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29 November 2017

Fall Model UN Training Conference Engages Area Students in Solving Global Refugee Crises


For almost 15 years, the Pan American Health Organization, the Latin American branch of the World Health Organization, has graciously hosted the UN Association of the National Capital Area’s Fall17MUN1(UNA-NCA) Fall Model UN Training Conference. Each fall, several hundred students acting as country delegates have discussed a variety of current issues.

On November 16, nine schools (four from DC, four from Maryland, and one from Virginia) attended the conference, with 187 total students who participated and represented 94 countries in the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more students than any other previous fall conference before. Over the course of the day-long conference, the students came together to discuss protecting the Human Rights of Refugees.

Fall17MUN3 The conference highlighted the vital work of UNHCR, as well as the diversity of issues in many different refugee situations around the world. In the morning, students were welcomed by the opening ceremony featuring Executive Director of UNA-NCA Paula Boland, Global Education Managing Director Nicole Bohannon and keynote speaker Dawn Calabia. Ms. Calabia is currently serving as a Board Director-at-Large at UNA-NCA, and is an honorary senior adviser to Refugees International on human rights, forced displacement and advocacy. She is also the Secretary-Treasurer of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group and a founder and commissioner of Women’s Refugee Commission.

Following the ceremony, students began the UNHCR committee session to discuss how to best protect the human rights of refugees from the country’s perspective that they were representing. Students learned about the key role of UNHCR in leading international action to protect refugees and to solve the many refugee crises around the world.

As the committee moved into writing their resolutions for the second part of the day, students had the opportunity to engage in international conversations and hone their writing, negotiation, and public Fall17MUN6speaking skills. The conference concluded with the delegates presenting their joint solutions to protect the refugees around the world to the entire committee.

Under UNA-NCA, Global Classrooms DC also functions as a year-long Model United Nations program for students who care about their global and local communities by cultivating an international perspective, understand the UN system, and interact with other students from diverse backgrounds. It is an opportunity for students to be exposed to larger issues and different people to become more active local and global citizens in the future. 

Fall17MUN4The Global Classrooms DC Fall Model UN Training Conference is implemented by the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, which is a Chapter of UNA-USA. Global Classrooms DC also has a year-round program that offers reduced-cost global education curriculum.

For more information, visit www.unanca.org/what-we-do/global-classrooms-dc.

Global Classrooms DC also hosts a Spring Model UN Conference at the US Department of State and PAHO. This year, the conference will be held on April 27, 2018.



04 November 2017

UNA-NCA Participates in the 2017 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Expo


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From November 4th to November 7th, 2017 , UNA-NCA members, Toyshebia Napper, Stephanie Asher, Lanice Williams, and Wes Rogerson, participated in the  American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo in Atlanta, GA. Highlighting UNA-USA, through the lens of the Global Goals, our team was able to network with thousands of attendees, receiving contact information for over 400 public health workers (which was reported to be the third largest list gathered by a booth during this year’s conference.). During the expo, UNA-NCA representatives engaged with conference-goers who had a wide breadth of experience--from students, professors, public health consultants, former UN officials, and others. Conversations ranged equally, and connections were made between the UN agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of public health, climate change, gender equality, and more. Many attendees asked how they could make the connection between the SDGs, the UN agenda, and their hometowns. UNA-NCA representatives were able to speak to their own experiences as local UNA-NCA volunteers, committee heads, and advocates. Our team related the importance of SDGs and their impact on local communities. As we know, the SDGs and related targets are just as crucial to global public health as it is to public health in the US.  Many of the attendees were eager to connect with a local chapter.  Also, several attendees expressed interest in developing chapters on various college campuses. We look forward to many more connections made from this conference and in the future between APHA and UNA-NCA. 
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01 November 2017

UNFPA Worlds Apart Report


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Mr. Arthur Erken, Director of UNFPA, Division of Communication and Strategic Partnerships, and Editor in Chief of UNFPA's new report, "Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights In An Age of Inequality,"  presented the findings and his experience in meetings with leaders and local citizens around the world, emphasizing the gains made in countries such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia Rwanda, Lesotho and Jordan. In all of the successful cases of lowering maternal and infant death, he cited and described the narrowing of the gaps in wages for women, increase in the levels of education for women and girls, and the reduction or discrimination against women in the workplace. Concurrent with these social, educational and economic changes, come the opportunities for more clinical heath support for both prenatal care and examinations during pregnancy, qualified and experienced birth attendants, and counseling and access to contraceptive planning and practices. In turn the increased adoption of family planning practices, results in fewer children, more opportunity for women to then participate in the economy with greater training and work skills, increases in household income, and then better overall family health for all members of the family. He stressed the chain and linkages between improved maternal and child health and the key sustainable development goals adopted by the UN in 2015 and building on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals accomplished from 2000 to 2105, particularly increased levels of Girls education primary and secondary schools, the increases in policies for women to access paid opportunities in the work place, and the growing recognition by countries around the world that economies grow. With the greater opportunity and participation of women in economic endeavors beyond the traditional unpaid agricultural labor, an unequal burden is often placed on women, who also have large numbers of children born out of the absence of both education and availability of reproductive heath services.  
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31 October 2017

GCDC Educator Professional Development Workshop Provides Open Forum and Skills Development


On October 20, 2017, InterAction, an alliance organization in DC of 
US-based international organizations, graciously hosted the Global Classrooms DC Professional Development Workshop. Thanks to a generous grant from the Rotary Club Foundation of Washington, DC, the DSC_0585all-day session was geared towards middle and high school teachers from private, public charter, and public schools in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Educators shared their best practices to prepare their students for the upcoming Fall Training Model UN Conference, as well as sustaining year-round Model UN and global education programs.

