Leadership

Inspired by the opening words of the United Nations Charter "We the Peoples", the World Federation was created in 1946 - one year after the establishment of the UN.
As it is outlined in our Constitution, the World Federation of United Nations Associations has the following leadership structure:
 

The Plenary Assembly is the supreme organ of WFUNA. It consists of delegations appointed by member UNAs and meets at least once every three years. The responsibilities of the Plenary Assembly are detailed in Article 8 of the Constitution.The Plenary Assembly elects the President, Vice-Presidents (6), Secretary-General, Treasurer and Executive Committee (18 members). The Executive Committee elects its own Chair and Vice Chairs (2). The Plenary Assembly may confer the title of Honorary President upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee.

President

Ambassador Park Soo-gil, prior to his election as President of WFUNA at the 39th Plenary Assembly in August 2009, served as the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador in the Kingdom of Morocco, Canada, to the European Office of the United Nations in Geneva and the UN in New York, from 1984 to 1998.

Secretary-General

Secretary-General

Bonian Golmohammadi was elected Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations in August 2009. Previously, Mr. Golmohammadi served as Secretary-General of the United Nations Association of Sweden for eight years.

Treasurer

In March 2009, Sundeep Bhutoria was elected as the Treasurer of the World Federation of United Nations Associations during the 196th Executive Committee meeting held in Ottawa, Canada. Born in Churu in the Shekawati region of Rajasthan (India), Sundeep Bhutoria is a name synonymous with social welfare and cultural integration. View his blog

Executive Committee

Chair of the Executive Committee

Kathryn White assumed the position of Executive Director of UNA-Canada in December 2003. Previously, Ms. White had been the President of Black & White Inc. Ms. White has published widely on climate change, youth-at-risk, international peace building, conflict resolution and many other topics. She was elected Chair of the Executive Committee in August 2009.

Alexei N Borisov

Vice Chair

Alexei N Borisov is the Head of UNESCO Chair on Human Rights and Democracy, MGIMO-University. Mr. Borisov has served as Deputy Chairman and Secretary-General of UNA-Russia. He has also published many works on democracy, terrorism, the UN and NGO movements.

Jay Jethwa

Vice Chair
Jay Jethwa photo

Jay Jethwa is a scientist as well as a corporate lawyer by training. He is admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia. He holds directorships in a number of healthcare and biotechnology-related companies in Australia as well as internationally, and currently spends his time between business communities in Australia, the United Kingdom and India. He is a great believer in the ideals of the United Nations, and has been an active proponent of peaceful resolution of conflicts, and of sustainable development. He has been involved in the UN system in Australia for more than 15 years. He actively participates in numerous charitable organisations in Australia and overseas. Jay was elected the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of WFUNA at its Plenary Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in November 2012.

Ramaz Aptsiauri

Carlos Amat Fores

Aleksander Gabelic

Aleksander Gabelic

Ali Kiyaei

Ali Kiyaei photo

Ali Kiyaei serves as an executive secretary general of the United Nations Association of South Africa since 2011 and is on the board of two business start-ups. He joined the UNA about 5 years ago through a university chapter. Through UNASA he advocates the role of societies taking responsibility of their own communities through the ideas of the UN Millennium Development Goals. He has achieved in expanding the role of the UNA to include new chapters within and around South Africa. His ideas have been on the forefront of the many inter-civil society projects that UNASA implements within its strategic framework.

Helena Laukko

Helena Laukko, UNA-Finland

Ms. Laukko is the Executive Director of the UN Association of Finland. She has fifteen years of experience in development cooperation work, including fieldwork in Uganda, and served as Executive Director of the International Solidarity Foundation. She is a member of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, Secretary of the Social Democratic Party’s section for development cooperation, and a member of the Development Policy Committee (2003–2007) and its predecessor the Advisory Board for Relations with Developing Countries (KESU).
 

Kwang Boon Lee

Mr. Lee, Secretary-General of UNA-Singapore, was elected to serve on the WFUNA Executive Committee at the 39th WFUNA Plenary Assembly in Seoul in August 2009.
 

Ms. Armine Podosyan has been serving as a President of the United Nations Association of Armenia (AUNA) since 2008 and was elected as member of the Executive Committee of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) at the 40th WFUNA Plenary Assembly. Ms. Podosyan has an extensive and progressively responsible 20 years experience in the civil society sector and in various organizations such as AUNA, Center for Health Services Research & Development of American University of Armenia Fund, Armenian Center for Integration and Democratization NGO, Young Men’s Christian Association Armenia NGO, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies/International Post-Traumatic Rehabilitation Center. 

Norma Rojas

Norma Rojas has a diverse academic and professional career in both Venezuela and Spain. Ms. Rojas most recently served as the Community Projects Specialist at CIDEU in Barcelona, Spain. She also worked as a Human Ecology Specialist at the International Center of Research and Social Dynamic Studies in Caracas. Ms. Rojas holds an International Diploma in Human Rights from the Technological Center University, Valencia.

Eduard Sagarra Trias

Mr. Trias served as the Board Spokesman for the UNA-Spain from 2002-2009 and has been Chairman of the UNA-Spain since 2009. He was elected representative of the Barcelona Bar Association's Governing Board between 1982 and 1986. In 2005, he was appointed Chairman of the editorial board of MÓN JURIDIC, the monthly journal published by the Barcelona Bar Association, 2005, and is a member of the editorial board of Dret i Societat, Roca Junyent’s legal newsletter. He has been the Vice President of the Human Rights section of the Union International des Avocats (UIA) since 2004 and a member of the International Institute of Political Science, since 2008.

Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director of UNA-UK

Natalie Samarasinghe joined UNA-UK in 2006, and was appointed Executive Director on 1 July 2013. Natalie leads the UNA-UK staff team in undertaking advocacy and outreach in support of the organisation's mission to create a safer, fairer and more sustainable world. She works closely with UNA-UK's Chairman, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the Board of Trustees, and key stakeholders to set and implement strategic objectives, lobby decision-makers, provide information and advice, and facilitate campaigning and educational activities. She also acts as editor-in-chief of UNA-UK's print and online resources, including New World magazine. Prior to joining UNA-UK, Natalie worked in various roles in the public, private and education sectors, including for Oxfordshire Social & Health Care and the University of Oxford, and concurrently as a freelance journalist. She has degrees from the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics.

Kari Solholm

Kari Solholm, the Secretary-General of UNA-Norway, has over 24 years experience working for UNA-Norway. During this time, she was a board member of the Norwegian UNESCO-commission, as well as an alternate board member on both the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Education in Hamburg. Mrs. Solholm also has over 10 years experience as a teacher.

Christos Theodoulou has been President of UNA- Cyprus since March 2002, and he has been re-elected for a new term of 4 years in February 2008. A member of the UNA since 1969, he was in the Council as an Organizing Commissioner, Vice- President, and Chairman of the Larnaca branch.  Read his thoughts on the passing of Horace Pereira

Cissa has been as adviser to the the UN Secretary-General's special representative to UN-Africa Union led International Conference for Peace, Security and Development for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Currently, Dr. Cissa Wa Numbe is the Secretary-General of the United Nations Association of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (UNA-DRC). UNA-DRC has three offices located in the cities of Kinshasa, Goma, and Bukavu, D.R. Congo.

Chris Whatley serves as Executive Director of UNA-USA. Before joining UNF, Chris served as Washington Office Director and Deputy Executive Director of The Council of State Governments (CSG), representing elected officials in all 50 states and the six territories on Capitol Hill and serving as an appointed advisor to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Zhang Xiao'an

Zhang Xiaoan is a native of Beijing, born in 1953. She graduated from Hangzhou University in 1978 and further studied in the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva during the late 1980s. She was in the Chinese foreign service for nearly two and half decades and had long and wealthy experiences with multilateral diplomacy especially in the area of UN affairs. She was posted to the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York twice. She served as the Deputy Head and Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Israel for 5 years. She was elected as the Vice-President and Director-General of the UN Association of China in May 2010.

Vice Presidents

Amb. Chang-beom Cho Photo

Ambassador Chang Beom Cho is Vice President of the UN Association of the Republic of Korea and Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University. He was Deputy Foreign Minister for Policy Planning and International Organizations, Korean Foreign Ministry. Amb. Cho is a career diplomat who has served as the Ambassador of Korea to Australia, the Republic of Austria, and the Czech Republic. He was elected as Vice-President of the WFUNA at its 40th Plenary Assembly in Rio de Janeiro in November 2012.

Rashad Daureeawoo

Rashad Daureeawoo was born in Mauritius in 1949, where he pursued Primary and Secondary Education.  He proceeded to London where he studied Law at Middle Temple and was called to the Bar in England in 1970. He has been associated with UNA-Mauritius for 25 years and is currently the President.  He is also a member of the Law Reform Commission and Bar Council.  

Ervin Gömbös

Ervin Gömbös has been the Secretary-General UNA- Hungary since 1981. He has held various leadership positions in WFUNA (Vice-President 1983-87, 1991-95, 2009-, member of the Executive Committee 1987-91, 1995-2009). He is a Professor at the International Business School in Budapest. Earlier he worked for the United Nations Statistical Office in New York for five years. He is the author of two books and co-author or editor of many others and has published some 50 studies on informatics, economics and international relations.

Janet Edna Nyame

Janet Edna Nyame, Vice-President, WFUNA

Mrs Janet Edna Nyame Phillips is a lecturer by profession with thirty eight years teaching experience. She holds a bachelors degree in Vocational and technical education and a masters degree in educational management from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. She has been a member of United Nations Association-Ghana since 1991. She was the president of Takoradi Polytechnic chapter, Regional Coordinator, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of UNA-GHANA. She is a former Counsellor of Sekondi Metropolitan Assembly, a former President of the Women Caucus of National Association of Local Authority of Ghana (NALAG), a Vice President of NALAG, and an executive member of United Cities of Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA). She has vast experience in local governance and an advocate for women, children, and human rights. She is currently the Dean of Faculty of Applied Arts and Liberal Studies of Takoradi Polytechnic in Ghana.

Rena Shashua Hasson

Dr. Axel Wustenhagen

Dr. Axel Wüstenhagen has been a Board member of the Austrian UNA since 1962. He was his Association’s Secretary-General from 1967-1972. For more than 30 years he worked in the service of the United Nations. After his retirement in 2003, he was actively involved in the revitalization of UNA Austria and was elected as Vice-President of WFUNA at its 40th Plenary Assembly in November 2012. Since 2009, he is WFUNA’s representative to the United Nations (Vienna).

Honorary Presidents

Hans Blix
Hashim Abdul Halim
Klaus Hüfner
Rhyl Jansen
Gregory M. Kovrizhenko
Hilkka Pietilä
Doug Roche
Mihaly Simai
Androula Vassiliou

Past Honorary Presidents

Mogens Hasdorf
Nelson Mandela
Horace Pereira
Arthur Ross
Ram Niwas Mirdha, M.P  

 

 

In Memory of...

Malcolm Harper

Axel Wüstenhagen

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