European UNAs Meeting, Geneva 2015

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.
Leaders of United Nations Associations of Europe met at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 22-23 June 2015 on the occasion of t
Leaders of United Nations Associations of Europe met at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 22-23 June 2015 on the occasion of t
Monday, June 22, 2015

Fifteen representatives of the United Nations Associations of Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland participated in the meeting. Ambassador Chang-Beom Cho, Vice-President of WFUNA participated as an observer.

The meeting was held on the occasion of the conference organized in partnership with the Office of the Director General of the United Nations Offices at Geneva "United Nations and civil society – 70 years working together: how do we make a difference from Geneva?"

On Monday, 22 June 2015, the Director General of the United Nations Offices at UNOG, H.E. Mr. Michael Moller, and WFUNA Vice-President, H.E. Mr. Chang-beom Cho,delivering remarks on behalf of WFUNA President, H.E. Mr. Soo-gil Park, opened the conference "United Nations and civil society – 70 years working together: how do we make a difference from Geneva?" The opening session was chaired by Ms. Flavia Pansieri, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

WFUNA Vice-President, Ambassador Cho, moderated the first panel titled "United Nations and Civil Society Actors for Peace and Human Rights: Achievements and the Way Forward," Anita Bay Bundegaard from Save the Children, Peter Splinter of Amnesty International and Cecilia Cannon from the Graduate Institute of International Development Studies highlighted the contribution of NGOs to the work of the United Nations in developing a comprehensive international legal framework for the protection of human rights.

In the afternoon, panellists focused on the new sustainable development framework. The panel titled "The post-2015 agenda and sustainable development goals: building a future for all," chaired by Mr. Neil Buhne, Director, UNDP, featured speakers from the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone, Ambassador Yvette Stevens, Mr. Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Ms. Bineta Diop, President of Femmes Africa Solidarité, and Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary, World Young Women Christian Association. 

As the European UNAs meeting continued, representatives were briefed by Enrico Formica, Senior Mediation Officer at the Office of the Director General, UNOG on ongoing mediation efforts taking place in Geneva, and Veronica Birga, Chief Women’s Human Rights and Gender Section, OHCHR on the work carried out by the Office to advance women's rights worldwide.

On Tuesday, 23 June 2015, UNA representatives were briefed by Ms. Monica Goracci, Chief Donors Relations Division and Ms. Livia Manente,  Associate Expert, Office of the Senior Regional Adviser for Europe and Central Asia, of the International Organization of Migration, on the situation of migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe and the work of the IOM on the issue.


Mr. Fernando Arroyo, from the Office of Coordination and Humanitarian Affairs, briefed participants on the work of OCHA in Yemen and his experience coordinating humanitarian assistance in the field. 

The European UNAs meeting concluded at UNHCR, with a briefing from Melike Trigg, Advisor at Bureau for Europe, Office of the Director on refugee flows from Africa and the Middle East. 

The meeting represented an opportunity for members to discuss WFUNA initiatives and exchange on common priorities.



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