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20 December 2017

Human Rights Awards 2017

On Thursday, December 7th, the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) hosted its annual Human Rights Awards Reception at the National Education Association (NEA). This event correlated with the 69th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Human Rights Day, celebrated on December 10th.

Awards were presented to Ambassador Keith Harper (ret.), former US Ambassador to the Human Rights Council in Geneva; His Excellency Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Nancy Rivard, Founder and President of Airline Ambassadors International; and Bread for the City, whose award was accepted by CEO George A. Jones.
 
Click the banner image below to view the complete coverage of the evening.

Human rights Awards Reception

Click here to view photos from the event!

Download the full program booklet here. 



13 December 2017

Pull out of US from International Migration Conference by President Trump stuns global community

By Stephen F. Moseley, President, UNA-NCA

On December 3rd, President Trump abruptly pulled the U.S. out of participation in the Global Compact and International Conference on Migration. The purpose of the compact and the conference is to plan a more humane global strategy on migration in light of the extraordinary and historic levels of mass migration and suffering of refugees, migrants, and other displaced people – over 30% of whom are fleeing conflict and war. The president withdrew from the conference and the compact saying involvement in the process interferes with American sovereignty and runs counter to U.S. immigration policies.

This latest withdrawal by the president from consideration of how to help address one of the most devastating global issues – the need to support people's human needs – on the week of International Human Rights Day, is directly contrary to the vast majority of American’s opinion that the U.S. should remain engaged with such UN efforts to meet humanitarian needs and to support peace efforts in the face of global conflicts. The envoys of 193 other nations participated in the conference last week in Mexico.

When added to the president's earlier decisions this year – seemingly unilateral with consultation of neither key members of the administration or congress – such as the announcement to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and to pull out of the Paris Climate Change Accords, further underlines the United States' unwillingness to provide constructive leadership with countries around the world.

Our UNA-NCA must continue to seek more opportunities to educate and convey how important and necessary are the historical ties and commitments of the U.S. to world peace and humane actions toward those most in need.




12 December 2017

Photo Gallery: GCDC Fall Model UN Training Conference

The Fall Model UN Training Conference was a great success! Students from nine different schools around the DC-area spent the day on November 16 discussing how to protect the human rights of refugees around the world. 

Global Classrooms DC is already working on organizing the Annual Spring 2018 Model UN Conference at the U.S. Department of State. This conference will be held on April 27, 2018, and you can click here to learn more. We will start looking for volunteers starting in January of 2018, and you can sign up here

See below for a selection of pictures from the Fall 2017 Model UN Training Conference:
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11 December 2017

UNA-NCA Stands Up For Human Rights

“This year’s commemoration of Human Rights Day marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of seven decades since the adoption of one of the world’s most profound and far-reaching international agreements.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the equality and dignity of every human being and stipulates that every government has a core duty to enable all people to enjoy all their inalienable rights and freedoms.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres’ message on Human Rights Day.

The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area celebrated International Human Rights Day on December 7, 2017 with its Annual Human Rights Awards Reception at the National Education Association. UNA-NCA members and supporters stood up for human rights recognizing the outstanding work this year’s honorees are doing to improve human rights in their communities and around the world.

Awardees_-_Edited
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07 December 2017

Human Rights Awards 2017 Remarks by Nancy Rivard

“It is such an honor to receive this award, especially from the Lantos family, as AAI was born in their office in 1996 and they have been a fountain of inspiration and support ever since.

Secondly because my late uncle, Ambassador Jonathon Dean, was president of this United Nations Association, he also was one of my great inspirations and one of the world’s foremost authorities on nuclear disarmament.

All of us want to harvest the fruits of a life well lived, but how do we do that?
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07 December 2017

Human Rights Awards 2017 Remarks by George Jones, Bread for the City CEO

First, allow me to thank you, Councilmember White, for joining us here tonight and for presenting Bread for the City with the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area’s 2017 Human Rights award.

On behalf of our Board Directors, our Staff and all the people we serve, it is my honor and privilege to accept this wonderful award to Bread for the City.

Thanks so much to the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area for recognizing Bread for the City with this prestigious award.

When I began to think about my remarks for tonight’s ceremony, I had no doubt that it would be easy to look on the United Nations Association’s website to find alignment between UNA NCA’s goals and Bread for the City’s. As it turns out, it was easier than I thought. A quick look at United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and I immediately saw that goal numbers 2, 3 and 10, end hunger, ensure good health and end inequality respectively. Those 3 aims describe the social justice issues that Bread for the City has prioritized and focused on for over 4 decades.
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07 December 2017

Human Rights Awards 2017 Remarks by Ambassador Keith M. Harper (ret.)

First, I’d like to thank Ambassador Jorge Lomonaco for his kind words and friendship throughout my tenure in Geneva.  Jorge is the consummate diplomat – distinguished ambassador, out of central casting.  My predecessor Eileen Donahoe told me right before I left for Geneva that the position was incredible because of the important work you will get to do but, as well, the incredible people – your ambassadorial colleagues.  They are fascinating, incredible people who you will learn a ton form. That certainly was my experience.  But on top of that, for some, you will become close friends that will last beyond Geneva.  And Shelby and I are grateful for the friendship of Jorge and his extraordinary wife Claudia.   

I also was to publicly express my deep gratitude to my wife and partner, Shelby Settles Harper who is here today. It is indeed true that when you serve abroad for your nation, your entire family serves.  And Shelby was an exceptional ambassadorial spouse – a diplomat in every sense.  She’s the rock for our family and I want to thank her for her love and partnership. 

I want to United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area – what a humbling honor.  More humbling still because of my co-honorees who have so devoted their life to improving the life of others.   
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07 December 2017

Human Rights Awards 2017 Remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

Excellencies, 
Distinguished honorees,
Colleagues, friends 

It is an honor to receive this award, which I humbly accept on behalf of all my staff – some of whom work in conditions that are extremely menacing and harsh. 

Almost two months ago, I went on mission to Libya – a country so broken, so dangerous, it is practically the only place in the world in which the UN cannot maintain a permanent presence. And yet my remarkably courageous and dedicated colleagues go there weekly – knowing that each trip may risk their lives – to look into a truly shocking range of human rights abuses, and to advocate and assist with practical steps towards change. 

Prior to that mission, I had spent a few days in Silicon Valley. The shock of these deep dives into such radical extremes of human experience is quite extraordinary. In Silicon Valley, I met digital engineers working on artificial intelligence techniques to map the wiring in our brains. In Libya, thousands of people, mainly migrants, are subjected to slavery, trafficking and sexual violence, and almost anyone may be the object of arbitrary violence by armed groups. The need to re-assert the primacy of people's human rights is absolutely evident, and urgent. 
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