council for the United Nations (BCUN) joined UNA-USA as a division. Founded in 1958 with the blessing of then UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, BCUN worked to build support for the UN among business leaders and employers of major US corporations, enjoying the early support of leaders such as: former UN Secretary-General U Thant, and US Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman.

UNA-USA's Programs

Adopt-A-Minefield is a campaign of UNA-USA in partnership with the UN and Ted Turner's Better World Fund. Its main goals are to clear minefields, provide assistance to landmine survivors and raise awareness about the global landmine crisis. [ [http://www.landmines.org Adopt-A-Minefield] ]

Global Classrooms is an innovative program that brings the Model UN experience to urban public schools across the US and a diverse array of schools around the world. The program is currently in the following American cities—Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, St. Paul, Tampa and Washington, DC—and these international cities—Accra, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Mexico City and New Delhi. [ [http://www.globalclassrooms.org Global Classrooms/Model UN] ]

UNA-USA's Global Policy Programs are dedicated to strengthening the UN system, promoting multilateral approaches to global issues and encouraging active US engagement in the world. Through focused analysis and dialogue, UNA-USA contributes an internationalist perspective to the policy debate on the US and the world. Current policy initiatives are focusing on the role and responsibilities of the UN's next leader, UN management reform, and the UN's capacity to prevent genocide.

HERO: A UNA-USA Campaign, in partnership with USAID Global Development Alliance, is a fund raising and awareness-building program dedicated to providing comprehensive, school-based support to orphans and vulnerable children in HIV/AIDS-affected communities in Africa. [ [http://www.heroaction.org HERO: A UNA-USA Campaign] ]

UNA-USA is a major partner in the American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court (AMICC), a coalition of nongovernmental organizations committed to achieving full US support for the court through education, promotion and an informed public. [ [http://www.amicc.org International Criminal Court Programs] ]

Seton Hall University and UNA-USA established the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations in 1997 to advance the study of contemporary global issues. The school provides college students from around the world with diplomatic skills and an understanding of international affairs. As a next step in this unique partnership, UNA-USA and the school are working to establish a new center on the study of the UN.

Washington Liaison and Advocacy Programs: Representing UNA-USA in the nation's capital, the Washington office engages American citizens, Congress, the administration and a diverse network of policy institutions and nongovernmental organizations in an effort to secure and encourage constructive US leadership in the UN. With regular briefings, panel discussions and reports, the office informs both policymakers and individuals interested in global issues about the importance and benefit of US membership in the United Nations.

Membership

UNA-USA has more than 175 chapters and divisions across the country and nearly 20,000 members. These members carry out programs and campaigns at the local level through events, educational promotions and fund raising. The Association also has a Student Alliance—a nationwide network of students, from elementary school to college, that make their opinions regarding global challenges heard amongst their peers, within their communities, across the nation and around the world—and a young professionals network called Young Professionals for International Cooperation with more than 1,500 members.

Councils

The Business Council for the United Nations (BCUN) is a catalyst for action, understanding and innovative business opportunities between member companies and the UN. [ [http://www.bcun.org Business Council for the United Nations] ]

Council of OrganizationsThe Council of Organizations is a coalition of more than 100 nongovernmental organizations with interests in education, religion, labor, sustainable development, human rights, health and women's issues, that share the common goals of promoting greater public awareness about global issues and strengthening the US-UN relationship.

National CouncilChaired by former President Jimmy Carter and composed of leading citizens, the National Council draws on members' deep understanding of UN issues to bolster the nationwide advocacy and outreach of UNA-USA.

ee also

*United Nations
*U.S. Fund for UNICEF
*Americans for UNFPA
*U.S. Committee for the United Nations Development Program

References

External links

* [http://www.unausa.org/ UNA-USA] homepage
*The [http://www.wfuna.org/wfuna-archive/index.html World Federation of United Nations Associations]

* [http://www.unausa.org/site/pp.asp?c=fvKRI8MPJpF&b=383537 UNA-USA Council of Organizations]
* [http://www.unaorlando.org UNA-USA Greater Orlando Chapter]


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