At 2019 UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres Calls on 1,800+ Americans to take Climate Action

Americans from 45 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico attended the summit to show support for international cooperation

New York, N.Y. (February 22, 2019) — At the 2019 Global Engagement Summit, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres launched a global call to action on climate before more than 1,800 Americans who support the UN.

“Climate change is running much faster than our efforts to slow it. The good news is that the solutions are at hand or in the pipeline. But political will is still lagging behind. That is why I am convening a climate action summit in September here in New York to raise ambition. Today, I am asking for your help in both sounding the alarm and highlighting the solutions,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

The call to action comes after a recent Better World Campaign poll found that nearly four in ten young Americans see “environmental issues such as pollution, health of the planet, and oceans” as the most important international issue for the United States to address this year. It also follows the release of a special report last fall from leading experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that finds immense consequences to inaction on the climate challenge.

The Global Engagement Summit is hosted by the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and included Americans from 45 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

“Today, Americans from coast-to-coast have pledged to drive local action to uphold the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, and they are doing this in the very room where the climate agreement was originally signed,” said UNA-USA Executive Director Chris Whatley.

In addition to climate change, attendees participated in discussions on key global issues at the center of the UN’s work such as human rights, women’s economic empowerment, nuclear non-proliferation, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

According to polling, 83% of Americans believe it is better for the U.S. to work with allies and international organizations than going it alone. Participants at the Global Engagement Summit traveled from their local communities to the UN to show their support for international cooperation and collective action through the UN. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen, Acting Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, said “It is encouraging to see so many Americans – from so many walks of life – engaged in the work of the world’s premiere multilateral institution.”

“Even as the most powerful country in the world, we can accomplish a great deal more when we partner with other countries rather than go it alone,” said Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), also in attendance. “By working together through the United Nations, the UN becomes a critical instrument in addressing some of our global challenges.”


About UNA-USA:

The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) is a grassroots movement of Americans who support the vital work of the United Nations in U.S. communities, colleges, and Congress. For more than 75 years, UNA-USA and its national network of 20,000 members and 200 Chapters have promoted strong U.S. leadership at the UN through advocacy campaigns, youth engagement, outreach programs, and public events. Learn more.

About the Global Engagement Summit:

The Global Engagement Summit allows UN advocates to participate in a day of dynamic and informative discussions on the most pressing issues facing the United Nations. Hosted annually at UN Headquarters in New York, NY, the event unites world leaders with top grassroots change-makers from across the United States. Learn more.