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UNA NCA
2017 UNA-NCA Annual Meeting

June 8, 2017 | 5:30pm - 8:00pm (Doors will open at 5pm)
United Nations Foundation
1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC
20006

Join UNA-NCA on June 8 for this year's Annual Meeting to learn more about our recent accomplishments and continued work. Meet UNA-NCA members and the Board of Directors for the presentation of the 2016-2017 Annual Report and Board Election results, and to honor this year's awardees.

Furthermore, in recognition of this year's critical need for a strong US-UN partnership, UNA-NCA is pleased to announce its newest award: The Edison W. Dick Advocacy Leadership Award.

The 2017 awards and recipients are:



UNA-NCA Arthur W. Johnson Leadership Award
Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (retired)
President, UNA-NCA
 

UNA-NCA Evelyn Falkowski Volunteer Service Award
Patrick Realiza
Chair, UNA-NCA Sustainable Development Committee
Co-chair, UNA-NCA Communications Committee 


UNA-NCA Richard and Anne Griffis Program Leadership Award
Global Classrooms DC Program


UNA-NCA Edison W. Dick Advocacy Leadership Award
Edison W. Dick
Past President, UNA-NCA
Founding Chair, Advocacy Committee, former UNA-USA Board of Directors



When: June 8th, 2017; 5:00-8:00pm
Where: United Nations Foundation; 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006
Cost: Free; Suggested donation of $30


To register, please click here.






 
UNA-NCA President's Statement: UN Ambassador Haley Sets Forth Important Priorities as the US Assumes Security Council Presidency

In her address to the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nicki Haley, set forth three priorities that she will advance when the US assumes the presidency of the UN Security Council in April.

First, she stated that human rights should be essential to the Security Council's peace and security mission. She contended that the abuse of human rights is often the cause of conflict, that it should be addressed up front by the Security Council, and that the United States should be a strong advocate of human rights as "the moral conscience of the world." We agree. Hopefully when Ambassador Haley visits the Human Rights Council in Geneva in June, she will learn that US leadership at the HRC is essential in shaping the agenda and addressing human rights abuses around the world.

Second, Ambassador Haley called for a comprehensive review of UN Peacekeeping missions. Hopefully she will draw upon the many studies that have been done and recognize the value to US national security of UN peacekeepers protecting civilians and keeping the peace in conflict areas, often in failed and failing states that are breeding grounds for terrorism, where the US would not want to send boots on the ground. It is timely and appropriate to evaluate the specific mandate, need for, and performance of each peacekeeping mission, and to ensure that peacekeepers are well trained and accountable. UN peacekeeping can and should be a very cost-effective tool in the US defense arsenal that the Administration seeks to strengthen.

Finally, Ambassador Haley reaffirmed her commitment and that of the Secretary General to seek reforms at the UN that will make it more effective in realizing the vision of the San Francisco Charter. We agree that US constructive leadership, working closely with like-minded allies and the new Secretary General, is essential to an effective United Nations.

- Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (retired) 
 
The Refugee Crisis: UNA-NCA’s Response
adopt_a_future

UNA-USA has launched a campaign to raise funds to support the education of refugee children around the world. We need your help.


There are 70 million refugees and displaced persons in the world, more than the combined population of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand-- the largest number in recorded history.

And more than half of them are children. 80 percent are women and children.

One out of every 113 people on the planet is uprooted-- that's 24 people every minute. They are forced from their homes because of persecution, violence, conflict or natural disasters.

The average length of time a person is displaced is 17 years. Children become adults. Will they have the education and training to be productive members of society when they return home or resettle in a new country?

A refugee child who is not in school is at risk of being abused, trafficked, or radicalized by extremist groups.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is working to prevent a lost generation by educating refugees children in camps and other settlements around the world. But they need our help.

To put it diplomatically, many of us are concerned that the United States government today is not as welcoming to refugees as we should be and have been historically. We need to step up and take action to address this global crisis, and UNA-NCA now provides the opportunity!

The United Nations Association-- USA has initiated the "Adopt-A-Future" program to provide educational facilities, equipment, textbooks, backpacks, and uniforms to refugee children around the world. For example, it provides support to some 60 schools in two UNHCR camps in Kenya, housing the largest number of refugees in the world.

The United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), one of the largest and most active chapters of UNA-USA, is raising funds to support "Adopt-A-Future" and to enable our chapter to provide assistance to schools for refugees in Africa and the Middle East. Please contribute to this worthy cause. Contributions are fully tax deductible.

Ways to contribute:

  1. Mail a check made out to UNA-NCA with “Adopt-A-Future” written on the memo line.
  2. Bring a check or cash to the UNA-NCA office, 2000 P Street NW Suite 630, Washington, DC, 20036.
  3. Call UNA-NCA at 202-223-6092 for contributions through credit card.
  4. Contribute online here and make sure to mark chapter as "DC-National Capital Area" as your local chapter.

We will keep you posted on the campaign and on the schools that we help on our website.

Your support is welcome and greatly appreciated.

