As we ended 2014, UNA-USA membership continues to grow!
Not only did it double in size since 2012, but now remarkably, 60% of members are under age 25. Young Americans have taken the lead in developing innovative programing on nearly 30 college campuses across the country. To assist in this effort, UNA-USA has developed a new interactive platform, genun.unausa.org, which allows us to engage young supporters through multiple media tools including and empowering young people to share their experiences. You can review their important work by visiting genun.unausa.org/stream.
We’re making things happen thanks to the help of our dedicated supporters—mobilizing thousands of Americans to provide direct input into the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals. UNA members gathered in churches, community centers, and on college campuses to conduct 45 community consultations providing valuable American feedback to UNDP, the U.S. Mission to the UN, and the U.S. Department of State. This national consultation process identified gender equality and climate change as top priorities for advancing the new goals both at home and abroad.
UN Day 2014 was an unparalleled success. Community and Campus Chapters held over 150 events across 38 states and territories including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Of particular note, UNA Iowa and UNA Nebraska partnered with USA for UNHCR to sponsor Hikes for Refugees, raising money to help some of the 50 million displaced people around the globe.
The annual Global Leadership Dinner was once again a standout New York event. High-level representatives from the business, philanthropy, media, entertainment and social sectors came together with UN leadership to call attention to the work of The United Nations and to aid its mission to achieve a peaceful, prosperous and just future. Special guests included UN
Foundation Chairman and Founder Ted Turner and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, OCHA’s Valerie Amos, Merck & Company, and Justice Michael Kirby were among the honorees. For more information and to see photo and video highlights from the event, please visit www.unausa.org/gala.
2015 Looking Ahead
This year marks not only the 70 th anniversary of The United Nations but also the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), two incredibly significant events.
The United Nations is working with governments, civil society and other partners to build on the momentum generated by the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs). The draft SDG’s that the UN is currently debating are action oriented, global in nature and universally applicable, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development. September will mark the official launch of the SDGs at The United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda on September 25 to 27 in New York. And, UNA-USA and our Chapters will be an important part of the UN’s launch strategy.
These goals seek to complete the unfinished business of the MDGs and respond to new challenges. They range from ending extreme poverty, stopping human trafficking, and taking urgent action on climate change. The United Nations, with the support of dedicated UNA-USA members, is working to mobilize resources and drive real progress on some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remarked that, “The year 2015 is a once-in-a generation opportunity. Our goal is to put people at the center and protect our one and only planet. Our duty is to end poverty, leave no one behind and build lives of dignity for all.” An important moment of the 70 th anniversary celebrations will come on June 26 in San Francisco, CA as the Secretary-General commemorates the day, 70 years ago, when the United Nations Charter was signed in the city’s Veterans’ Memorial Hall. A culminating event will be United Nations Day 2015, the October 24 celebration of the ratification of the UN’s founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council.
These are momentous times for our organization. More than ever, the world needs individuals willing to take action to make global peace, prosperity, and justice a reality. Thank you again for the important role you play as an invaluable member of the UNA family.
Mel Boynton, Chapter President and
Chris Whatley, Executive Director of UNA-USA
Pomona College Intern Haruka Sano Joins PVUNA in Fall, 2015
Haruka Sano, Intern
Hello! My name is Haruka Sano, and I’m a rising sophomore at Pomona College, very grateful and excited to be an intern at the United Nations Associations Pomona Valley Chapter this fall. I was born in Kawasaki, Japan, and have lived in Yokohama, Japan for all my life except for the four middle-school years I spent in Bethesda, Maryland.
Courses that I have taken this past year at Pomona have confirmed my interest in international relations, especially in East Asian issues. I have worked as an organizer at the Sino-Japan Youth Conference, a week-long summer program in Hong Kong for Chinese and Japanese high school students, and have enjoyed discussing China-Japan issues with peers. I plan to major in international relations while also considering psychology, an entirely new discipline that I would not have engaged in, if not for the amazing liberal arts education at Pomona.
Haruka Sano and Chapter President Mel Boynton
On campus, I sing in the Glee Club, and am currently touring the East Coast with a welcoming community of talented singers. This summer, I will fly back to Japan to work in my nonprofit organization, which helps to open doors for Japanese high school students with potential interests in higher education abroad or in liberal arts education. I look forward to traveling across Japan to inspire students with everything I have absorbed during this past year at Pomona, as well as to coming back to Pomona and growing through my internship at the Pomona Valley Chapter.
Celebrating Our Chapter Interns
A few years ago, Katie Gerecke (currently Pomona Valley Vice President) began recruiting student interns from Pomona College. These days, we have two or three interns working with the chapter and it’s a win/win for us and the interns involved.
This year we have three student interns helping us at our monthly meetings, recruiting younger members, holding campus events, promoting the UN and our mission through social media, participating in advocacy, working with our databases, and presenting programs of their own.
Julius Torres Kellinghusen, Mel Boynton, and Leyth Swidan
Our veteran student interns are Julius Torres Kellinghusen and Leyth Swidan, shown here with chapter president Mel Boynton. Both have worked with the chapter since 2013 and are campus leaders at Pomona College. In the summer of 2014, Julius is an intern with UNAIDS in Vietnam and Leyth is interning with the US State Department in Washington, DC. Leyth will be studying abroad in Jordan in the fall of 2014, so he will be missed as Julius continues to work with our chapter.
Joining Julius for the rest of 2014 are Pomona College student Sana Kahn and Claremont High School senior Sharon Musa. Sana (pronounced “sun nah”) helped start an arts education non profit “Dear Imagination” in Mumbai, India – where she is working in the summer of 2014.
Sharon won our UNA-USA essay contest this year and plans to organize students at the high school through the Key Club. She is wise beyond her years and a champion orator and debater.
Be sure to say hello to Julius, Sana, and Sharon as you see them in action. Our chapter is healthier and their careers look brighter because we’re working together for a better world. (click here for pdf)
Pomona Valley UNA-USA
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