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A Letter from the President and Executive Director
DSC_0285It has been an honor to serve for the past year as your President and Executive Director. This challenging period for the relationship between the U.S. and the UN makes the ongoing mission of UNA-NCA more important than ever. We continue to strengthen that relationship through a better understanding of the common values shared historically and today between the U.S., its citizens, and the family of UN organizations and agencies.  

UNA-NCA is part of the growing network of organizations that extol the virtues of the UN by both contributing to its support with policy leaders, and also lending ideas and experience to improve UN operations and effectiveness.

Fortunately, the UN has gained more visibility thanks to the active leadership of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, and the engagement of U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. This has been a politically turbulent year with the Trump Administration calling for drastic cuts to both mandatory and voluntary funding of the UN – including cuts to UNICEF, UNEP, UNFPA, and the World Food Programme – arbitrarily withholding funding for both peacekeeping and core operations, and Congress defending the importance of funding the UN and its agencies.

Despite this, and without comment on these drastic measures, Ambassador Haley has supported rational discussion about ways to improve the UN’s peacekeeping operations.  However, consistent with the President, she has made clear that the U.S. will punitively withhold foreign aid to those who oppose U.S. positions at the UN – a stance that now seems to negatively impact the votes – while gaining considerable respect as a forthright leader on important efforts in the UN Security Council on North Korean sanctions.

These turbulent times are all the more reason for UNA-NCA to maintain its mission and key focus on helping our members build concrete, factual knowledge about the UN’s work and programs, and to foster non-partisan dialogue with policy leaders in our area, with Capitol Hill, and with the Administration.

UNA-NCA has had an active program year reaching public audiences and advocating with national policy leaders on the Hill to define and discuss areas where the UN can be strengthened, and where U.S. investments can be strategic to make the UN’s relevance and progress on peace, development, and human rights better understood.  Our members are attending programs in greater numbers across all ages, and engaging new members, especially among young professionals.  Our long-term members and senior leaders generously give their time, expertise and donations for our work and programs.

The highlights of the past year are detailed in the report, but of particular note is the presentation of the 20th UNA-NCA Louis B. Sohn Human Rights Award to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, His Excellency Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. All of our program committees have actively engaged in a variety of relevant global issues, including the dialogue surrounding peacebuilding and peacekeeping efforts, and the UN Secretary-General’s current proposals for new strategy for early conflict prevention, the global-local application of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the North Korean nuclear challenge, among others.

We are pleased to see the ongoing growth of our youth and young professional programs with 54% of members under the age of 40. Throughout the year, we have placed high priority on their interests through three core programs: first, our Global Classrooms DC Model UN program which serves over 1,000 students in some 46 area schools; second, our semi-annual Young Professional Career Dinners connect small groups of young professionals with those currently working in their fields of interest; and third, our Graduate Fellows Program, a curriculum focused on key roles of the UN, coupled with a career mentorship and professional development component.

We are pleased to salute the extraordinary volunteers from our membership who serve on the Board of Directors, our Advisory Council, and who lead our committees. We especially want to recognize the wonderful staff team of Andrew Doll, Manager of Programs and Membership, and Nicole Bohannon, Managing Director of Global Education, and their excellent team of Program Assistants, all of whom truly make UNA-NCA function, while constantly improving and expanding its services in our community.

We are driven by our volunteer leaders coupled with financial resources from the charitable contributions of our individual members, and several very generous family foundations, and an important group of institutional sponsors and partners. Their active engagement and continued contributions are essential, and highly valued, for which we thank you all.

Thank you for your commitment and support.

Stephen F. Moseley
President, UNA-NCA

Paula Boland
Executive Director, UNA-NCA