Team UNA

June 28, 2012|Patrick Madden, UNA-USA Executive Director
It's been a big sports year for cities across the U.S. Some team from New York won the Super Bowl; Kentucky and Baylor won the men's and women's NCAA basketball championships, respectively; LA won the Stanley Cup; and those three stars in Miami won the NBA Championship. For sports fans across the country, there's been some regional parity—a little something for everyone to cheer about. Some champions were expected, while others played the role of the underdog, earning their titles with every game. Now, with the Olympics starting in July, hundreds of American athletes will compete with the backing of millions at home glued to their televisions to see what unexpected feat will be accomplished.

Though Olympians compete on the world stage once every four years, the UN is hard at work every day and every year accomplishing little-reported but highly-beneficial feats around the globe. The UN:

  • Provides food to 90 million people in 73 countries
  • Vaccinates 56 percent of the world's children, saving 2.5 million lives a year
  • Assists 36 million refugees and people fleeing war, famine, or persecution
  • Keeps the peace with 120,000 peacekeepers in 17 operations on four continents
  • Advances democracy by supporting 30 countries a year with their elections
  • Mobilizes $12.4 billion in emergency humanitarian aid to help people suffering from famine, disease, and the devastating effects of war
And these are but a few of the critical UN services and programs that serve U.S. foreign policy and security interests.

As a member of UNA-USA, you are part of a national team that brings the voice of the UN to communities across the country. Our 120 Chapters serve as an entry point for individuals interested in international affairs and global issues to join like-minded individuals in their support of the UN. Earlier this month UNA-USA members from 63 Chapters and 31 states gathered in Washington, DC to learn about the UN's work and discuss the importance of a strong U.S.-UN relationship during the 2012 UNA-USA Annual Meeting.

Attendees heard exclusive foreign policy briefings from high-level officials from the United Nations, U.S. Department of State, and Capitol Hill, including: Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Dr. Esther Brimmer, U.S. Department of State's Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs; and Rodney Bent, Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Washington, DC. Participants received training in membership development and working with the media, and discussed energy, reproductive health, and vaccines with experts from the field. You can find all of the conference presentations, videos, photos, and resources on our new website.

On the final day of the conference, attendees from across the country conducted nearly 100 visits on Capitol Hill, meeting with their members of Congress and letting them know there is a voting constituency that is passionate about the United Nations. One hundred meetings in a day? That’s no small feat, and we did it thanks to you.

The Annual Meeting also marked the launch of our newly redesigned website, www.unausa.org. From Model UNers to teachers, and from the staunch advocate to the passionate citizen, we have all of the UN information you need. This new website is our source of inspiration for members, Chapters, and those curious about our network.

Finally, our highly-respected online magazine recently enjoyed a facelift and now features exclusive members-only content, as well as daily headlines on the UN and opinions and perspectives. It also allows users to quickly search for topics and issues that are central to UN operations. Individuals with an itch to learn more about the UN’s impact and actions across the globe can visit www.TheInterDependent.com.

As a DC sports fan, I can only hold out hope that the Nationals will stay at the top of their division and be in contention in the fall for baseball’s World Series pennant. In the meantime, I’m keeping track of Team UNA, and I like what I see.

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