2011: The Year in Review

December 20, 2011|Patrick Madden, UNA-USA Executive Director
The UN had an impressive year.

From the uprisings of the Arab Spring to a peaceful transition to democracy in South Sudan, the UN played a vital role. From Japan’s nuclear crisis to the 500,000 refugees being provided food and shelter in the Horn of Africa, the UN delivered help and expertise. From the Every Woman Every Child effort to a framework for climate change in Durban leading up to Rio+20, the UN is leading and preparing for the world’s future.

The United Nations Association of the USA had a notable 2011 as well. Chapters helped make it a banner year, holding over 90 meetings on Capitol Hill during our lobby day, and conducting over 60 in-district meetings to advocate their Members of Congress on behalf of the UN. Also, Chapters have rallied in support of major UN observances by hosting hundreds of events across the country during UN Day and Human Rights Day. As a staff, over the past several months, we’ve helped UNA-USA forge a new direction and provided increased support for Chapters and members. As we look to 2012, we are also working to develop a 10-year roadmap for UNA-USA. What will UNA-USA look like in 10 years? What will the member and Chapter profile be in 10 years?


To lay the groundwork for our plan we underwent a major research project focusing on UNA members, former members, and prospective members. More than 5,000 individuals were involved in the survey. Through phone call interviews, focus groups, and electronic survey, we obtained a baseline read-out of why individuals become members, why they renew, what they like about Chapter engagement and programming, and so much more. The above graphic (known as a ‘word cloud’) shows what words survey participants associate with UNA-USA when then think about our organization. Data such as this will help us shape our programs for members and services to Chapters. Most importantly, it will strengthen our network so we can continue to help the UN.

Other highlights of our work this year include:

These are just a few of the national highlights. The genuine excitement for the UN is delivered by UNA-USA Chapters and their leaders who work tirelessly throughout the year to promote the UN and its work. Like the UN, members and Chapter leaders can reflect and celebrate this holiday season, and start 2012 with a resolution to increase the number of events we host, the number of people we engage, and the number of times we talk about the UN to friends, family, and neighbors.

On behalf of the UNA-USA staff and the UN Foundation leadership, I wish you a relaxed and enjoyable holiday season. May next year bring us a more peaceful world and one that’s brought closer together by the United Nations.

Best wishes,
Patrick Madden

Labels: From the Executive Director, World Bulletin