|Quarterly Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 1
Greater Lansing United Nations Association
"Your Connection to the United Nations"
|Chapter Leaders Attend National Meeting of UNA-USA !
Report on the UNA-USA Annual Meeting - Washington, D.C. June 7-9, 2015
GLUNA is “ON THE RIGHT TRACK!”
Three Greater Lansing UNA Board members attended the annual UNA-USA meeting in Washington D.C. in June. It was clear from many of the sessions that our chapter is on the “right track” in several ways:
- UNA members ages 18 to at least 80 gathered together to learn about the work and latest initiatives of the United Nations and to share ideas to help build local chapters and to increase their effectiveness and outreach. Of the 300 registrants - representing thirty-five states - almost half were “youth” (high school/college) and “Gen UN” (under age 26) and “Young Professionals” of the UNA. This was a big change from previous years. We need people of all ages to carry out the work of the UNA! GLUNA too has enjoyed a wider age span within our Board of Directors, our membership, and attendees at our events. “Increasing youth engagement” is one of our 2015 goals. We are happy to announce that the MSU-UNA Chapter has just been accepted into the UNA-USA system; and a new Model UN club has been started at Haslett High School!
- Partnerships were encouraged. GLUNA has long partnered with other organizations to provide programs for the community. Everyone gains from these partnerships.
- Advocating for the United Nations is an important role of UNA members. We learned the facts (see below) and we learned how to effectively advocate. We spent a day “on the Hill” in D.C., meeting with our U.S. representatives and senators. We encouraged them to support full funding of our nation’s portion of the UN budget. Our timing was perfect since these appropriations were about to come up for a vote. We visited the offices of Debbie Stabenow, Gary Peters, Mike Bishop, and Tim Walberg. GLUNA sends emails to our members and friends to provide easy opportunities for them to advocate for the work and full funding of the United Nations. GLUNA supports the United Nations work to ensure the rights of refugees, women and girls, and LGBT; we encourage our members to advocate for them. We aim to include a “ take action opportunity” at each of our events.
- The United Nations is doing a great deal to alleviate the plight of our world’s refugees. This, along with the rights work listed above, was a focal area of the annual meeting. GLUNA has focused on the situation of refugees this year--by providing information as well as effective opportunities to contribute our dollars. We held a Refugee Event in May and learned about how refugees are resettled in our community and about the need for more support for them.
- Social media must be part of our outreach. We learned that social media should be added to—but should not replace—our traditional media communications. GLUNA is building our social media outreach through Facebook and Twitter as well as seeking ways to be highlighted in traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, and television. If you want to stay tuned, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE UNITED NATIONS THAT YOU’LL WANT TO KNOW!
- The annual budget for all UN peacekeeping operations is equal to the budget of the New York City police department.
- The United Nations is presently involved in sixteen peacekeeping missions.
- If the United States provided those peacekeeping missions, it would cost EIGHT times more.
- UN peacekeeping missions build security for the United States.
- The United States dues cover about 22% of the United Nations annual budget.
- The United States has 28% of the world’s wealth.
- The UN Millennium Development Goals are soon to be replaced by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Those “SDG’s” will be on the agenda of the UN General Assembly meeting in September.
Refugee Event a Great Success!
People are already talking about holding another Refugee Awareness Event next year!
On May 31, 2015, over 35 people joined together for the Greater Lansing UNA Refugee Awareness Event at the Spartan Village Community Center. The excellent program included presentations by Shirin Timms, Sergio Keck and Mahbuba Fidda. We learned that approximately 600 refugees come to Lansing each year. Various organizations and individuals provide support/programs that help our refugee community adjust to life in the United States. Lansing School District is home to many of our English Language Learners. A delicious dinner included a catered meal from Tabooli's as well as some homemade dishes including a special Turkish custard dessert made by Mahbuba Fidda!
Peace Day Event - SAVE THE DATE!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 at 2 p.m.
For the first time ever, the Greater Lansing United Nations Association is celebrating International Peace Day with a "Peace Walk (Run, Hop, Skip, Jump, Roll) ...Will Work for Peace!"
We are partnering with the Peace Education Center and the new MSU chapter of the United Nations Association. We are inviting school groups, faith communities, businesses, etc. to join us. The event will take place on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 at 2 p.m.
All ages are welcome. There will be activities, music, freebies, and fun. The most important part, though, is that we will be gathering together with (we hope) hundreds of people who also want to work toward world peace.
Watch for weekly updates on our Facebook page, messages via Twitter, and see our September newsletter.
We hope to see you ALL there!
Our Chapter is Growing!
Greater Lansing UNA has increased its membership by 33% over the past year! This means that even more people are engaged in supporting the essential work of the United Nations. Members learn about specific opportunities for advocating on timely and important issues such as refugees and human trafficking. Now, more than ever, with so many complex and challenging problems in the world, it’s critical to support international cooperation through the UN. Together we can make a difference!
We appreciate YOUR involvement in Greater Lansing UNA. We know there are many others who would become involved if they were aware of the opportunity to actively support the work of the United Nations. We’ve found that the best way to attract new members is by personal invitations from current members. Who do YOU know that you can invite to join? Please help us continue to grow our chapter and increase our capacity to advocate for the UN’s mission by asking your friends and colleagues to join with us in this important work. You can tell them to enroll on-line at www.unausa.org. Or, if you’d prefer, send their names and addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll send a personal letter of invitation. Thank you!
Watch for the next issue of the CommUNAcator in September!