Model UN is a great opportunity to involve students in international affairs through teaching them about UN actions and global issues, in addition to them participating in simulations where they are assigned countries to represent and advocate for on different issues – just like in the real United Nations. The activity is also one of the most 
effective ways to teach students writing, negotiation, researching, and public speaking skills. As a member of the GCDC Community, the year-round program, teachers get access to a full school year of 9-unit curriculum on UN policies, procedures, and global affairs to prepare the students. 
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27 October 2017

UN Day Concert at the Colombian Ambassador's Residence


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Speech given by Stephen Moseley, President of UNA-NCA on October 27th for the Embassy Series at the Embassy of Colombia:
 

I am honored and delighted to be included in this evening’s program of the Embassy Series, so ably led by Jerome Barry, coming together on the International Day of the UN, celebrating the 72nd year since the signing of the UN Charter on October 24, 1945.

I am especially honored to be able to represent the UNA-NCA this evening in the residence of the Ambassador of Colombia, and in the presence of Ambassor Reyes and his colleagues, as their work and leadership with the all of the citizens of Colombia to bring about the Colombian peace accord is a great achievement. This is so noteworthy for all of us engaged in peacebuilding and development around the world, and at home in each of our countries, including here in the US and our own communities. I believe, and that United Nations will come to see, the detailed implementation plan for the Peace in Colombia is a great model to be watched and understood for its potential application not only to insure continued and lasting peace after conflict, but also could will be a model for planning and investment by other countries to be applied for long term  prevention in advance of violent conflict and civil war within a country.
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24 October 2017

2017 UN Day Celebration Through Advocacy on Capitol Hill

On October 24th and 25th, a UNA-NCA delegation of board members, past presidents, staff, interns, and volunteers advocated on Capitol Hill in celebration of the 72nd Anniversary of the United Nations. Serving Northern Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. the UNA-NCA delegation met with Representatives, Senators, and their staffs from those districts, speaking in regards to strengthening the U.S.-UN partnerships, the UN budget, and UN reform.

Speaking with Congressman Donald Beyer’s (D-VA-8) office, they emphasized the critical impact that group advocacy has on the positive influence of the UN. As a medical doctor, Congressman Andy Harris’ (R-MD-1) office shared with UNA-NCA their focus on global health issues and the affect it has on the international community. Congressman Harris has a strong background in the medical field and serves on the Doctors Caucus.
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18 October 2017

Stand Up For U.S. Support of UNESCO

United States full engagement in UNESCO is essential for world progress in Science, Education, and Cultural Heritage.  Unfortunately, this past week President Trump, US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson announced that the US will withdraw from its membership in UNESCO on December 31st, 2018.
 
Ambassador Haley stated their criticism of UNESCO's historic preservation designation and purported labeling of the City of Hebron and its historic religious monuments as being "Palestinian", and therefore an insult to Israel.  Yet "Palestine" was listed in parentheses at the end of the designation, simply as the place of the Site, not intending to indicate the monument was Palestinian. The sites in fact are fully recognized by UNESCO as being monuments of great significance throughout history to Jews, Christians and Muslim alike
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11 October 2017

UNA-NCA in the Spotlight!


UNA-NCA has recently been awarded with the following grants in recognition and support of its work:

  • The UN Federal Credit Unit awarded $1,000 for wining its Summer Membership Challenge encouraging members to take advantage of the unique benefits only available from a credit union that serves the UN community. Join UNFCU if you have not already!
  • UNA-USA awarded $750 as part of the Stand Up for Human Rights Campaign. Special appreciation to our Human Rights Committee leadership for working on the event proposal.  Learn more about the campaign here!   
  • The Rotary Foundation of Washington DC awarded UNA-NCA a $4,300 grant to enhance the professional development opportunities offered by its signature program Global Classrooms DC.


Partnerships

  • UNA-NCA’s DC for CEDAW Committee is partnering with the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law Legislation Clinic to conduct research about the gender audit process and D.C. government operations and to implement an advocacy plan with supporting local organizations. Learn more about the Cities for CEDAW initiative
  • UNA-NCA is partnering with the Better World Campaign/UNA-USA to develop and pilot brand new curriculum for the UNA-USA Model UN app on the refugee crises in Syria and Yemen to be launched later this month. Stay tuned!   
  • UNA-NCA is partnering with the Culturfied Foundation, a Washington, DC not for profit organization dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding by promoting the richness, variety, and originality of every culture through arts, education, and special events. Our work together will add a cultural component to the Global Classrooms DC Model UN curriculum and build cultural competence.



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