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27 April 2017

Now, More Than Ever, We Need Your Support!


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For more than 70 years, the United Nations has been the cornerstone of a new world order, preventing another catastrophic world war that would no doubt be the last. Longstanding bipartisan support for US leadership at the UN is under challenge in some quarters.

There have been proposals to slash funding, withdraw from UN organizations, and revisit the value of treaty commitments. Funding for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) with its lifesaving programs for women and children has been terminated. The US commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement is under attack.

Like any human institution, the United Nations is far from perfect. Highly respected Secretary General António Guterres is fully committed to UN reforms, and US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has stated that she is committed to working with him to achieve a more efficient and effective United Nations. The challenges facing the global community have changed, and the United Nations must change to respond to these challenges.

We at UNA-NCA see this as an opportunity to demonstrate how US leadership at the United Nations will greatly enhance US national security, diplomatic, economic and defense interests. US leadership means fully funding our UN obligations. But this will require public education and strong advocacy.

We are counting on your support to raise our profile and engage in this debate. We need to show---

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  • That the United Nations provides global humanitarian assistance to 130 million needy people affected by natural and manmade disasters and an unprecedented 70 million refugees and displaced persons, mitigating the harsh effects of global instability.
  • That the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development address the systemic causes of global instability through cooperative private sector, civil society and government investment in improving global living conditions.
  • That the UN Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights extend American values globally, establishing universals norms in the fight against violators of human rights from human trafficking to gender suppression.
  • That with US support, UN peacekeepers are a cost-effective alternative to US boots on the ground in 16 conflict zones from Lebanon to Mali to Somalia—breeding grounds for metastasizing terrorism.
  • That the UN Specialized Agencies provide efficient multilateral solutions to global challenges from international aviation safety and security to controlling pandemics and communicable diseases that do not respect sovereign borders.
  •  That the Chemical Weapons Conventionand Security Council Resolutions have established that the use of chemical weapons in war or against civilian populations is illegal and a war crime.
  • Leadership in implementing the Paris Climate Accords will apply American ingenuity and technology to the creation of new domestic jobs in clean energy infrastructure and new markets for US exports.
  • Finally, that US leadership is absolutely critical in ensuring an effective, accountable, transparent, and efficient United Nations.

We have a strong case to make—and there has never been a more important time to make it. If you have already contributed, please consider contributing again. Will you make an extra commitment that will enable UNA-NCA to demonstrate what 70 plus years of history has shown—that United States leadership at the United Nations is not only vital to our national security, but at less than one percent of the US budget, is a very cost effective tool of US foreign policy?
amembersday In this spirit, please consider making a tax deductible donation to help us continue to achieve our mission. While we are a part of the largest supporting network of the United Nations here in the US, along with the Better World Campaign and UN Foundation family, we are responsible for securing our own funding.  Your donation will enable UNA-NCA to support its flagship Global Classrooms Model UN programadvocacy training and visits to congressional representatives, the efforts to legislate support for women's rights in our area, the seminars on peace and security, sustainable development, human rights, and international law; and the career development and mentoring support to our young professionals.

DONATE TODAY!

Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

Sincerely,

Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (ret)

President

 




24 April 2017

UNA-NCA Seeks Development Associate

United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) is seeking a part-time Development Associate.

Position: Development Associate

Part time: 24 hours/week

The Development Associate is responsible for supporting fundraising efforts and building a systemic approach for financial support for UNA-NCA’s major initiatives. Critical elements of this position include managing timelines and tracking progress and deliverables, development of letters, emails and packets, grant writing, prospect research, outreach and reporting. This position is also responsible for performing associated communications and marketing tasks to support UNA-NCA resource development efforts.

The Development Associate reports to the Executive Director of UNA-NCA and works closely with the Development Committee, Board of Directors, Membership and Programs Director, and other team members.

