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17 August 2015

Farewell and Thank You to UNA-NCA’s Summer Program Assistants

UNA-NCA wishes to express much appreciation to its program assistants who worked in the office this summer!                                   

group             UNA-NCA team from left to right: Megan Penn (Director of Global Education), Alana Floyd (Program Assistant), Esther Kim (Program Assistant), Kristen Hecht (Director of Membership and Programs), Paula Boland (Executive Director), Camille Pasquinelli (Program Assistant), Nicole Graham (Program Assistant)

This summer's group of program assistants provided assistance in the areas of event planning and outreach, social media, communications, membership management, and research and development. Over the past months, program assistants worked on a variety of projects, including: creating the organization’s annual report, hosting UNA-NCA’s Annual Membership Meeting, participating in Advocacy Day on capitol hill, preparing materials for a Board of Directors orientation, hosting a peacebuilding program with students visiting from Cyprus, planning for the fall season of events and programs, and attending various committee meetings.

The group was also given professional development and networking opportunities through weekly seminars hosted by the United Nations Information Center, participation in professional skill building webinars, and registration to events that related to their areas of interest.

“Not only did this summer’s program assistants bring technical skills to the organization. On a daily basis, each one brought enthusiasm to their work, exercised patience as needed, and demonstrated determination to accomplish whatever task was at hand. Alana, Nicole, Esther, and Camille were an inspiration to me each and every day. I wish each one nothing but the best in their future endeavors.”
Kristen Hecht, Director of Membership and Programs
When asked to reflect upon their summer internship at UNA-NCA, here’s what the group had to say about their experience:

Alana "Being a program assistant at UNA-NCA was a truly rewarding summer experience.  The opportunities to participate in UN related events and get first hand experience working with an incredible non-profit staff and board.  The passion at UNA-NCA combined with the thriving city of DC made this summer an unforgettable one." -Alana Floyd, 2015 summer program assistant
nicole_headshot “I passed up a paid internship to work at UNA-NCA and couldn't be happier that I did. Throughout the summer no two days were the same, and as a team we covered all corners of DC to participate in events, meetings, panels, and volunteer opportunities. Kristen and Paula were amazing to work with, helping me hone my career goals and work on projects that were specific to my interests and helped me improve my skills. I am forever grateful to them for this experience.” –Nicole Graham, 2015 summer program assistant
esther        “Interning at UNA-NCA was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I have learned so much through the countless opportunities that the organization provides, along with the mentorship and encouragement within the office. From United Nations officers to former ambassadors, I have met incredibly accomplished people, who have provided immense insight into a future career in international affairs.” –Esther Kim, 2015 summer program assistant
"I want to thank UNA-NCA for giving me the opportunity to learn more about the work of the United Nations, the impact that UNA-NCA can make in the community, and what it truly means to work in a fast-paced non-profit environment. Without a doubt, the internship exceeded my expectations and I will always be thankful to those who helped me along the way. The staff at UNA-NCA taught me what it means to love what you do and the importance of doing my work to the best of my abilities. UNA-NCA reminded me just how impactful an organization can be in a community and why I want to dedicate my career to the non-profit sector.” –Camille Pasquinelli, 2015 summer program assistant

27 July 2015

UNA-NCA partners with UNA-USA on Communications Strategy

On July 23, 2015, UNA-NCA’s Communications Committee invited its members and interested individuals to an informational meeting about communication strategies and social media tools at the United Nations Foundation.

Amy Auguston, Communications and UN Relations Officer at UNA-USA, was the guest speaker at the meeting. Drawing from her extensive experience at the national organization, Ms. Auguston gave presentations regarding best social media practices and advanced digital strategy. Some highlighted key points were the importance of digital toolkits, social media analytics, and Facebook and Twitter etiquette.

FullSizeRenderSpecial thanks to the United Nations Foundation for providing our committee with the meeting space and technical support!

If you are interested in getting involved with this committee, have questions about the Communications Committee, or would like to be included in future meeting and event invitations, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , VP of Communications. 

