What is the UNA-USA and what is its affiliation with the United Nations?
The United Nations Association of the United States of America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports the work of the United Nations and encourages active civic participation in the most important social and economic issues facing the world today. As the nation's largest grassroots foreign policy organization and the leading center of policy research on the U.N. and global issues, UNA-USA offers Americans the opportunity to connect with issues confronted by the UN, from global health and human rights to the spread of democracy, equitable development, and international justice. Through our work, we educate Americans about the work of the United Nations, and encourages public support for strong U.S. leadership in the U.N.
How was the UNA-USA started and when?
The UNA-USA traces its roots back to 1943. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt founded it that year, with the establishment of the American Association for the United Nations (AAUN), a citizen-based organization she herself led. AAUN merged with the US Committee for the United Nations in 1964, creating the modern UNA-USA.
How many chapters does the UNA-USA have?
Today, the UNA-USA is bigger and more diverse than its founder, Eleanor Roosevelt, could have predicted. We have more than 20,000 members within 175 local chapters in 43 States.
With which other organizations is the UNA-USA affiliated?
Today, we are comprised of a number of affiliated organizations, including:
- The Business Council of the United Nations, a group which promotes greater cooperation between the United Nations and the business community;
- The Council of Organizations, an umbrella for national organizations supporting the work of the UNA that is comprised of more than 100 affiliated national organizations (including education, religious, labor, environmental and women's groups). These organizations share the common goals of making the American public more knowledgeable about global issues; informing and educating the public about the United Nations; and strengthening the UN system.
- Adopt-a-Minefield, a national program born as a response to the global landmine crisis where individuals and communities raise money toward de-mining, providing prostheses, and educating about the problem. Our “Night of a Thousand Dinners” is a citizens' initiative in which people host dinners during a certain period and accept donations.
Which organizations is the Midpeninsula Chapter affiliated with in the Bay Area?
Some of our local affiliated organizations are:
- Midpeninsula YWCA League of Women Voters of Palo Alto
- AAUW of Palo Alto
What is the "Model United Nations"?
Model United Nations is a simulation of UN multilateral bodies and introduces students to the world of diplomacy and negotiation. In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN members states to debate current issues on the organization's vast agenda. Student "delegates" prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the UN's rules of procedures - all in the interest of mobilizing "international cooperation" to resolve problems that affect almost every country on Earth.
Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in Model UN, students research global problems to be addressed, drawn from today's headlines. Model UN participants learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development, and globalization. Model UN delegates also look closely at the needs, aspirations, and foreign policy of the countries they will represent at the event. The insights they gain form their exploration of history, geography, mathematics, culture, economics, and science.
How can I get involved?
The UNA-USA is a grass-roots organization and your involvement is crucial. There are many ways you can participate:
- Become a member of the UNA-USA:
Membership in the United Nations Association of the USA is your gateway to greater participation in world affairs. Your support will help provide UNA-USA with the resources necessary to continue our important work. Together we can ensure that the United Nations will continue to be a driving force toward a more humane, healthy and prosperous world.Contact the Info Center at 650-326-3170.
- Join the Action E-Network:
The UNA-USA's Washington Office uses the E-Action Network to alert members and other UN supporters via e-mail when action is needed on important UN issues. It also allows individuals who are part of the Network to "take action" quickly and easily by providing them with a sample letter which they can personalize and send to their elected officials by fax or regular mail.
- Create and send messages to decision-makers:
Current alerts are listed on the UNA-USA action site.
Consider making the a financial contribution to our Chapter. Please visit our Membership page for more information.