Advocacy Update

June 13, 2013

Power of Grassroots Advocacy on Display with More than 100 Meetings on Capitol Hill

Last week, UNA-USA had one of its best Advocacy Days to date as members held more than 100 meetings with members of Congress and their staffs stressing the importance of a strong U.S.-UN relationship.  UNA-USA members met directly with their Representative or Senator in 17 of the meetings. After a morning of meetings in House offices, UNA-USA members received an inspirational address from Connecticut Senator Christopher Murphy (D) over lunch, and headed to Senate offices to continue discussion on U.S. funding of the UN, the Millennium Development Goals, international treaties, and human rights. See photos from Advocacy Day and the rest of the Annual Meeting, and view videos from Annual Meeting sessions.

Obama Selects Samantha Power to be new U.S. Ambassador to the UN

After selecting Susan Rice to become his next National Security Adviser, President Obama nominated Former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights Samantha Power to succeed Rice as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. United Nations Foundation President & CEO Kathy Calvin welcomed the nomination. Read exclusive analysis of what Power’s nomination might mean for the U.S.-UN relationship in UNA-USA’s online newsmagazine, The InterDependent.

UNA-USA to Partner with the UN to Help Lead Post-2015 Consultations

During the 2013 Annual Meeting, it was announced that UNA-USA and the UN Foundation will be partnering with the United Nations to help lead U.S. consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Details on the collaboration and how Chapters can be involved will be released in the coming weeks and months. Chapters can also take a number of immediate actions to engage in the Post-2015 process. For more information on Post-2015, visit www.unausa.org/post2015.  

High-Level Panel Submits Report to UN Secretary-General

The Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP) recently submitted its report to the UN Secretary-General with recommendations on the Post-2015 framework. The HLP was tasked with providing recommendations for a “bold yet practical” development agenda, as well as providing guidance on how the Secretary-General should steward the process to build broad political consensus. Read the Executive Summary of the report here, or read the entire report here. For the latest on the Post-2015 process, visit www.unausa.org/post2015.

Internet Freedom Promoted in Human Rights Council

On Monday, 70 countries, including the United States, joined together in issuing a cross-regional statement supporting Internet Freedom during the current session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement labeled the Internet as well as social media as vital platforms for “participation, transparency and engagement in socio-economic, cultural and political development.” It also firmly called on UN members to “ensure strong protection of freedom of expression, privacy and other human rights online in accordance with international human rights law.” Read more >>

What's Happening at the UN

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

The UN Secretary-General led the UN in honoring those who lost their lives over the past year serving in UN peacekeeping missions. On this year’s International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, the world body honored 111 peacekeeping personnel who died last year and paid tribute to the some 3,000 others who have fallen in the line of duty since the first peacekeepers deployed 65 years ago. “We are working hard to improve safety for our personnel around the world. But peacekeeping is inherently dangerous. And the risks are growing,” the Secretary-General said during a wreath-laying ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York. Take a minute to send a message and Thank A Peacekeeper today.

Also happening this month…

Women Deliver Conference Highlights Importance of Sexual and Reproductive Health
Investing in the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls will help accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda, UN senior officials said during the third Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “We need – in Governments, legislatures, and public administrations – more people who will lead on these issues,” said UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, in her remarks. She added that life had improved for many girls and women since the MDGs were launched, and a 20-year action plan on sexual and reproductive health rights was agreed on in 1994 in Cairo at the UN International Conference on Population and Development. However, “Countries where women have rights and opportunity denied cannot maximize their development potential – that can’t happen if half the population is not equally empowered.” In his video message to the conference, the Secretary-General urged action, “Now is the time to do even more to deliver for women and girls and accelerate progress toward meeting all our development goals.”

UNICEF Issues “The State of the World’s Children 2013”
Children with disabilities have the same rights as all children but are some of the most invisible and marginalized people in the world according to a UN report, which cites recommendations on how to actively include children with disabilities in civic, social, and cultural affairs so that both they and their communities benefit. Produced by UNICEF, The State of the World's Children 2013, launched in Da Nang, Vietnam, is the first global study dedicated to children with disabilities. Among its key recommendations, UNICEF urges countries that have not yet done so to ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The report also provides data on children with global and country breakdowns and how they rank on progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.

WHO Releases Guidance on Childhood Obesity, Malnutrition
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidance to help low and middle-income countries tackle the emerging double threat of childhood obesity and under-nutrition, and halt the growing burden of associated diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The agency said that to avoid a massive explosion of nutrition problems in the next generation, policymakers urgently need to give more attention to improving the nutritional status of pregnant women and adolescent girls who will become mothers of the next generation.

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