Chapters Finish the Year Strong in the Fight for UN Funding

November 22, 2011

UNA-USA chapters continued an active advocacy year by conducting 20 in-district meetings over the past month.  Chapters and members from across the country sought to further congressional understanding of the UN just as the Palestinian statehood vote began to cast a cloud over the UN and its many important agencies.  

One of the most successful visits was conducted by the Blue Ridge Virginia Chapter, which visited with Rep. Robert Hurt (R) and received considerable local media coverage. In the meeting the Congressman stated that he had no idea that any of his constituents cared about the United Nations. Another significant victory came when members of the Westchester Chapter and Southern New York Division persuaded their Representative, Eliot Engel (D), to vote no on the “anti-UN bill” (H.R. 2829) when it came up in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, maintaining the bill’s status as partisan legislation.

Starting on President’s Day, UNA-USA chapters held over 150 meetings with Members of Congress and their staffs in DC and across the nation.  The 112th Congress is one of the largest freshman classes in the last 100 years, and the need to educate them on the importance of the UN to the world and to American interests is vital to continuing a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN.  Throughout the year, UNA chapters and members have also stayed in touch with their Members of Congress through e-mails, phone calls, and letters on issues such as the Senate Appropriations Bill.

 As the year comes to a close, UNA-USA chapters will continue to make sure their Members of Congress know that their constituents care about the UN. Efforts are being made to help reinforce in district-meetings with follow up meetings in Washington conducted by a volunteer Advocacy Corps established by UNA’s National Capitol Area Chapter. While there have been a lot of pointed criticisms of the UN from policymakers this year, the UN is a smart investment for our economic and national security interests, and should be central to our foreign policy.  UNA members have long recognized this and because of efforts this year, their representatives in Washington know there is a constituency who cares about the UN. 

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