Featured UNA: South Africa

The United Nations Association of South Africa (UNA-SA) was founded on United Nations Day, October 24, 2003.

UNA of the Month: South Africa

The United Nations Association of South Africa (UNA-SA) is a non-governmental organization whose objective is to support the principles, goals and programmes of the United Nations (UN) and its agencies. There are UNA-SA chapters across the country, working (in partnership with other organizations) to promote peace and harmony, as well as economic, social and cultural progress in South Africa. UNA-SA’s activities focus encouraging and facilitating research, organizing conferences, and initiating programmes that raise awareness about the United Nations and its work. They have a particular focus on youth, using the organization to develop the leadership talents of youth.

UNA-SA’s ultimate aim is to accomplish united cooperation and coordination among members of society in working towards positive change in the region. There are three consecutive goals that UNA-SA have set:

  • increased awareness within South African society of the plight of the underprivileged
  • greater understanding that there is a need for improvement
  • actual participation by society in achieving the above goals

UNA-SA has been heavily focused on increasing the understanding and knowledge of the MDGs through two major initiatives.

Sport-in-a-Box

UNA-SA has partnered with UNA-Canada to launch their Sport-in-a-Box Initiative. The    initiative aims to provide improved sports coaching and education for primary school pupils, while also encouraging and developing youth leadership. Youth leaders are employed as coaches for various sporting codes. During the coaching sessions, youth leaders also conduct presentations on the Millennium Development Goals, with the focus on the importance of sport, physical fitness and good eating habits. Sport-in-a-Box runs in disadvantaged schools, clubs and community service organizations. Recently, 18 UNA-Canada youth visited Cape Town during the FIFA World Cup to help drive Sport-in-a-Box.

Visit the UNA-South Africa photo gallery.

 

Millennium Development Goals Awareness Programme

After the United Nations introduced the eight Millennium Development Goals in 2000, African governments set down 2015 as the year in which these goals would be achieved. The MDG Awareness Campaign, a 3-year project in partnership with UNA-Sweden and UNA-Tanzania, aims to raise awareness of the eight goals among South Africa’s national, regional and local governments, and among other civil society stakeholders, and to highlight the importance of achieving them by 2015.

Currently, UNA-SA is in the process of conducting research, and is developing an advocacy programme to raise public awareness about the 2015 targets. The emphasis will be on poverty alleviation, education, health and sustainable development. We will also arrange model United Nations conferences for schools and a MDG competition for university students.

A publication called UNA-SA News will be produced at regular intervals to take the project to a wider audience within government and civil society. Articles in the publication will discuss the MDGs themselves, as well as African and South African targets and the progress being made. UNA-SA believe the MDG Awareness Campaign can play an important role in making sure MDG targets are met by 2015, and we are looking for NGOs and other civil organizations to work with us on the campaign.

UNA-SA recently had a busy month with a 3-day Sport and Development Conference where UNA-SA held an exhibition on the MDGs, a 2-day MUN at University of Cape Town, a 2-hour radio interview on the MDGs and a 1-day organizational development workshop. For more information on their activities, visit their website: www.wnasa.org.

     

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