Dear UNA-NCA colleagues and members,
Welcome to the new year! As we ring in 2020, UNA-NCA embarks on its 7th decade of programming and activities. This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, established in San Francisco on October 24, 1945.
Every year, we wake up to find a new set of opportunities and serious challenges to accomplish our mission to foster positive and constructive partnership and collaboration between the US and the UN. This year is no exception. Just 5 years ago, the UN and its members almost unanimously adopted the Global Goals for Sustainable Development for 2030. From 2000 to 2015, global citizens mobilized to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty and brought 75% of girls into education systems while making major breakthroughs in combating AIDS and malaria. Yet as our deadline for the implementation of these goals approaches, we cannot be so sure that we are on track at a global- or even local- level. With deliberate efforts and multilateral engagement, we can still achieve most of these goals together. In this time of hardship, we cannot lose sight of the vitality of a strong partnership between the US and the UN.
US leadership has always been critical in driving global progress towards the Global Goals; it is perhaps most worrisome to see such intransigence emerge between the US and the UN via the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreements and- most recently- unilateral missile and drone strikes between the US and Iran. The sense of US leadership in the coalition for universal human rights feels as though it is rapidly eroding; there is no assurance that the US in the foreseeable future will rejoin multilateral cooperative efforts at the UN. Yet our short and long-term development achievements are contingent upon the willingness of the US to continuously champion key pillars of the UN, including Peacekeeping and Peace Building efforts. We must guard and protect the rights of all people across race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation across borders, including within our own. We must bolster respect for democratic processes and individuals freedom of the press and ultimately fully incorporate all 17 Sustainable Development Goals in our communities. Underpinning these values is the right to achieve economic and social equity in every society, to stop and reverse the detrimental effects of climate change, and the integral value of innovative partnerships to address these challenges together.
US citizens recognize now more than ever the importance of a strong partnership with the UN- over 70% polled across the country identified a belief that the UN must remain a strong institution with US participation and financial support. These polls verify that UN programs and operations can and must be strengthened and refined to meet evolving global needs and to invent additional means of early interventions that prevent violence and facilitate lasting peace.
This view is prevalent in the majority of our Congressional House and Senate representatives and throughout our diplomatic corps, extending across agencies including the U.S. Department of State and the Pentagon. Our role in the UNA-NCA is to vigorously keep building knowledge and common interests with the UN and the capacity for lasting positive results in concert with over 200 UNA-USA chapters across the country, the UN Foundation, and the Better World Campaign's advocacy efforts.
In 2020, we will celebrate the UN's 75th anniversary by discussing and debating the lessons of progress as we seek new avenues for greater success and effectiveness of the UN in collaboration with the US. UNA-NCA is very fortunate to have a strong and considerably diverse membership, with a growing participation of students and young professionals. We continue to retain strong and active participation by people of all ages and sectors, drawing experience in federal work, universities and colleges, the private corporate sector, and a number of civil society organizations. In 2020, we will seek our members' full participation in achieving new successes by pursuing longer-term private and public partnerships in order to reach new audiences and address these new challenges.
Thank you for your steadfast participation, volunteer efforts, and leadership in our work together for 2020 and beyond. Start the year by standing up for peace, human rights, and lasting and equitable development; encourage the US to be a leading collaborative influence in making the lives of people across the world and here at home better, safer, healthier, and more collaborative.
Stephen F. Moseley
UN Association of the National Capital Area
January 8, 2020