Advocacy Update

November 14, 2012

Supporting a Strong U.S. – UN Relationship

On the heels of the 2012 U.S. elections, the next six weeks will be busy in Washington, with a number of high-priority items on the table. The packed legislative schedule is a reminder of the importance of maintaining a strong and active voice in support of the United Nations on Capitol Hill.

The elections concluded earlier this month with the balance of power in Washington relatively unchanged, as the Republican Party retained control of the House of Representatives and the Democratic Party remained in control of the Senate and the White House. United Nations Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth issued the following statement after the elections:

"The United Nations Foundation looks forward to working with the Obama Administration to maintain strong U.S. engagement and leadership at the United Nations — a policy priority favored by the majority of Americans across the political spectrum." Read the full statement.

The "lame-duck" session of Congress between now and the beginning of next year is expected to be quite active. The Senate may consider two key UN treaties for ratification during this time: the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; both treaties have received bipartisan support.

U.S. Wins Reelection to the UN Human Rights Council

The United States won reelection to the United Nations Human Rights Council this week. The reelection bid had been the source of much debate. The U.S. ran for one of just three seats against other nations including Germany, Sweden, Ireland, and Greece. UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden issued the following statement on the victory:

"Human rights are at the forefront of the UNA-USA agenda. The reelection of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council affirms America’s role as a leader in helping secure human rights for all, a position bolstered by Americans’ views of how their country should operate on the world stage, and by the active support of UNA-USA members across the country." Read the full statement.


Join the COO and UNA-NCA for a Briefing on the Effects of the 2012

The Council of Organizations and National Capital Area Chapter will host "2012 Election Results & the UN: A Briefing on How the UN Fares with a New Administration and Congress." The briefing will be held Wednesday, November 28 at 4:00 p.m. ET; this event is open to all members. Members may dial in to the briefing by calling 866-805-0848 and using the participant passcode 2129071359. Members in the Washington, DC area may attend the briefing in person at the UN Foundation’s M Street office. RSVP is required for in-person attendance; please contact coo@unausa.org to RSVP and receive further details.

What’s Happening at the UN

  • Food and Education Crisis Grips Mali
  • Security Council Updated on Libya, Extends Somalia Mission
  • WHO Calls for Renewed Efforts in Fight Against Polio

Food and Education Crisis Grips Mali

The UN Office of Coordination and Humanitarian Affairs announced that 4.6 million people remain at risk of food insecurity in Mali, and that access to food for people living in the northern part of the country is deteriorating. Access to education for thousands of children poses a major challenge to the country, with 130 schools in the South damaged following floods in September and October. Funding for assistance in the country remains insufficient, with only 49% of requirements covered.

Security Council Updated on Libya, Extends Somalia Mission

The UN Security Council received an update on the work of the International Criminal Court in Libya. Fatou Bensouda, the Court’s Prosecutor, briefed Council members on the discussions the Court has been having with the Libyan Government concerning the cases of Seif al-Islam Qadhafi and Mohammed Senoussi. The Security Council also adopted a resolution authorizing African Union (AU) member states to maintain the deployment of the AU Mission in Somalia until March 7, 2013.

WHO Calls for Renewed Efforts in Fight Against Polio

On World Polio Day, the head of World Health Organization (WHO) called for renewed efforts to boost the campaign against polio, stressing that its eradication is technically feasible but political will is necessary to realize this goal. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, led by WHO, has helped to decrease polio cases by more than 99% since 1988, and aims to eradicate polio in the three countries – Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan – in which it remains. World Polio Day is observed annually on October 24, which marks the birth of United States virologist, Jonas Salk, who was the leader of the team that invented a polio vaccine in 1955.


The UNA-USA Advocacy Update is structured around the UNA-USA Advocacy Agenda, which focuses UNA’s work on four core issue areas: securing U.S.-UN funding; advancing human rights through the UN; encouraging U.S. ratification of international treaties; and supporting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Also included in the Update is a recent “round-up” of the month’s most important UN news.  If you would like additional information on any of the items included contact the Membership Team at membership@unausa.org.


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