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19 March 2015

Brackets for a Cause begins with the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Let the games begin! May the odds be ever in your favor!

A big thank you to all of those who donated to our Brackets for a Cause campaign. Make sure to check the GCDC Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on the standings. Good luck and stay tuned!

18 March 2015

UNA-NCA is a proud supporter of the Mexico 100 program

For the 2nd semester in a row, UNA-NCA has hosted interns from the Washington Center’s Mexico 100 program, a federal initiative that brings together 125 outstanding young professionals from Mexico to intern in various organizations here in D.C.

One of our interns for this semester, Arturo Castillo, along with a few other students, was chosen to represent the program and the Mexican community of interns in Washington at theJoint Statement on the Signing of the U.S.-Mexico Memorandum of Understanding on Internships on Tuesday, 17th March. This document was created to expand the academic exchange between both countries and to strengthen the integration and competitiveness of the region in the US framework of 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative as well as Mexico’s Proyecta 100,000 initiative.  

We’re very proud of Arturo and to be a continued supporter of the Mexico 100 program!


12 March 2015

The International Telecommunication Union at 150 - A Conversation with the Secretary General

On March 11th The UNA-NCA hosted Mr. Houlin Zhao, the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This year the ITU is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

In its long history the organization has evolved to champion innovations in communication and standard setting in communication technology. ITU's mission, as expressed by Mr. Zhao, has developed over time to offer support and services to governments by helping them create an attractive environment for investment. The ITU is working closely with countries in Africa and facilitating the creation of telecommunication infrastructure. Mr. Zhao spoke of the great potential that Africa has in becoming a leading region for the telecommunication industry. He said the way to create a ‘smart’ Africa, or even a smart world is by connecting schools and educational institutions within a network of communication.

from left to right: Ambassador (former) Don Bliss, President UNA-NCA, Paula Boland, Executive Director UNA-NCA, and Secretary General of the ITU Mr. Houlin Zhao

The role of the ITU is to bring accessible and innovative communication to the world. In the words of Mr. Zhao, “the ITU’s success is reliant on the strength to keep up with the latest communications and spreading this information throughout the world. The ITU’s mission is to connect all people on the planet.” 

UNA-NCA is dedicated to educating its members on the work of UN agencies.  Watch out for our events so that you may be a part of such engaging discussions in the future.  

25 February 2015

UNA-USA Members' Day

UNA-NCA Members Attend UNA Members' Day and co-host Young Professionals Networking Social with the UNA-USA | Southern New York Division

Kicking off the UNA Members' Day events on Thursday, February 19, several UNA-NCA members participated in organizational briefings with selected UN offices and initiatives to include the UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Women, and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

Following, on Friday, February 20, 2015, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed an audience of more than 750 UNA-USA members and UN supporters who visited UN Headquarters for the official Members' Day program and the 7th Annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, a day of dynamic and informative discussion on the most pressing issues facing the United Nations.

Using the theme, The UN at 70: A Year for Bold Action, UNA-USA members got exclusive access to the UN, where they heard from experts, and networked with community leaders, academics and students, and representatives from think tanks and like-minded organizations.  Topics included:

·         Marching to Paris: The Road to a Climate Deal

·         At Home and Abroad: Activism for Universal Human Rights

·         From the MDGs to the SDGs: The Future of Global Health

·         Back to Iraq: The Rise of ISIL and the End of Arab Spring

UNA-USA's coverage of the day, including agenda details, speaker bios and a video recording

Following UN Member Day activities, UNA-NCA and UNA-USA/SNY Young Professionals hosted a networking social that attracted over 60 supporters sponsored in the Donald Trump World Tower (Midtown).  Chris Whatley, the UNA-USA Executive Director, provided opening remarks emphasizing the Post-2015 development goals and energy needed to carry forward the action/2015 campaign.  He further encouraged more focus and attention to advocacy at the local, state, and federal government/policy maker levels.

You can also view more coverage of UNA-USA Members' Day through the links below: 

05 February 2015

Talk by UN High Commissioner on Human Rights: Can Atrocities be Prevented? Living in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Margit Meissner, a Holocaust survivor, volunteer and docent at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum introduced the speaker, The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who previously served as president of the UN Security Council, and from 1996 to 2007 was the permanent representative of Jordan to the UN. 

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, Mr. Al Hussein, highlighted the importance of community building and moral education with ethical training for the youth.  Through his talk he touched upon issues such as violence being a choice, the power of persuasion, and the need for profound and inspiring leadership around the globe. Al Hussein emphasized the significance of education to achieve global peace. In his words, through education we must encourage children to create their own universe built on compassion and empathy "We need people with a PhD level of compassion." Additionally, with sound governance and with discussion and debate among world leaders and powerful nations we must create a society where we are opposed to violence in all forms, and can live under the Charter of Human Rights as one people connected by the common goal of developing the human spirit. 

UNA-NCA was proud to help promote the talk and to participate in the discussion that followed. 

A full transcript of Al Hussein's remarks is available on the US Holocaust Memorial Museum website. Also, you can watch a video webcast of the event.

22 January 2015

UNA-NCA Hosts event on "The Ebola Outbreak: Challenges and Next Steps for the Future"

In response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak, the African Affairs Committee hosted a global health forum with the theme: “The Ebola Outbreak: Challenges and Next Steps for the Future” on January 14. The attendees of the forum included international delegates, healthcare/public health professionals, and students. The event was hosted at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, DC.

The forum commenced with a keynote address from Dr. Lynn Goldman, Dean and professor at the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health. Her remarks were followed by that of Honorable Elizabeth Johnson Sirleaf, Deputy Minister for Administration-Liberia, who gave a riveting testimony about the current state of affairs in Liberia. Moderated by Dr. Ron Waldman, Professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, the panel of six experts discussed a variety of topics including technology and health systems strengthening, potential economic impact, and the engagement of civic society.

The Africa Committee will continue to engage the global community to identify ideas that will deliver practical and cost effective innovations and partnerships necessary to combat and stop the spread of this outbreak in the affected countries. 

22 January 2015

Special Program Highlighting DC/Cities for CEDAW

On January 20, we saw something extraordinary take place in the capitol city beyond the State of the Union address. While the US is one of the seven member states—and the only industrialized nation—that has failed to ratify the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the people of DC came to learn about how CEDAW has been adopted locally in several other communities including San Francisco (1998) and Louisville (2014) and its potential for being adopted here in Washington DC. What if we as activists and leaders stood together and made a statement to our neighbors as well as the nation that we will protect women’s human rights in the nation’s capital?

What we do locally matters nationally and globally, and we can bring the principles of CEDAW into our cities and embody them from the grassroots level up. “Women’s rights are not a women’s issue,” noted Karen Mulhauser, Chair of UNA-USA. Women’s rights and equality are concerns of everyone, a sentiment that was palpable in the room of men and women as attendees interacted, and began collaborating with one another on projects and goals, right there on the open floor of the UN Foundation.

The DC Council is working to put legislation through that will reflect the principles of CEDAW. The plan is to include a study of what the city is already doing and a comprehensive look at what is happening in the government right now with regards to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. DC Councilman David Grosso believes this could be made law within a year if they have support moving forward. Mayor Muriel Bowser, unable to attend, sent the new DC Executive Director of the Office on Women’s Policy and Commission for Women Kimberly Bassett to speak about the importance of this legislation.

The event featured a stacked group of speakers, including Chris Whatley, Executive Director of UNA-USA; Kimberly Bassett from the Women's Policy and Commission for Women in Mayor Muriel Bowser's Executive Office; June Zeitlin, the Chair of CEDAW Task Force at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; DC Council Members David Gross, Anita Bonds, and Elissa Silverman; and Maggie Forster Schmitz, President of US National Committee for UN Women.

To learn more about the movement and get further information about Cities for CEDAW, contact Ashlee Ryan, Director of Membership and Operations, UNA-NCA, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Post written by Heather Hill with edits from Karen Mulhauser and Kim Weichel

20 January 2015

2014 Baltimore Inter-Generational Consultation Final Report

UNA-NCA is delighted to present the report of the inter-generational consultation held at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 11, 2014.

The consultation was based on the key Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the UN for the years 2016-2030. Participants in the consultation included more than 160 representatives of civil society and community based organizations, universities, businesses, and government leaders, including graduate and undergraduate students from local universities.   Following the consultation, the discussions and feedback from participants was synthesized into a final report on the November 2014 Baltimore Inter-Generational Consultation on the United Nations Post 2015 Global Development Agenda.    

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