23 July 2015

GCDC collaborates with World Affairs Council

On July 23, 2015, Global Classrooms DC gave a presentation on the role of international organizations to the Council's 2015 Leadership Academy on International Affairs.

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22 July 2015

UNA-NCA Hosts Peacebuilding Program with Cypriot Youth

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15 July 2015

Washington, DC Launch of the Report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice, and Governance

On July 9, the Stimson Center held an event to mark the release of the most recent report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance, Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance.   The esteemed former U.S. Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine K Albright, and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and Assistant-Secretary-General for the UN Department of Field Support and for the Peacebuilding Support Office, Jane Holl Lute came together to introduce and discuss the new vision for security offered in the report.  

                              Executive Director Paula Boland and former Sec. of State Madeline AlbrightUNA-NCA's Executive Director Paula Boland (left) and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright (right)

The world is facing new challenges, which undermine human security, human development, and human rights and exceed the operational and political capacities of global governance institutions created in the mid-twentieth century.  Mass violence in fragile states, growing climate change, and the threat of cyber-attacks cannot be easily resolved by any one country. The report suggests heightened networks of support and creative solutions are necessary to tackle these issues.  
Ambassador Albright said, “The recommendations of the commission are intended, in this 70th anniversary year of the United Nations to encourage what Professor Gambari and I have been calling a 'road map' for a broad based policy dialogue at an institutional reform agenda aimed at 2020… We have to take this road map out of the glove compartment and we need to invite potential partners from around the world, governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, media, and international organizations to help build and sustain a coalition for progressive global change in pursuit of a vision of justice and security for all.”
In addition, the commission recommends non-traditional engagement with the UN Security Council, establishment of a UN Peacebuilding Council, better use of the International Court of Justice, and the launch of the UN Parliamentary Network.  These steps have the potential to result in effective UN reform and greatly increase global impact.  
It is important now more than ever that these adjustments be made with justice and security in mind.  A new direction for ethics and governance will provide the global community the momentum necessary in order to thrive and overcome these urgent challenges.  
Read the full report here.  
Stimson Center coverage and a full video of the event may be found online.  

07 July 2015

New Reports Released by the UN

MDG Report 2015 Summary & Blurb

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report 2015 has been released by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators, led by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Secretariat. The findings show the final results of the MDG initiative, and springboard into the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted this year. The MDGs have annually assessed eight outlined objectives: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to achieve universal primary education; to promote gender equality and empower women; to reduce child mortality; to improve maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS; malaria and other diseases; to ensure environmental stability; and to create a global partnership for development. Data is compiled by 28 UN and international agencies, and the report was produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. As a result of the MDGs, the number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half, there has been a dramatic improvement in gender equality, and gender parity in primary schools has been achieved most countries. The rate of children dying before their fifth birthday has declined by more than half, maternal mortality has declined 45% worldwide, and combating targeted diseases have seen unprecedented results. While this report shows amazing improvements, progress has been uneven across regions and countries. World leaders have therefore called for the SDGs, to improve upon the MDGs’ impressive progress. These new goals will target inequality, economic growth, jobs, cities and human settlements, industrialization, energy, climate change, sustainable consumption and production, peace and justice.  
To learn more, view the entire Millennium Development Goals Report 2015, or see The Guardian’s summary of the report’s findings of what the MDGs have achieved.

On June 16, 2015, the Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on United Nations Peace Operations was presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  The panel was appointed in October 2014 to assess the state of UN peace operations. The report indicates that after many consultations, thematic workshops, and literature reviews, the trajectory of UN peace operations must be altered and strengthened in a number of ways.  
While UN peace operations have become significantly more professional and capable over the past decade, the world still faces chronic challenges that must be addressed.   The panel identified four vital shifts that will help UN peace operations reach its full potential: increased political drive and design, more flexible and contextual responses, stronger global and regional partnerships, and further focus by UN Headquarters on field missions and protection of people.  
The panel provided a variety of suggestions to help meet these goals and reestablish a global culture of conflict prevention.  Recommendations included the creation of a victim assistance programme, provision of sufficient resources for timely recruitment and deployment of human rights officers, and establishment of a position for an additional Deputy Secretary-General, responsible for peace and security.  A list of the recommendations and the full report may be found online.  