Essential Functions

  • Prepare written solicitation including emails, letters for current and prospective donors.
  • Manage donor lists including individuals, foundations and institutional sponsors.
  • Manage prospect pipeline tracker and delivery of sponsor benefits.
  • Maintain internal team tracking system including timeline and meeting agendas.
  • Create fundraising reports and other reports as needed.
  • Prepare leadership for gift solicitation via research and preparation of briefing memos, background documents, proposals and other resources.
  • Participate in development of strategies for building relationships and soliciting funding from current and new donors.
  • Prepare acknowledgement letters and other correspondence.
  • Maintain accurate, up-to-date records on all donor related communications in database.
  • Research, prospect and solicit new sources of support for UNA programs.
  • Manage, create, and supervise fundraising content for social media accounts, and manage fundraising content for website, newsletter, annual report and other communications as needed.
  • Perform other related duties and/or tasks as assigned.

Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor's degree in a related field.
  • One to two years of experience in fundraising, including solicitations, grant proposals, and fundraising events.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel. Database management experience a plus. 
  • Strong organizational skills required.  
  • Strong ability to multi-task and work in fast-paced environment.  
  • Ability to work on a team with multiple key players and to effectively communicate with high profile stakeholders.
  • Ability to use discretion and independent judgment.
  • Excellent verbal, written, organizational, and interpersonal skills. 
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.

Please submit your resume and cover letter to Executive Director Paula Boland at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by May 12th. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Only those selected for interviews will be contacted.



05 April 2017

UNA-NCA Young Professionals Board of Directors Position Openings - Spring 2017

The UNA-NCA Young Professionals program cultivates future globally minded leaders in international affairs, spanning nonprofits and the public and private sectors through professional development programming and leadership and mentorship opportunities. YP BOARD OF DIRECTORS POSITIONS SUMMARY

UNA-NCA seeks motivated individuals for the UNA-NCA Young Professionals Program to fill five (5) volunteer leadership roles on the YP Board of Directors to serve as a co-director for a specific portfolio. These positions provide key leadership and programmatic support to the Association's full membership, in support of wider strategic organizational goals and initiatives overseen by the Executive Committee and full-time staff. The YP Board of Directors oversees a portfolio of activities related to UNA-NCA's Young Professionals membership, events, communications and government affairs initiatives.

  • Volunteer Leadership Position.
  • 2-5 hours per week.
  • Up to three (3) monthly in person meetings held in the Washington D.C. Metro area.
  • Directors are selected to serve a 2 year term, with the opportunity to extend.
  • Applicants must reside in the greater Washington D.C. area and be current UNA-NCA Members. Join here and select DC-Nat'l Capital Area Division as your chapter.

POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES

YP Co-Director of Communications & Advocacy

  • Craft communications strategy for YP engagement for current and potential member audiences in coordination with UNA-NCA Vice President for Communications and Vice President for Advocacy.
  • Play a key role on organization communications including on social media networks and other traditional media outlets.
  • Develop and implement individual communications and advocacy action plans for events and ad hoc fundraising initiatives led by the YP program in coordination with UNA-NCA VP for Advocacy, Maryland Area and Virginia Area Vice Chairs.
  • In coordination with Director of Membership and Outreach, serve as a liaison to the UNA-NCA Communications Committee and UNA-NCA Advocacy Committee.

YP Co-Director of Membership & Outreach

  • Craft membership and volunteer strategy and outreach plans for YPs in the greater DC and Baltimore areas in coordination with UNA-NCA Vice President for Membership and Volunteer Engagement
  • Work closely with the UNA-NCA Board Student Representative to implement strategies around student engagement.
  • Engage current members, working closely with Director of Communications & Advocacy, to increase retention of members and volunteers.
  • In coordination with Director of Communications & Advocacy, serve as a liaison to the UNA-NCA Communications Committee and UNA-NCA Advocacy Committee.

YP Co-Director of Operations

  • Serve as secretary for the YP Board, keeping all records of meetings and conduct follow up on all taskings and project assignments.
  • Manage all resources created by the YP program that can be shared and adapted by other program committees across UNA-NCA.
  • Oversee budget and financials for the YP program working closely with UNA-NCA staff and Vice President for Finance.
  • Coordinate all YP leaders and oversee meeting management, including space, scheduling, agendas and follow up.

