The Latest from UNA-NCA

June 26, 2024

Coverage of UNA-NCA's 2024 Annual Membership Meeting

By Cesar Fernandez, Programs & Membership Assistant

On Thursday, June 13th, 2024, UNA-NCA hosted its yearly Annual Membership Meeting at the United Nations Foundation. This in-person event focused on the successes and challenges of UNA-NCA’s programming throughout the year, and presented awards to key contributors within the chapter. This event reiterated the importance of engaging American citizens with the United Nations and maintaining support to strengthen such multilateral systems.

May 22, 2024

Young Professionals’ Spring Career Dinners 2024

By Cesar Fernandez, Programs & Membership Assistant

On Saturday, May 4th, 2024, the UNA-NCA Young Professionals (YP) Program hosted their semi-annual Career Dinner Series. This in-person series focused on Careers in the Foreign Service, Global Health, Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution, and Climate Change & Disaster Relief. Part of the Young Professionals Career Dinner Series, discussions featured various professionals working in these respective fields. The speakers within this event offered inspirational guidance toward students and young professionals, sharing important perspectives and personal stories with respect to their fields.

May 20, 2024

Global Classrooms DC hosts the 20th Annual Spring Model United Nations Conference at the U.S Department of State 

By Himaja Balusa, Global Education Manager 

Global Classrooms DC, the flagship education program of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA), hosted its 20th annual Spring Model United Nations on Monday, April 29th, 2024, at the U.S. Department of State. The conference featured simulations of eight different multilateral UN agencies, including the International Labor Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The event engaged over 500 middle and high school students from schools across the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area, as well as groups from North Carolina and New York.

May 2, 2024

Recommendations to the U.S. Government on its Israel-Gaza War Policy

The Advisory Council of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) offers guidance to the U.S. government regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict, with the aim to promote regional diplomatic and sustainable solutions for peaceful coexistence. These recommendations are forward looking while also acknowledging and decrying the historical traumas experienced by all sides of the conflict.

May 1, 2024

A Discussion with Global Criminal Justice Ambassador-at-Large

By Cesar Fernandez, UNA-NCA Program Assistant

On April 15th, 2024, UNA-NCA hosted a discussion with Global Criminal Justice Ambassador-at-Large Beth Van Schaack at the Charles Sumner School in Washington, DC. Dr. Beth Van Schaack was sworn in as the U.S. Department of State’s sixth Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice (GCJ) on March 17, 2022. In this role, she advises the Secretary of State and other Department leadership on issues related to the prevention of and response to atrocity crimes, including: war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Ambassador Van Schaack served as Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for GCJ from 2012 to 2013. Prior to returning to public service in 2022, Ambassador Van Schaack was the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School, where she taught: international criminal law, human rights, human trafficking, and a policy lab on Legal & Policy Tools for Preventing Atrocities. Ambassador Van Schaack began her academic career at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she served as the Academic Advisor to the United States interagency delegation to the International Criminal Court Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda. Earlier in her career, she was a practicing lawyer at Morrison & Foerster, LLP; the Center for Justice & Accountability, a human rights law firm; and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Ambassador Van Schaack has published numerous articles and papers on international human rights and justice issues, including her 2020 thesis, Imagining Justice for Syria (Oxford University Press). She is a graduate of Stanford (BA), Yale (JD) and Leiden (PhD) Universities.

April 22, 2024

UNA-NCA Membership Spotlights take focus on a specific member to share their journey

1. What brought you to UNA-NCA?
UNA-NCA was a good fit for me since I worked in UN agencies – at the UN itself in NYC and at the World Bank (yes, the World Bank is a UN agency!) for almost my entire career. UNA-NCA provided a community of colleagues sharing common values. UNA-NCA gave me ways to continue my UN engagement into my retirement years.

April 10, 2024

Seizing the Opportunities of Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence Systems for Sustainable Development

By Renee Dopplick, International Law Committee Co-Chair; UNA-NCA Board of Directors (2017-2023)

In a major win for responsible AI development, the United Nations General Assembly passed a landmark resolution on March 21, 2024, titled “Seizing the Opportunities of Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence Systems for Sustainable Development.” Led by the United States, the resolution marks a significant step towards harnessing the power of AI for positive global impact, respecting human rights, and bridging the digital divide by enabling developing countries to participate in AI development. The resolution's emphasis on safe, secure, and human-centric AI development elevates the priority of responsible AI global governance and creates a ripple effect to help empower the use of AI for everyone, everywhere.

March 27, 2024

Coverage of UNA-NCA's CSW68 Parallel Event

On March 20th UNA-NCA hosted a UN CSW parallel event discussing the U.S. Rejoining UNESCO and the Future of Women and Girls Education. The discussion touched on the history of the U.S. funding of UNESCO and the importance of ensuring congress meets our funding commitments to the UN and the essential nature of UNESCO in preserving culture heritage and history, as well as supporting education to women and girls. The speakers discussed ongoing programs that support girls education in Africa and African diaspora (through the UN Office of Human Rights Program for People of African Descent) which we've previously highlighted in our programming at UNA-NCA.

March 20, 2024
By Katherine Marshall, UNA-NCA Board of Directors; Senior Fellow, Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; and Executive Director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue at Georgetown University

Among the many sessions during the 55th session of the Human Rights Council (26 February to 5 April 2024), two that I attended centered on responding to different forms of hate speech, especially involving religious symbols. Sharp divides and strong views expressed offered striking evidence of the challenges involved in translating core principles of human rights into practice in our deeply polarized world.

March 20, 2024

Women, Law, and Development Discussion & Reception

By Kate Lovas, UNA-NCA Human Rights Committee Co-Chair

This International Women’s Day, George Washington University Law School, in partnership with the Embassies of the African Union, Spain, and Denmark, and other collaborators from the region like ARPA International Law Group held a discussion surrounding women, law, and development in Africa. Discussants along with Ambassadors Hilda Suka-Mfaduze, Mathilde Mukantabana, and Ángeles Moreno Bau were able to highlight the actions of their countries to further women’s rights and UNA NCA’s Board member and Human Rights Committee Chair, Leila Hanafi, moderated the session.

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