Home :: News & Events :: News :: UNA-NCA President Stephen F. Moseley Remarks from 2018 Annual Membership Meeting
19 June 2018
UNA-NCA President Stephen F. Moseley Remarks from 2018 Annual Membership Meeting
Welcome to Members, Officers and Board members - continuing and newly elected - AC members, loyal donors, and friends and relations of UNANCA. First, a thanks to our sister organization the UN Foundation and our parent organization UNA-USA for their kind support to host us once again in their lovely building here on Pennsylvania Avenue. I’d also like to recognize Chris Whately and Rachel Pittman, if they are present.

Our meeting this evening is to mark yet another year of great accomplishment by our UNA-NCA Chapter in meeting our mission to inform the public, engage our members, reach out to our policy leaders here in our area of Maryland, Virginia and DC in the Congress and the administration to support the strong continuing bipartisan and nonpartisan engagement by the US with the UN.

You will read, in this Annual Report being presented here, that your association has been very active in many ways with its programs and by advocacy to accomplish this mission while giving special attention to the UN's leadership in human rights, sustainable development, international law, youth and student engagement through our Global Classrooms programs and in our Young Professionals programs. Paula and I have jointly signed our letter of the year to thank you, our colleagues and supporters. I want to recognize and thank my predecessors presidents Don Bliss, Karen Mulhauser, Ed Elmendorf and Edison Dick (who is not here tonight) for their continuing great efforts and support of the work we do.

We have also stepped up in concert with the Better World Campaign, our direct advocacy with visits to all of our representatives and senators in Congress, and have engaged whenever possible the representatives from the Administration, especially at the State Department, even while our administration has been in fairly constant transition. We have also been engaging more with the World Bank, which is part of the overall UN system of organizations, as it has increasingly linked arms to foster change and support for the UN leadership roles in development, international financing of programs, and work with the member countries of both the Bank and the UN in meeting the crises in migration, refugee needs, and development programs in fragile states and those suffering from ongoing conflict and wars.  

I don't have the time this evening to fully express the urgent need for collaboration between the UN and US, and to generate still more knowledge and understanding about the UN with the American public. It is easy too often to see sharp differences in opinion about how best to address these critical global needs for peace  prosperity, and human rights. Yet we can stand back and try together to look at these differences that so threaten progress as sometimes honest differences about the best ways to proceed. Can poverty and inequality be addressed only by material growth and income or even by higher employment and jobs, or can we recognize that there are systemic changes needed also at the same time to provide interim services and share resources to ensure that everyone has the chance to succeed when they require special care and protection beyond their own capacity?

We are very fortunate that the UN leadership with Secretary-General Guterres and his new colleagues at the UN (whom 50% of the top leaders are now women!!) are making significant progress in promoting improvements at the UN for its management, its coordination in the countries of it programs, its effectiveness in peacekeeping missions, for zero tolerance of sexual abuse, and very importantly its devotion to human rights and to early prevention of conflict, what many of us would call “peacebuilding” before there is conflict which then requires the enormous investment in peacekeeping after conflict breaks out.

Even in the face of some very strong differences of opinion among our policy leaders about the values represented by the UN, there remains both a strong majority of support for the UN by the American people, and strong thoughtful bipartisan leadership of foreign affairs committees in Congress for the full funding of the UN for its many programs in development, peacemaking and peacekeeping, and for the values and leadership it provides under the UN Declaration of Human Rights and as the only forum for security matters. We do need now however to be even more active and vigilant to protect the 73 year legacy of the UN for the programs it leads on the environment and climate change, on human rights of everyone everywhere including here in the US, and for meeting the enormous needs of nearly 100 million people displaced by war, environmental disasters, injustice, and extreme poverty, and poor or bad governance in still too many countries. We at UNA-NCA also champion the universality of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 196 of the UN member states, so that in our own country, and every country, we meet the needs of people and children to escape extreme poverty and gain fair access to health, housing, sanitation, justice, and dignified treatment of people from all faiths and ethnicity or race,

We are able to accomplish our mission year after year because of our members’ generous support, and the sponsors of our programs from the community. They are listed in the programs: individual donors, family foundations, businesses and some other non-profit partners and agencies.

Thanks to you who represent this generosity. Also our key staff: Andrew Doll, Nicole Bohanon, and of course our director Paula Boland for their constant work. But they are supported and the programs are led by our wonderful cadres of volunteer officers, board members, AC members, and then also volunteer from other organizations including the UN agencies and the UNIC office and our colleagues at the UNF and UNA-USA. I want to also note the names of our key program chairs and co-chairs since they are not all listed with the board members and other officers in the program.

Thanks to you all for being here this evening. We are going to have a discussion shortly led by our wonderful guest speaker Gillian Sorensen followed by awards to recognize a select set of leaders in our organization’s family.