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06 May 2021

Decade of Action: Women in UN Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding


As we celebrate the 64th anniversary of women's participation in UN peacekeeping operations, much progress has been made to promote the full, effective and meaningful participation of women at all levels in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Over the past three decades, the share of women peacekeepers has risen from only 1% to 5% of all military contingents and 11% of all uniformed police units. Women are promoted to executive roles that shape the future of peacekeeping and peacebuilding, from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations to Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.

Yet, more outreach is needed to educate the public and elected officials about the vital impact of women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Are female peacekeepers more effective at de-escalating violence than their male counterparts? Why are women still underrepresented in peacekeeping missions? And what remains to be done? Presented by the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA)’s Peace and Security Committee, this event looks to further examine the key contributions of women in UN military peacekeeping efforts and continuing challenges. 

Event Speakers:

When: Thursday, May 6, 2021
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm ET
Where: Zoom
Cost: Free

You can access the Program Brochure here.

Register Here

11 May 2021

2021 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.  This year, we are excited to announce a new Emerging Leaders Award, to be presented to persons under 40 who advocate for respect for human rights and the SDGs.

We invite you to submit your nominations for the 2021 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.
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13 May 2021

Emerging Advocates and Leaders Roundtable

Join the 2020-2021 cohort of UNA-NCA Advocacy Fellows in celebrating their exciting individual and group research projects. Advocacy Fellows play an integral role on UNA-NCA's advocacy team, as they mobilize around the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals and broader UN agenda while spearheading original research. Fellows include current undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students. 

On Thursday, May 13 from 1:00-3:00pm ET, Fellows will share highlights from their work and reflect on their experience with UNA-NCA. The three presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and audience Q&A. 

COVID-19 and Food Insecurity: The Impact of the Pandemic on the National Capital Area 
Presented by Ava Kargosha, Neval Mulaomerovic, and Adina Mobin

Inequity and Environmental Management Resources: Riversmart DC
Presented by Torre Ippolito and Raphael Piliero 

Mental Health, SDG 3, and Advocacy Fatigue: An Advocate's Guide 
Presented by Kayleigh Thompson, Ana Lipton, and Katie Ng Ross 

Panel Discussion
  • Cassidy Childs, "Wildfires, Climate Change, and Resilience"
  • Julie Choi, "Whitewashing and Racism in Hollywood: How it Affects Asian-Americans"
  • Ryan Oberlag, "What has the UN done for me? The Slow Progression of LGBTQ Rights at the UN"
  • Marissa Zupancic, "Immigration, Surveillance, and the Right to Privacy"
  • Nadjad Nikabou Salifou, "Social Entrepreneurship's Transformation of Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa" 


Register here.

As an Advocacy Fellow, you have the opportunity to develop and author blog posts, policy memos, issues briefs, and more. Participants pitch research ideas and work closely with the Managing Director of Advocacy and Policy Strategy to expand resources and engagement across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in Congressional meetings, advocacy trainings, professional development/networking sessions, and more exclusive opportunities to engage with UN leadership. You can read the latest publications from our current Advocacy Fellows here. To learn more about how you can become an Advocacy Fellow, contact shayna@unanca.org. 

14 May 2021

Young Professionals Mentorship Program

Interested in career guidance? Want to virtually chat and network with someone in your field?

The UN Association of the National Capital Area Young Professionals (UNA-NCA YP) are hosting part two of their virtual office hours to provide career insight and mentorship in various fields.

UNA-NCA YP are looking for:

  1. Mentors who can dedicate time to answer any questions regarding their mentee's career, work with the UNA-NCA, and much more.
  2. Mentees who are interested in career guidance and networking with professionals in their field of interest. 

Deadline to apply is Friday, May 14, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT. 

Access the mentor and mentee sign-up forms below:

19 May 2021

Careers in International Environment & Climate Change

Have you ever thought about careers in the international environment and climate change fields? On Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, UNA-NCA's Young Professionals (YP) Program invites students and young professionals to participate in its "Careers in International Environment & Climate Change" event. The panel will feature professional speakers working in the international relations and global development space. Each speaker will offer career advice and guidance, and share personal stories of experience in their particular fields.

Event Speakers:

  • Cornelia Hartman, Environmental Consultant, AFRY
  • Cecilia Esterline (moderator)

When: Wednesday, May 19th from 12:00 to 1:00pm
Where: Zoom Webinar
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register here

20 May 2021

Town Hall with Rep. Jamie Raskin

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, together with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area will hold a virtual Refugee Town Hall on Thursday, May 20, 2021 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. This forum will feature speakers discussing current issues in the refugee and immigration debate, including Biden Administration actions affecting refugees and asylum seekers and their impact on national and local resettlement. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) will be honored for his leadership in Congress on refugee issue will give the congressional perspective on these issues.

Register here. 

Speakers will include:

Former Ambassador to Azerbaijan and Lithuania, Anne E. Derse, Deacon and Community Life Coordinator, St. John’s Episcopal Church Norwood Parish

The Honorable Jamie Raskin (D-MD 8th), member of the House Committee on the Judiciary Committee

Kristyn Peck, CEO, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA)

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)

Dr. Mamadou Sy, VP of Operations, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA)

Paula Boland, ESQ., President and CEO, United National Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA)

01 June 2021

Coffee Chat: LGBTQ+ Rights, Global to Local


Click here to register. 

Save the Date: Join
UNA-NCA on June 1, 2021 from 1:00-2:30pm for a dynamic Coffee Chat marking the first day of Pride Month. We are proud to present this program in partnership with the National LGBTQ Task Force, SMYAL,  and the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI). 

Register here, and stay tuned for an updated speakers list. 


Victor Madrigal-Borloz, Independent Expert on SOGI, OHCHR-UNOG

Kierra Johnson, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

Monet Umama, Community Engagement and Youth Leadership Fellow, SMYAL

Presented in partnership with: