Americans from All 50 States Convened on Capitol Hill to Advocate for Strong U.S. Leadership at the United Nations

Washington, D.C. (June 12, 2019)—More than 500 Americans and grassroots advocates—half under age 26—met with Members of Congress and their staff on Tuesday to make their voices heard in support of continued U.S. engagement in the UN during the United Nations Association of America’s (UNA-USA) annual Global Leadership Summit.

These meetings took place at a pivotal moment for the U.S.-UN relationship, as Kelly Knight Craft is expected to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 19 to become U.S. Ambassador to the UN. With less than a week until the hearing, American advocates were able to directly ask Members of Congress and their staff to maintain full U.S. support for vital UN agencies and programs.

“Americans stand up for the United Nations because the United Nations stands for everyone, everywhere,” said Rachel Bowen Pittman, incoming UNA-USA Executive Director. “As our country retreats from multilateral organizations, the attendees on Capitol Hill yesterday showed that they don’t just talk the talk, they put words into action to support what they believe is right for the U.S. and for the world.

Over the past year, UNA-USA’s growing movement of 20,000 members held in-district meetings with their Members of Congress in support of the UN, and hosted more than 200 events in communities and on college campuses to address global issues like climate change, human rights, the refugee crisis, and more.

UNA-USA has long-recognized U.S. leaders who believe that multilateralism supports American interests and values. Prior to the day’s meetings, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was honored with the UNA-USA 2019 Congressional Leadership Award for being a continued champion of the UN.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as the United Nations Association of the United States of America Congressional Champion,” Cicilline said. “As one of the co-founders of the United Nations, the United States has a responsibility to respect and work with our allies to create a better world for generations to come. I’m proud to fight every day in Congress to make sure that we honor the commitment that we as a nation made 73 years ago at the UN’s inception, and I know that with our full support, the United Nations can continue its critical work in countries all across the globe.”

Tuesday’s events marked the final day of UNA-USA’s Global Leadership Summit, an annual conference that convenes grassroots advocates and community leaders to learn from high-level experts and global activists. Programming took place June 9 and 10 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. Notable speakers included: Stephane Dujarric de la Rivière, Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; Alexandria Villaseñor, Youth Climate Activist; Mike Abramowitz, President of Freedom House; Mary Kirtley Waters, Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Washington, D.C.; and Lynn Sicade, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State.

For more information, see the full agenda.


About the United Nations Association of the USA (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.