May 7, 2020
Dear UNA-NCA colleagues, supporters, and members,

During this difficult time in the face of the global health pandemic and economic crisis, I want to extend my best wishes to and your families for your health, safety and wellbeing.

The dedication of our staff and the many volunteer leaders of our programs drawn from our Board of Directors, Advisory Council, membership, and partner organizations, has made it possible to continue and transform most of our programs through the wonderful virtual platforms that have become almost second nature to many of us.

The year 2020 is an important milestone in UNA-NCA’s ongoing mission of advocating for vigorous U.S. engagement with the United Nations. In recognition of the United Nation’s 75th anniversary, there have been already many outstanding statements of support from citizens, private institutions, and leaders in city, state, and federal government. Over and over again, these individuals and institutions acknowledge that, despite our differences, our well-being as both a nation and as global community rests upon a United States being a committed, patient, and proactive participant in multilateral institutions like the UN.

Our present circumstances have made the linkages between public health and economic opportunity readily apparent; strengthening both across the world will require mitigating the impacts of global warming, creating pathways towards lasting peace and security, and supporting sustainable development solutions. Moreover, economic disparities and greater risk of disease are too often influenced by historical and continuing discrimination against people of color and migrant populations, in favor of families with historical and multigenerational wealth. As an active participant in multilateral fora, the United States has the ability to broker policies that insure more equal access to goods through fair and open trade, to be a champion of human rights and civil liberties, and to help create new beginnings for the world’s nearly 100 million migrants and displaced people suffering from countless hardships.

Without U.S. leadership, we continue to witness an increase in human rights violations, an inclination towards authoritarian policies, and a disregard for the global commons. Working in collaboration with organizations like the World Bank, The World Health Organization, and related agencies, the United States can recommit itself to the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and begin reversing these trends towards nationalism, division, and retrenchment.

The absence of U.S. leadership was sadly on display this May 4th as the United States failed to attend a virtual gathering of the G-20. The G-20 states used this opportunity to collaborate on addressing the global pandemic as well as pledging their support to a new global fund that will help bolster fragile food systems across Africa depended upon by 250 million people. When questioned as to why the U.S. is not participating in the creation of this new global fund, an unidentified spokesperson for the Trump Administration said it was already doing enough as one of the largest donors to global health and relief programs and therefore would not join with the other G-20 countries.

UNA-NCA began with a citizens’ movement to found the UN in 1945 and dedicated itself to conducting citizen advocacy around the need for continual and energetic U.S. engagement with the UN, including that the U.S. meet its financial commitments to the new multilateral organization.. During the more recent period of global development, UNA-NCA has been devoted to the long term need for fair and equitable social and economic development; championing these causes through its support for both the Millennial Development Goals and, now, the Sustainable Development Goals. We can now see that our very survival depends upon achieving these goals together. A lack of U.S. leadership will surely undermine the work of all nations to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in the years ahead, goals that are essential to the prosperity of our children and grandchildren.

In response to the need for social distancing, UNA-NCA has adapted quickly by devising new programmatic structures that have ensured the continued participation of over 1,200 students from grades 5 to 12 in UNA-NCA’ Global Classrooms DC Model UN Conference, of 25 Graduate Fellows in UNA-NCA’s highly-selective semester-long course dedicated to exploring the UN system, and of the 35% of UNA-NCA members who are young professionals who take part in a variety of UNA-NCA activities such as our Career Dinners, Coffee Chats, and special discussion series in the areas of Peace and Security, Sustainable Development, International Law, Human Rights, and Gender Equity. Another core component of UNA-NCA’s work is advocacy: communicating to both the public and policymakers how U.S. participation accelerates progress in domains such as global health, education, refugee resettlement, respect for human rights, peacekeeping, and sustainable development.

As a part of the UN’s 75th anniversary, The Secretary General has launched the UN75 consultation process, inviting individuals and organizations alike to submit their opinions and insights into how the UN can further its goals in the decades to come. UNA-NCA members are invited to take part in this consultation process and will find more information as to how they can participate in this week’s UN Express. Once input from around the globe is received, a “plan for action” will be submitted to the Secretary General.

This week we launch UNA-NCA’s spring fund raising appeal, asking UNA-NCA members to donate, whether monthly, annually, or semi-annually, at whatever level they feel most comfortable. These gifts, from more than 250 individual donors, support more than 50% of our programs and operations. We are also most fortunate to receive donations from very generous individuals and family foundations, accounting for about a fourth of our budget. Special bequests, income generated from sponsors of our key open public program events, support another quarter of our programs costs.

Unfortunately, the current pandemic has forced us to cancel or postpone several key fundraising events since January. For that reason, we are asking that your donations and sponsorships be made by June 30, 2020, to ensure that we maintain adequate funding for our programs and staff. An anonymous generous donor to UNA-NCA has agreed to match, dollar for dollar, up to $500 for each donation made before June 30th, up to a total of $10,000. Another donor has committed $5,000 to match any elected UNA-NCA Board member’s contribution above $500 in 2020.

Please be generous in your support for our programs at this challenging time.

This global pandemic is shining a light on our global connectedness. UNA-NCA, with your participation and support, will be a champion of both the essential role the UN plays in our global community and the necessity for U.S. leadership within the UN system, including human rights, peacekeeping and peacebuilding , as well as for climate change protection.

Thank you again for your support and participation in the UNA-NCA – citizen’s organization and movement to keep us globally engaged for everyone’s betterment.

Need to Know


More >

Upcoming Events

More >