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UNA TODAY, June 2017

2017 Leadership Summit Recap

Last week, more than 300 UNA-USA members and supporters from 40 states gathered in Washington, DC, for the 2017 Leadership Summit. The conference began with two days of presentations from high-ranking UN officials, policy workshops, chapter development and social media trainings, and sessions on topics ranging from human rights and peacekeeping to the role of the UN in addressing global pandemics. Attendees heard from special guest speakers including the President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights at the UN Human Rights Office Andrew Gilmour, Hamilton: An American Musical’s Samantha Ware, and more. To see the full event agenda and speaker lineup, visit

PGA Peter Thomson at UNA Leadership Summit

On the final day of the Summit, attendees rallied at the U.S. Capitol for the largest convening ever of Americans advocating for strong U.S.-UN engagement. UNA-USA advocates held 271 face-to-face meetings with their Members of Congress and staff to collectively call for full U.S. funding of the UN. In just one day alone, UNA-USA reached more than 50 percent of the entire Congress, delivering a clear message from Americans across the country about the overwhelming importance of a robust U.S.-UN partnership.

Learn more about the historic UNA-USA Advocacy Day >>

UNA-USA 2017 Leadership Summit at Capitol

UNA-USA members shared their experiences via social media throughout the Summit using #USAforUN, and several Chapters received media coverage regarding their participation in the historic event. In case you missed it, visit UNA-USA’s Facebook Page to watch recordings of live interviews from Summit with the President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson, Hamilton: An American Musical’s Samantha Ware, and UNA-Portland Chapter President Yashar Vasef.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Leadership Summit! We are so proud of all you accomplished and hope you bring your experiences, new ideas, and enthusiasm from Summit back to your local communities. Be sure to watch our new video highlighting UNA-USA’s mission and achievements so far this year!

 UNA-USA 2017 Recap Video

New Opportunity: "Stand Up" for Human Rights Partnership Launched at Leadership Summit

UNA-USA college and community chapters have new opportunities to engage in human rights advocacy and programming, following the announcement of a 2017-2018 partnership between UNA-USA and the UN Human Rights Office during the 2017 Leadership Summit. 

Andrew Gilmour, UNA-USA Leadership Summit, UN Human Rights

The new partnership will amplify the Office’s “Stand Up for Someone’s Human Rights” campaign, which seeks to empower a new generation of people in the U.S. to creatively amplify what they do in their daily lives to defend human rights and engage their decisionmakers on human rights. The partnership announcement followed remarks by UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour who called on USA-USA members to commit to advancing human rights. Through the new partnership with the UN Human Rights Office, chapters can apply for grants to support human rights activations and events. Chapters are also encouraged to join the conversation online with a new Stand Up for Someone’s Human Rights digital toolkit. For more information on how you can become involved, please contact Anna Mahalak at or Ryan Kaminski at

World Refugee Day: Call to Action

World Refugee Day is this Tuesday, June 20, and it’s not too late for you to get involved! UNA-USA offers several opportunities for you and your Chapter to raise funds for Adopt-A-Future, a campaign that supports education for child refugees in Kenya. Remember, every little contribution helps and will be MATCHED by our philanthropic partners, doubling the impact of your gift! Get involved:

Sponsor UNA-USA Member’s Statue of Liberty Swim

UNA-USA world refugee day

In honor of World Refugee Day on June 20, Christopher Swain, a New York City native and member of UNA-Westchester, will swim two miles across New York Harbor from the Statue of Liberty to Manhattan Island to call attention to the needs of the 65 million people around the world who have been forced from home by war and persecution, creating the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Following his swim, Christopher will walk four miles to the United Nations Headquarters in NYC. All funds raised through Christopher’s swim/walk will be directly contributed to the Adopt-A-Future program. Please support Christopher’s effort by sponsoring his journey at On World Refugee Day, follow UNA-USA on social media for highlights from Christopher’s swim and walk, and use #USAforUN and #WithRefugees to show your support.

Plan a Good Meal for a Great Cause

Several UNA-USA Chapters have already used our step-by-step toolkit to plan a special dinner event to fundraise for Adopt-A-Future. There’s still time to get creative and fundraise for children who need our help now. Consider planning a fundraising lunch with your colleagues, an ice cream happy hour with friends after work or school, or maybe even a movie or bowling night. Every little contribution helps!


Politico: Why foreign aid is critical to U.S. national security

Photo Series: U.S. foreign aid: The faces behind the funding

Leadership Summit news: Iowans on Capitol Hill making case to fully fund the United Nations

New York Times: Jeff Bezos wants ideas for philanthropy, so he asked Twitter

John McCain and Tim Kaine: Memo to Congress: Don’t cut foreign aid

Ted Turner: We can achieve world without polio

Better World Campaign: Importance of funding the UN

UNICEF: Share your favorite super dad moment

Global Connections: Nine quotes to inspire action during Pride Month

Don't Miss

June 20: World Refugee Day

June 21:  International Day of Yoga

June 23: United Nations Public Service Day

June 23: International Widows' Day

June 25: Day of the Seafarer

June 26: International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

June 26: United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

June 29: International Day of the Tropics

June 30: International Asteroid Day

July 1: International Day of Cooperatives

June 11: World Population Day

July 15: World Youth Skills Day

July 18: Nelson Mandela International Day

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