GFDD Participates in the 2017 Leadership Summit of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA)

June 13, 2017

In its capacity as Vice Chair of the United Nations Association of the USA Council of Organizations, GFDD/FUNGLODE participated in the 2017 edition of UNA-USA Leadership Summit from Sunday 11 to Tuesday 13, June. The annual summit took place in Washington DC, in the heart of the nation’s capital, in an aim to reach out to America’s political representatives. This year, a record number of attendees gathered for 3 days, to market their support to the United
Nations, but also to advocate for the full funding of the international organization by the United States. After 2 days of meetings at the National Education Association Building, where the participants could consolidate their knowledge about the actions of the United Nations, the third and final day of the conference enabled attendees to conduct some advocacy on Capitol Hill. Meeting with state representatives in the House of Representative and the Senate, the UNA-USA team reached out to
almost 50% of each state representative to urge the country to continue leading the international community at the UN towards a better future.

On the opening day, on Sunday morning, participants were invited to think about how
to mobilize Americans to support the UN. Chris Whatley, UNA-USA executive director opened the conference, by concentrating on the American commitment to the UN. Following this session, the conference participants were then given the opportunity to take part in “Breakout Sessions”. With workshops dealing with a wide range of topics from Social Media’s Best Practices or The Power of Story, these sessions aimed to prepare the UNA-USA team for the concluding
advocacy day. The breakout sessions also assisted participants in providing them with more information about United Nations programs. The program Adopt a Future of UNA-USA, which was presented during a session, provided participants with key figures and statistics in relation to the issue of refugee education to enable conference participants to advocate on this problem to their representatives on Capitol Hill and ensure that no one is left behind.

On Monday, the event
took a more global perspective, with several sessions dealing with the Refugee Crisis, the Ebola Pandemic, or even the Peacekeeping Action of the United Nations. The day began with an opening plenary titled “Standing Up for Human Rights” with the special participation of Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights at the UN Human Rights Office. During lunch, leaders of the action at the global level came to give their views on the special relationship
the United States has with the United Nations. Cathy Calvin, President of the United Nations Foundation, congratulated UNA-USA for its capacity to mobilize young people. “60% of the members of UNA-USA are under the age of 25” she stressed. Taking the floor after her speech, H.E. Peter Thompson, President of the General Assembly stated that “it is important that the United States maintain an active role in the world”.

On the last day
of the Summit, hundreds of attendees were called to gather at the Lutheran Church of Reformation, and wear the UNA-USA Advocacy T-shirt, in an effort to stress the importance of funding the United Nations. All day long, participants were given the opportunity to meet their representatives and senators, and make their voices heard. Attending on behalf of GFDD, Arthur Le Nena, UN Programs Intern, reminded the staff of the representative for the 7th
circumscription of New York, Nydia Velazquez, of the vital importance of a fully committed United States to the fight against climate change.

About UNA-USA:
The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a 50-state grassroots organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its
mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. UNA-USA is a program of the United Nations Foundation.

Interested in advocating?
Please, follow the link and read the instructions to contact your Members of Congress:
If you want to promote
“Adopt a Future” campaign, please, read this: