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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!

28 March 2018

Observing and Championing Together Our Common U.S. Values and UN Goals

By Stephen  F. Moseley, President, UN Association- National Capital Area

This is a trying week for our UNA-NCA members to reflect on the many global challenges we face. The values that historically reinforce the founding principles of the UN – mirroring in many ways, the enduring values of the U.S. founding principles – seem increasingly challenged by the current U.S. administration’s policies and key leaders. As our new leaders for National Security and the State Department come into office next month, we hope they will seek to uphold these common  American and UN shared global values. Many UN members have counted on the U.S., without significant partisan differences, to champion these values, which include peacebuilding; equitable and fair treatment of women and girls; non-discrimination by race or class; youth engagement; economic opportunity for all, good governance and justice; celebration of human rights; access to health and education including for those students with disabilities; and humanitarian support of refugees and displaced persons. Today, we face the dual challenge of needing to ensure that these values are still being provided to our own citizens and residents,  in addition to our national responsibility to maintain these values for international stability around the world by continuing to fully fund the US share for successful operations of the UN.

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21 March 2018

A Member's Perspective of the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations

By Jordan Hibbs - UNA USA Member - National Capital Area

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to find out that I was selected as a delegate to the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), to represent the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). This week, thousands of representatives from government, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector from all over the world are preparing to make their way to New York City to take part in this year’s meeting of the United Nations’ CSW. Established by the UN in June 1946, the CSW is the principal global inter-governmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The 62nd CSW priority theme on “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender quality and the empowerment of rural women and girls,” will focus a renewed attention on the urgency of eradicating poverty and improving the livelihoods, well-being, and resilience of rural women and girls.
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19 March 2018

2018 UNA-NCA Human Rights Awards Nominations

The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area’s (UNA-NCA) annual Human Rights Awards Reception commemorates the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by presenting the Louis B. Sohn Human Rights Award, the Perdita Huston Human Rights Award, the F. Allen “Tex” Harris Diplomacy Award, and the Community Human Rights Award to individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions in the field of human rights.

We invite you to submit your nominations for the 2018 UNA-NCA Human Rights Awards. This is an opportunity for you to honor those you know who are working to further human rights, and we are excited to see who this year’s recipients will be.

The Louis B. Sohn Human Rights Award is presented to persons who have:
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16 March 2018

Coverage of the UN, International Elections Observation and Global Support for Democratic Elections

UNA-NCA and its Human Rights Committee in partnership with the American Foreign Service Association had the pleasure of hosting a distinguished panel of experts on Wednesday, February 28th to discuss the role of the UN in international election observations and global support for democratic elections.

The panel was moderated by Doug Wake, former First Deputy Director of the OSCE/ODIHR, and featured Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumiowicz, Director for Europe and Eurasia, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES); Hassan Kelleh Sesay, Electoral Assistance Division - Department of Political Affairs, United Nations Headquarters; and Cristóbal Fernández, Section Chief - Electoral Technical Cooperation, Organization of American States.  Together, the panelists discussed how their different organizations aimed to ensure free and fair elections on the global level sharing their experiences from Europe, Africa, and the Americas.  Click below to watch the video of the event.

14 March 2018

UN holds largest ever Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-62)

By Stephen F. Moseley, President, UNA-NCA

This week and next (March 12 to 23) more than 3,500 women and men are meeting in and all around the UN Headquarters in New York City to address the theme Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls. This annual event for the past 61 years brings together CSW representatives from all the member countries of the UN, and has participants from local grass roots civil society organizations, international non-governmental organizations, and includes most of the UN agencies. One unfortunate and sad note is the fact that hundreds of people who had applied on time for their visas, and already had prepared their presentations for panels did not get their visas from the US embassies to come to the US.   These are unrelated to the larger political issues surrounding visas from some countries, and may be a reflection of the staffing and management status of our embassies.
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12 March 2018

The Global Refugee Crisis, One Person at a Time

By Carla Ruas, Member, UNA-NCA Sustainable Development Committee


From a young age, Amir Ashour assisted members of the LGBTQ+ community in Iraq, providing safe housing to those whose lives were threatened – by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), by the government, and in some cases, by their own families. But instead of receiving an award for his heroic human rights activism, Ashour was accused of running brothels. He was beaten up and arrested by the Iraqi government multiple times. Fearing for his own life, Ashour fled the country in 2015 and found refuge in Sweden.

The young activist shared his remarkable life story during
The Global Goals Refugee Crisis panel at the UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit. The event, which took place at the United Nations on February 23, gave UNA-USA members an opportunity to attend panels about the most pressing issues facing the organization. One of the most daunting challenges is no doubt the global refugee crisis, as worldwide displacement hits its highest level on record.
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07 March 2018

UNA-USA 2018 Global Engagement Summit - The largest gathering of US support for the UN

By Sydney Spencer, UNA-NCA Program Assistant


A room, which is so frequently filled with global powers and esteemed diplomats, welcomed a new audience on February 23rd. It was on this New York winter morning that over 1,500 aspiring global leaders, international development professionals, and gressroots advocates gathered in the United Nations’ General Assembly Hall for 2018 UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit.


Previously known as Members Day at the UN, the Global Engagement Summit brought together UN advocates, top grassroots leaders, and members of UNA chapters from all over the country for a day of dynamic and informative discussions on the UN’s most pressing issues. This year’s summit had the honor of hosting key UN officials including Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed; President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák; U.S. Youth Observer to the UN Munira Khalif; and many more.

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