YP Co-Director of Programs

  • Serve as project manager for all YP focused events.
  • Develop resources for committees and students for event planning and serve as a key advisor on programming for YP audiences in coordination with UNA-NCA Vice President for Education and Programs.
  • Manage the flagship International Career Dinner event hosted twice annually.
  • Coordinate event needs with UNA-NCA staff and fellow directors, including marketing, registration, volunteer engagement, and budget

YP Co-Director of Development

  • Oversee all fundraising and development efforts by the YP program.
  • Craft annual fundraising strategy and plan geared specifically toward YPs in coordination with UNA-NCA Vice President for Development.
  • Work with UNA-NCA staff and Board leadership on local partnership engagement for YP programming.
  • Serve as the liaison to the UNA-NCA Development Committee.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Ideal candidates are young professionals, graduate students and recent graduates in the Washington D.C. Metro area.
  • Passion for the United Nations and international issues a must.
  • Academic background in international affairs, journalism, communications, conflict resolution, public policy, security studies or international development desirable, but not required.
  • Ability to manage tasks in free time and work within deadlines.
  • Strong professional communications skills, including public speaking and frequent e-mail correspondence, required.
  • Experience working on group projects and/or in a team environment highly desirable.
  • Available for some events outside of normal business hours, on as-needed basis.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter addressed to UNA-NCA YP Program at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please mention what position you are applying for in the subject line of the email. In your cover letter, please indicate no more than three (3) of the YP Board positions for which you would like to be considered.

Interviews will take place throughout April and May with final candidates chosen by June.

Applications accepted on a rolling basis so apply early!



30 March 2017

UNA-NCA President's Statement: UN Ambassador Haley Sets Forth Important Priorities as the US Assumes Security Council Presidency


In her address to the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nicki Haley, set forth three priorities that she will advance when the US assumes the presidency of the UN Security Council in April.

First, she stated that human rights should be essential to the Security Council's peace and security mission. She contended that the abuse of human rights is often the cause of conflict, that it should be addressed up front by the Security Council, and that the United States should be a strong advocate of human rights as "the moral conscience of the world." We agree. Hopefully when Ambassador Haley visits the Human Rights Council in Geneva in June, she will learn that US leadership at the HRC is essential in shaping the agenda and addressing human rights abuses around the world.

Second, Ambassador Haley called for a comprehensive review of UN Peacekeeping missions. Hopefully she will draw upon the many studies that have been done and recognize the value to US national security of UN peacekeepers protecting civilians and keeping the peace in conflict areas, often in failed and failing states that are breeding grounds for terrorism, where the US would not want to send boots on the ground. It is timely and appropriate to evaluate the specific mandate, need for, and performance of each peacekeeping mission, and to ensure that peacekeepers are well trained and accountable. UN peacekeeping can and should be a very cost-effective tool in the US defense arsenal that the Administration seeks to strengthen.

Finally, Ambassador Haley reaffirmed her commitment and that of the Secretary General to seek reforms at the UN that will make it more effective in realizing the vision of the San Francisco Charter. We agree that US constructive leadership, working closely with like-minded allies and the new Secretary General, is essential to an effective United Nations.

- Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (retired) 



21 March 2017

GCDC Spring Conference Keynote Announced



Click the video to see a short documentary about the first-ever U.S. Youth Observer to the UN, Brooke Loughrin

The U.S. Youth Observer to the UN, Nicol Perez, will be giving the keynote speech at Global Classrooms DC's (GCDC) 14th Annual Spring Model United Nations Conference. The May 2nd event is expecting hundreds of middle and high school students, as well as enthusiastic and dedicated educators, parents, volunteers, staff, and guests. 

NicolPerezNicol, a graduate from the University of Florida, worked as the "president of Nourish International, a student-run, non-profit organization that works towards making a sustainable impact on communities around the world. During her time at UF, Nicol spearheaded a project in Guatemala City, alongside 3 other students, where they taught business classes to a group of 50 single mothers living in extreme poverty and provided them with the tools and skills needed to start their own businesses. At UF, Nicol co-founded the Global Leadership Program where elected students spent a semester leading business ventures around campus to raise money to start a Goat farm in Uganda. Later, Nicol studied abroad in Bangkok, Thailand where she volunteered with the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation for a semester. Upon graduation, Nicol received an Outstanding Leadership Award for her work in Guatemala."