With deepest gratitude,
Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (Retired)
President, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area
 
UNA-NCA President's Statement: US Leadership at the United Nations Has Never Been More Important

The first member of President Trump's foreign policy team to be confirmed by the Senate was UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. In her confirmation hearing, then Governor Haley testified: "I don't think we need to pull money out of the UN....we don't believe in slash and burn... We need to look at each and every mission, see what we are doing and how to make it more effective... As I've said, you can never win with slash and burn techniques." Since then Ambassador Haley has been the most effective foreign policy spokesperson in the Trump Administration, vigorously taking on Russian aggression in Crimea and the Ukraine, North Korean missile and nuclear mischief, and Syrian crimes against humanity. She has articulated a US foreign policy most consistent with bipartisan US foreign policy since World War II, thereby showing how US leadership at the United Nations is an essential tool in the US national security arsenal.

The unfortunate unfolding of the Trump Administration's proposed deep budget cuts in the funding of the State Department, the United Nations, and Foreign Assistance and its apparent intent to withdraw from UN agencies with which it disagrees represents a stark departure from the post-World War II global order designed, created, and advanced by both Republican and Democratic Administrations. Yes, for a time, the US sought to withhold funding from the UN, but funding was quickly restored after 9/11 when we woke up and realized that we were no longer an oasis, immune from the forces of evil and good in the global community. We recognized that the challenges we face in the 21st century are inherently global and need a global response-- terrorism, pandemics, an interconnected global economy, fair trade, climate change, migration, nuclear proliferation, among others.

While 193 nations may disagree on issues from time to time, for the most part the United Nations has been a strong voice in support of US values and policies from confronting nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, addressing war crimes and the use of chemical weapons in Syria, providing humanitarian assistance to victims of natural and man-made disasters, advocating for human rights, working for peace and security in conflict areas and creating sustainable and democratic institutions in failed and failing states. Like any complex organization, including the US Congress and the federal bureaucracy, the United Nations faces bureaucratic challenges and conflicting visions. History teaches that the UN is at its best when there is strong US leadership. When the only former UN ambassador to serve as US president, George H. W. Bush, sought UN support to confront Iraqi's invasion of Kuwait, the UN provided critical support for the Gulf war. As the only nation to send an Ambassador to New York for UN management and reform, the US has been successful in advocating for much needed reforms in the UN budget and personnel management, especially when we work behind the scene in quiet diplomacy with like-minded nations. Much more needs to be done. And we are fortunate that the UN has a Secretary General, who is greatly respected and fully committed to UN reform.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres' recent initiative to strengthen the accountability and effectiveness of UN Peacekeepers demonstrates not only his commitment to address abuses and neglect in need of reform but, perhaps more importantly, it serves a critical US national security objective and fundamental tenet of President Trump's foreign policy. The president has made clear that fighting global terrorism is a top priority, but he also has made clear the the United States cannot be the policeman of the world intervening in conflict situations around the globe and engaging in nation building. Yet, failing states are breeding grounds for terrorist cells. Strengthening UN Peacekeeping, with strong US and NATO support, would provide a cost-effective response to the proliferation of conflicts in areas where the US has no intention of deploying boots on the ground. The president understands that the American public would not support redeploying American troops to places like Somalia and Lebanon. We have done that before with disastrous consequences.

President Trump has proposed substantial increases in the defense budget, and so perhaps it is time for the Defense Department to assume the responsibility for funding UN Peacekeepers. With the US Security Council veto and with the US meeting its substantial peacekeeping funding commitments, the US must approve all peacekeeping missions and can exercise oversight over their implementation. This would be a cost effective tool in advancing the new administration's national security objectives.

In a broader sense, the new Secretary General's commitment to UN reform and the new President's foreign policy reforms offer the potential of a marriage of convenience.

We at UNA-NCA have to make the case. There are many examples of how US leadership at the UN serves the Administration's foreign policy objectives. US active engagement at the UN Human Rights Council has lessened the obsessive focus on Israel and raised important issues about human rights in North Korea, Syria, Sri Lanka, and China. This is effective US diplomatic leadership at work shaping the UN agenda. Member states that may resent US lecturing on human rights will listen when the United Nations speaks for the global community. Many in Congress understand this, and with strong advocacy, Congress will maintain the funding levels for diplomacy, the United Nations and bilateral and multilateral foreign assistance. US leadership at the UN has never been more important. We encourage our members and supporters to take action now!

-Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (Retired)
President, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area

Please see document  prepared by the Better World Campaign and UNA-USA explaining the potential impacts of the Administration's proposed cuts on UN peacekeeping, humanitarian, and global health programs.
 
Statement by the UNA-NCA President on Whether the Carbon Tax is the Way Forward on Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement

When some of the leading statesmen of previous Republican administrations form the Climate Leadership Council and call for a Carbon Tax, it is time to listen. Former Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz, former Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, and former presidential economic advisors, Marty Feldman and Greg Mankiw have proposed a market based solution to combat the devastation of global warming and satisfy US commitments under the Paris agreement.

While we await the evolution of the Trump Administration's policies on climate change and the Paris Agreement and as Congress and the Administration work on tax reform and deficit reduction, it is time to put a carbon tax on the table. In his previous life, Secretary of State Tillerson called for a carbon tax, and Secretary Mattis' Defense Department has recognized the serious national security implications of climate change. Democratic members of Congress from the UNA-NCA region, such as Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Delaney, have previously proposed carbon tax legislation. It is time for the parities to work together in considering how a carbon tax would address many of the global and domestic challenges we face.

UNA-NCA is not endorsing any specific proposal or approach, but we urge both parties in Congress and the Administration to give serious consideration to incorporating a carbon tax in tax reform and climate change legislation.

- Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (Ret.)
President, UNA-NCA
 
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