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23 May 2018

The UN, Human Rights and Russia: Part II

By: UNA-NCA Human Rights Committee

This is Part II of a IV-Part Series which will be released on a weekly basis, and will detail Russia's human rights record in the United Nations.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) considered Russia’s human rights record through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process during the week of May 14th. This review will take place as part of the UNHRC’s third cycle of reviewing all Member States’ implementation of international human rights commitments through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism established after the 60thanniversary United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) summit. Most of the issues discussed in the remainder of this paper are not so much about the human rights situation in Russia itself but about the interplay between Russia and the UN’s human rights system. If you missed the previous part of the post please read it here

Russian and the UN Human Rights System 


What has been the role of the Government of the Russian Federation (and previously the USSR) with regard to the evolution of the UN human rights framework, what are its official positions today, and how does it employ its diplomatic and other tools to advance, hinder or shape the UN's human rights work? 
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14 May 2018

The UN, Human Rights and Russia: Part I

By: Human Rights Committee

This is Part I of a IV-Part Series which will be released on a weekly basis, and will detail Russia's human rights record in the United Nations.

Part I: 
The Impact of Russian Diplomacy on the UN System for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and the Role of the UN System in Addressing Human Rights in Russia

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is considering Russia’s human rights record at its May 2018 session. This review is taking place as part of the UNHRC’s third cycle of reviewing all Member States’ implementation of international human rights commitments through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism established after the 60th anniversary United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) summit. UNHRC scrutiny of Russia at a 2013 session produced more than 225 recommendations from other Member States, over 160 of which Russia undertook to implement in full or in part.[1]
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14 May 2018

Headstart on Lifelong International Engagement: 14th Annual Global Classrooms DC Model UN Conference


MUN18-6On Friday April 27, 2018, over 600 students, educators, parents, volunteers, and guests gathered at the U.S. Department of State and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for the 14th Annual UNA-NCA Global Classrooms DC (GCDC) Annual Spring Model United Nations Conference.   

The conference welcomed 5th to 12th grade students from nearly 40 schools and groups from not only the DC, Maryland, Virginia area, but also as far as Texas and Lebanon. Throughout the intense one-day conference, student delegates debated possible solutions to important international issues from the perspectives of their countries. They covered current topics like renewable energy, the crisis in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, sports diplomacy & gender equality, crisis of malnutrition, and the crisis of child soldier. Acting like true diplomats would, students participated in a variety of middle school and high school committees: the UN Environment Programme, the UN Security Council, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board, the Food and Agriculture Organization, as well as UNICEF.  
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10 May 2018

Our Mission is More Important Than Ever

By Stephen F. Moseley, President, UNA-NCA

This year, the mission of UNA-NCA is more important than ever to engage our fellow citizens in the Maryland, Virginia and DC area to better understand and support U.S. engagement and leadership in the United Nations, and to provide our full share of funding. You are well aware of the major threats to the UN from some policy leaders in the US, and 30 to 50% cutbacks for operations and specialized UN agencies proposed again this year. 

Your personal financialsupport for UNA-NCA is critical for our mission. Dues paid by over 1,000 members – including free membership for students – represent less than 10% of our budget.  Our ability to carry out programs is dependent on the generosity of many individuals who make gifts to UNA-NCA beyond their membership – in amounts from $200 to $10,000.  In addition, a few very generous families devote as much as $25,000 through their foundations.

Every donation directly supports our programs on Peace and Security, International Law, Sustainable Development, Human Rights, Gender Equity and our UN Graduate Fellows program.  Our Young Professionals program provides career and leadership development opportunities. Our flagship year-round education program, Global Classrooms DC, serves hundreds of middle and high school students throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. Our Advocacy program has reached national and local policy leaders to provide education on critical and timely issues and increased the number of members in contact with public officials. 
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09 May 2018

Keynote Speaker Inspires Future IR Professionals at the UNA-NCA Spring Career Dinners

By Tselmegtsetseg Tsetsendelger, YP Communications Director, and Robert White, YP member

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The UNA-NCA Spring Young Professionals’ Career Dinner was fortunate to have Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, co-founder of the (International Civil Society Action Network) ICAN and former recipient of the UNA-NCA Perdita Huston Human Rights Award, as a keynote speaker this year. Sanam weaved stories of her own career journey and stories of other women from Nigeria to Afghanistan, about strength, and resiliency as an inspiring factor of her career and drive to continue her work. She spoke of the women in conflict zones rising above their uncertain climates to create lasting impact in their communities and why investing in women is proportionate to investing in the larger community.
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27 April 2018

United Nations Association Hosts Premier Model UN Conference at State Department

Global Classrooms DC, the flagship education program of the UN Association of the National Capital Area, will host its 14thAnnual Spring Model UN Conference on Friday, April 27th at the U.S. Department of State and Pan American Health Organization. The conference is the largest partner event held at the Department of State, bringing together over 700 students, educators, volunteers, and guests. Throughout the rest of the year, Global Classrooms DC works with teachers and students in order to increase youth engagement in international affairs by means of improving public speaking, conflict management skills, and understanding of global issues.

This year’s featured speaker is U.S. Youth Observer to the UN, Munira Khalif. Her experience as a first-generation Somali-American citizen has heavily influenced her strong advocacy for universal access to education and women’s and girl’s rights. Through her commitment to the UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, the leadership of youth non-profit, Lighting the Way, and advocacy efforts to guarantee girls education in developing countries, Munira seeks to highlight the transformative power of education on an international scale. 
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11 April 2018

Report on the Highlights of the 62nd CSW

By Sydney Spencer, Program Assistant, UNA-NCA

8,000 nongovernmental organizations from all over the world attended this year's 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the highest attendance in the commission's history.

On April 4th, UNA-NCA in partnership with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the Alliance for Peacebuilding, hosted the event "Highlights from the 2018 Commission on the Status of Women.”

The event was moderated by Lyric Thompson, Director of Policy and Advocacy at ICRW and UNA-NCA Board Member and featured the panelists Jordan Hibbs, Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy; Helena Minchew, Program Officer at the International Women's Health Coalition; and Kimberly Weichel, UNA-NCA Advisory Council Chair.

These women provided attendees with invaluable insight into the 2018 CSW including its positive takeaways, member state commitments, and areas in need of improvement.
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02 April 2018

2018 World Autism Awareness Day

10 years ago, the UN General Assembly unanimously declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) at the beginnong of 2008. This year, WAAD falls on the day after Easter.

We are hoping you might be willing to participate in a couple small efforts to help raise attention of the observance and the need to help improve understanding of what autism is (and isn’t), help improve the quality of life of those with autism, and to help tackle the stigmatization and discrimination associated with neurological differences at home and abroad.

Ideas to celebrate and support WAAD:

  • Wear blue on 2 April in recognition of WAAD -- or wear your favorite autism awareness shirt
  • Don’t have one?  There are many places online for you to order one including the Autism Speaks online storeAmazon, and WorkPlacePro
  • Change your porch light to a blue lightbulb leading up to (and on) the day. Blue lightbulbs can be purchased at Home Depot, Amazon, and many other stores
  • Share with your networks information on World Autism Awareness Day
  • Entering in the Autism Speaks Walk in DC at the Washington National Mall on Saturday, October 6th, 2018 and or at Towson University on Sunday, October 14th, 2018

If you have other ideas, we welcome them!



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