Click here to learn more about Nicol 





15 March 2017

UNA-NCA President's Statement: US Leadership at the United Nations Has Never Been More Important


The first member of President Trump's foreign policy team to be confirmed by the Senate was UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. In her confirmation hearing, then Governor Haley testified: "I don't think we need to pull money out of the UN....we don't believe in slash and burn... We need to look at each and every mission, see what we are doing and how to make it more effective... As I've said, you can never win with slash and burn techniques." Since then Ambassador Haley has been the most effective foreign policy spokesperson in the Trump Administration, vigorously taking on Russian aggression in Crimea and the Ukraine, North Korean missile and nuclear mischief, and Syrian crimes against humanity. She has articulated a US foreign policy most consistent with bipartisan US foreign policy since World War II, thereby showing how US leadership at the United Nations is an essential tool in the US national security arsenal.

The unfortunate unfolding of the Trump Administration's proposed deep budget cuts in the funding of the State Department, the United Nations, and Foreign Assistance and its apparent intent to withdraw from UN agencies with which it disagrees represents a stark departure from the post-World War II global order designed, created, and advanced by both Republican and Democratic Administrations. Yes, for a time, the US sought to withhold funding from the UN, but funding was quickly restored after 9/11 when we woke up and realized that we were no longer an oasis, immune from the forces of evil and good in the global community. We recognized that the challenges we face in the 21st century are inherently global and need a global response-- terrorism, pandemics, an interconnected global economy, fair trade, climate change, migration, nuclear proliferation, among others.

While 193 nations may disagree on issues from time to time, for the most part the United Nations has been a strong voice in support of US values and policies from confronting nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, addressing war crimes and the use of chemical weapons in Syria, providing humanitarian assistance to victims of natural and man-made disasters, advocating for human rights, working for peace and security in conflict areas and creating sustainable and democratic institutions in failed and failing states. Like any complex organization, including the US Congress and the federal bureaucracy, the United Nations faces bureaucratic challenges and conflicting visions. History teaches that the UN is at its best when there is strong US leadership. When the only former UN ambassador to serve as US president, George H. W. Bush, sought UN support to confront Iraqi's invasion of Kuwait, the UN provided critical support for the Gulf war. As the only nation to send an Ambassador to New York for UN management and reform, the US has been successful in advocating for much needed reforms in the UN budget and personnel management, especially when we work behind the scene in quiet diplomacy with like-minded nations. Much more needs to be done. And we are fortunate that the UN has a Secretary General, who is greatly respected and fully committed to UN reform.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres' recent initiative to strengthen the accountability and effectiveness of UN Peacekeepers demonstrates not only his commitment to address abuses and neglect in need of reform but, perhaps more importantly, it serves a critical US national security objective and fundamental tenet of President Trump's foreign policy. The president has made clear that fighting global terrorism is a top priority, but he also has made clear the the United States cannot be the policeman of the world intervening in conflict situations around the globe and engaging in nation building. Yet, failing states are breeding grounds for terrorist cells. Strengthening UN Peacekeeping, with strong US and NATO support, would provide a cost-effective response to the proliferation of conflicts in areas where the US has no intention of deploying boots on the ground. The president understands that the American public would not support redeploying American troops to places like Somalia and Lebanon. We have done that before with disastrous consequences.

President Trump has proposed substantial increases in the defense budget, and so perhaps it is time for the Defense Department to assume the responsibility for funding UN Peacekeepers. With the US Security Council veto and with the US meeting its substantial peacekeeping funding commitments, the US must approve all peacekeeping missions and can exercise oversight over their implementation. This would be a cost effective tool in advancing the new administration's national security objectives.

In a broader sense, the new Secretary General's commitment to UN reform and the new President's foreign policy reforms offer the potential of a marriage of convenience.

We at UNA-NCA have to make the case. There are many examples of how US leadership at the UN serves the Administration's foreign policy objectives. US active engagement at the UN Human Rights Council has lessened the obsessive focus on Israel and raised important issues about human rights in North Korea, Syria, Sri Lanka, and China. This is effective US diplomatic leadership at work shaping the UN agenda. Member states that may resent US lecturing on human rights will listen when the United Nations speaks for the global community. Many in Congress understand this, and with strong advocacy, Congress will maintain the funding levels for diplomacy, the United Nations and bilateral and multilateral foreign assistance. US leadership at the UN has never been more important. We encourage our members and supporters to take action now!

-Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (Retired)
President, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area

Please see document  prepared by the Better World Campaign and UNA-USA explaining the potential impacts of the Administration's proposed cuts on UN peacekeeping, humanitarian, and global health programs.



07 March 2017

National Capital Area Chapter of the United Nations Association Adopts A Refugee School in Kenya

Funds raised will help build classrooms and purchase school supplies through the nationwide Adopt-A-Future campaign in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2016) — The National Capital Area (NCA) chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) announced today that it is adopting the Elnino School in Dadaab, Kenya as part of the Adopt-A-Future campaign which supports refugee education worldwide in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The NCA chapter has set a fundraising goal of $30,000 to help build classrooms and purchase school supplies for the Dadaab School, which serves 928 male students and 668 female students for a total of 1,596 students ages 6 to 13 who have been forced to flee their homes in the midst of devastating conflict.

"We have all seen the heartbreaking images of refugee children who have been forced to leave their homes to escape violence and war," said the NCA chapter of the UNA. "If these children can't get an education in the camps where they are currently sheltering, they won't have the skills they need to either return home, should conditions allow, or to make a life for themselves in another country." NCA residents will make a difference in the lives of students who have already been through so much by supporting the Adopt-A-Future campaign, which seeks to prevent a lost generation of millions of refugee children."

It is currently estimated that over 65 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced from their homes, the highest figure ever recorded. Approximately 600,000 refugees currently reside in Kenya; more than half of these refugees are under 18 years old. The Adopt-A-Future Campaign supports refugee children worldwide, but is currently giving special emphasis to Kenya as the country has absorbed thousands of new refugees from conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Somalia, but has received little media attention and very limited philanthropic support.

All funds raised through the Adopt-A-Future campaign will be matched by the Educate A Child Fund of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nassar of Qatar and other philanthropic partners. To help the chapter meet its fundraising goal, please visit http://www.unausa.org/programs/adopt-a-future.

All donations to the Adopt-A-Future campaign are tax deductible.



01 March 2017

The Refugee Crisis: UNA-NCA’s Response

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UNA-USA has launched a campaign to raise funds to support the education of refugee children around the world. We need your help.


There are 70 million refugees and displaced persons in the world, more than the combined population of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand-- the largest number in recorded history.

And more than half of them are children. 80 percent are women and children.

One out of every 113 people on the planet is uprooted-- that's 24 people every minute. They are forced from their homes because of persecution, violence, conflict or natural disasters.

The average length of time a person is displaced is 17 years. Children become adults. Will they have the education and training to be productive members of society when they return home or resettle in a new country?

A refugee child who is not in school is at risk of being abused, trafficked, or radicalized by extremist groups.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is working to prevent a lost generation by educating refugees children in camps and other settlements around the world. But they need our help.

To put it diplomatically, many of us are concerned that the United States government today is not as welcoming to refugees as we should be and have been historically. We need to step up and take action to address this global crisis, and UNA-NCA now provides the opportunity!

The United Nations Association-- USA has initiated the "Adopt-A-Future" program to provide educational facilities, equipment, textbooks, backpacks, and uniforms to refugee children around the world. For example, it provides support to some 60 schools in two UNHCR camps in Kenya, housing the largest number of refugees in the world.

The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), one of the largest and most active chapters of UNA-USA, is raising funds to support "Adopt-A-Future" and to enable our chapter to provide assistance to schools for refugees in Africa and the Middle East. Please contribute to this worthy cause. Contributions are fully tax deductible.

Ways to contribute:

  1. Mail a check made out to UNA-NCA with “Adopt-A-Future” written on the memo line.
  2. Bring a check or cash to the UNA-NCA office, 2000 P Street NW Suite 630, Washington, DC, 20036.
  3. Call UNA-NCA at 202-223-6092 for contributions through credit card.
  4. Contribute online here and make sure to mark chapter as "DC-National Capital Area" as your local chapter.

We will keep you posted on the campaign and on the schools that we help on our website.

Your support is welcome and greatly appreciated.

With deepest gratitude,
Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (Retired)
President, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area



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