30 June 2015

Happy 70th Birthday, United Nations!

Friday, June 26, 2015, marked the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Charter! In celebration, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Vice President of the General Assembly Einar Gunnarsson and Ambassador Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States of America in San Francisco, the birthplace of the UN, to deliver remarks. The conception of the Charter was a “glorious gamble,” Mr. Ban stated, and out of it came something bigger than any one person or country.

Ban highlighted the ways that the UN can touch lives, such as his own, during times of indignity and loss. In post-war Korea, he recalls the helping hands of UNICEF and UNESCO changing his world for the better. Now, and moving forward from this 70 year milestone, the UN continues to stand for human rights by feeding the hungry, sheltering refugees, and vaccinating children against deadly diseases around the world, despite tragedies that occur every step of the way.

Ban acknowledged that this anniversary is about the future, and taking this moment to reflect on the charter will serve as a call to “unite our strength”. In the coming months, world leaders will work together to develop agendas that will tackle global poverty and climate change. As the number of people fleeing their home countries due to conflict is higher now than at any point since the Second World War, the work of the UN is becoming ever increasingly important. After 70 years of accomplishments, the UN must now look forward and adapt to the always changing challenges facing the world today.

A video and transcript of Ban Ki-moon’s full remarks may be found online.

Visit the UN News Centre’s website for official media coverage on the June 26 commemoration and a brief video about the charter of the United Nations.

25 June 2015

Congratulations to UNFCU on its First Anniversary!

The United Nations Federal Credit Union Marks First Anniversary in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2015) -- A year ago to the day, the United Nations Federal Credit Union opened its doors at 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue to serve the lending, investment and insurance needs of the highly mobile, international community in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding Maryland-Virginia-Delaware-area. The street-level, 2,700-square foot facility has since welcomed nearly 900 new members, a 40% increase in membership over the prior year when UNFCU solely served District of Columbia members remotely.

“Given our existing members and the international community in Washington, D.C., we felt it was important to open a local branch,” said Pamela Agnone, senior vice president of Retail Services, who added that staff at the location speaks nearly a dozen languages. “Our experience serving G4 visa holders and foreign nationals allows us to provide members with unique products and services, and financial guidance that takes into account their mobile lifestyle.” 

“UNFCU’s specific ability to provide financial solutions to qualified members even without a U.S. credit history has enabled us to fill a need,” said Raymond Friday, who oversees Mid-Atlantic Mortgage Production at UNFCU. “As a portfolio lender, which is a rarity, we can offer members greater value, flexibility and ease in the lending process, as well as over the life of their mortgage.”

Also furthering UNFCU’s growth was its alliance launched last year with the United Nations Association of USA, the largest United Nations advocacy organization in the United States, with a National Chapter based in Washington D.C. UNFCU supported local initiatives led by the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, UNA-NCA. These included sponsorship of its Model UN Conference held at the U.S. State Department for students attending public and private schools across the District of Columbia; as well as its Maryland Inter-Generational Consultation on the UN Development Goals, conducted at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. UNFCU staff also participated in the UNA-NCA Young Professionals' leadership events and provided personal financial management workshops.

“UNA-NCA congratulates UNFCU on its first anniversary in the D.C. area,” said Paula Boland, Executive Director. “We are proud of the partnership we have forged, which has expanded our membership benefits, and we are grateful for UNFCU’s support of our educational programs.”


UNFCU, founded in 1947, offers a full suite of flexible savings, loan, investment and insurance products. As an active member of the United Nations Global Compact, UNFCU also supports causes important to the United Nations worldwide. Headquartered and with branches in New York, UNFCU also has a branch in Washington, D.C., and representative offices in Geneva, Switzerland; Vienna, Austria; Nairobi, Kenya, and Rome, Italy.

For more information on UNFCU and its first year in Washington, DC, visit UNFCU's YouTube Channel.  

Media Contact: Elisabeth Philippe, UNFCU, Tel.: +1 347-686-6776, Mobile: +1 347-510-4036, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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