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18 June 2014

Virginia Advocacy Training

Virginia residents received training on the "how-to's" of advocacy.

UNA-NCA chapter members from the Virginia area gathered at Ragtime in Arlington on Wednesday, June 18th for a training session on advocacy and UN issues.
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17 June 2014

UNA-NCA Leader Published on Huffington Post

Co-chair of the Peace & Security Committee of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, Christopher Holshek was recently published on the Huffington Post. His article “Got Global Governance?” praises Edison W. Dick who received the Arthur W. Johnson Leadership Award at the 2014 Annual Membership Meeting on June 6, 2014. Mr. Holshek highlights Edison Dick’s emphasis on the importantance of the UN affiliated agencies and the critical role they play in global governance.

His article demonstrates that in order to attain good global governance, good global citizenship is necessary which requires strong leadership and accountability from our leaders. Though far from perfect, Holshek cites the UN system as the most successful international governing body in history.

Read more of Christopher Holshek’s article here. 

17 June 2014

Successful Event with the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy and International Development Discussion Group

On June 17, 2014, at the office of the IREX organization, the UNA-NCA Sustainable Development Committee co-sponsored a presenter and discussion event with the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, International Development Discussion Group.  There were about thirty people in attendance for this event.  The evening began with brief introductions about the sponsoring organizations, followed by the main event – Wade Channell, an economic development expert at the U.S. Administration for International Development (USAID), involved with business enabling environments.  Wade encouraged all attendees to briefly introduce themselves, which helped him to further tailor his remarks that evening. 
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12 June 2014

Call for Nominations for the 2014 UNA-NCA Community Human Rights Awards

Please submit no later than Sunday, August 31, 2014

We are currently soliciting nominations for the 2014 recipients of our Community Human Rights Awards program and invite your nominations. Candidates could be U.S. government officials, leaders of non-government organizations, academics, or other practitioners or scholars in the field.  
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06 June 2014

Successful 2014 Annual Membership Meeting

Committed leaders and members celebrate the accomplishments of the past year! 

On June 6th, UNA-NCA held its 61st Annual Membership Meeting at the United Nations Foundation Headquarters. With over 90 in attendance, members gathered to hear remarks from Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (retired), President of UNA-NCA and guest speaker Dean Pittman, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. Two awards were also presented along with the announcement of Board election results and approval of proposed By-laws amendments.
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15 May 2014

UNA-NCA Board Adopts New Resolution on Recommendations for UN Peacekeepers in Haiti

The International Law Committee (ILC) of UNA-NCA recommended to the Board of Directors the adoption of the proposed Resolution set forth below (the “Resolution”) to the effect that the UN should promptly seek to establish a standing claims commission in accordance with its Status of Forces Agreement with Haiti or otherwise promptly provide an appropriate modality to address the claims of the Haitian victims of cholera.
On February 26, 2014, ILC sponsored, in cooperation with ASIL, a compelling symposium, “Remedies for Harm Caused by UN Peacekeepers”, that examined the remedies available to victims and others injured as a result of UN Peacekeeping activities, particularly in the context of the cholera epidemic in Haiti. (Presenters were Jose Alvarez, NYU Law School, Ira Kurzban, a lead attorney in the Haitian Cholera case filed in the SDNY, and Bruce Rashkow, former highest ranking American in the UN Office of Legal Affairs. Moderated by David Birenbaum.) A summary of the program can be found on UNA-NCA’s website
Cholera in Haiti, introduced by UN Peacekeepers from Nepal, has resulted in more than 8,500 deaths, 700,000 illnesses and more than 5,000 complainants who have alleged negligence bordering on recklessness by the UN Peacekeepers. Distinguished experts, including the UN’s own Panel of Independent Experts, have determined that the cholera virus was unquestionably introduced into Haiti by the Peacekeepers from Nepal.  The UN has stated that the claims “are not receivable” because they involve “political and policy matters”, without further explanation.
Other organizations have taken similar positions recently.  On April 11, 2014, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, representing 24,000 local and international lawyers, urged Secretary of State John Kerry to implore the UN to take responsibility for its actions in Haiti. Last October, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for the cholera victims to be compensated

An additional article that resulted from the symposium can be found on ASIL’s website

Robert H. Craft,Jr.
Chair, International Law Committee

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15 May 2014

Closing the Gap: Gender Disparity and Education in the Developing World

Distinguished panelists tackle women and education in the developing world. 

On May 15, UNA-NCA's Human Rights Committee hosted a thought provoking panel discussion highlighting the importance of improving access to education for girls and women globally at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). "Closing the Gap: Gender Disparity and Education in the Developing World" brought together four panelists who discussed their own experiences and provide insight on how to close the gap in the gender disparity in education. Additionally, they examined ideas that governments and organizations can focus on in the coming years and potential action steps that can be taken. The panelists included: Dr. Edwin H. Gragert, Director, Global Campaign for Education-USA, Lyric Thompson, Senior Policy Manager, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Dr. Farhana Shah, Education Expert, Khadim Hussain, Founding Director/Chief Executive, GRACE Association, Pakistan.
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08 May 2014

Successful UNA-NCA/ WIN Event on Women in Sustainablilty

On Thursday, May 8th 2014 the UNA-NCA and the Women’s Information Network (WIN) hosted a successful event titled “Women in Sustainability” at the Science Club DC. During the program the two speakers, Kim Lovell from the Seirra Club and Hilary French from the United Nations Environment Programme, discussed the role of women in sustainability. In addition, both women also shared their professional journey and provided several helpful tips on breaking into the field of sustainability. Thanks to our speakers and audience for an infomative event with great turnout!

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