UN Day 2014 Message from WFUNA's Secretary-General

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.

Each year, October 24 remains a special day for WFUNA and our member United Nations Associations (UNAs) around the world. Not only does United Nations Day commemorate the birth of the UN, it also reaffirms and celebrates our membership’s collective commitment to strengthening the organization and connecting civil society to its goals and principles.

One only needs to check the news to see that this is a critical time to support the work of the United Nations. The devastating Ebola outbreak continues to plague West Africa. ISIL’s brand of extremism threatens to spread across the Middle East. Conflicts in Syria, Gaza and Ukraine remain debilitating and protracted. Looking ahead, the UN is also tasked with producing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda that includes a substantive and inclusive set of Sustainable Development Goals, which currently number at 17 and will be negotiated by Member States this coming year.

Sustainable solutions to the growing list of global crises cannot be achieved without consistent collaboration among the UN, governments, corporations and civil society. Throughout this year, our member UNAs have implemented exceptional programs that collaborate with UN agencies, national and local governments and NGOs to address and advocate for a range of issues, from climate change and arms reduction to gender equality and children’s rights. Many of our UNAs have participated in national consultations for the post-2015 agenda, and I encourage them to continue their efforts in ensuring civil society’s voice remains heard during this process.

For WFUNA, connecting Youth with the United Nations has been a particular focus of several of our programs, such as WFUNA Youth Camp: Korea, WFUNA International Model UN, and Advanced Training at the UN. As the UN celebrates its 69th anniversary, we can’t think of a more important investment than the cultivation and support of its relationship with future generations.

For this year’s UN Day campaign, we highlight our UNA Youth Human Rights Training program, which, since 2011, has welcomed young UNA leaders to Geneva for a week of intensive project management workshops and activities around the UN Human Rights system. Participants have taken the lessons learned from the training and with the help of their UNAs, launched projects targeting human rights issues in their communities, impacting over 10,000 individuals. These change-makers, who hail from Australia to Zimbabwe, demonstrate how the human rights principles set forth by the UN are practiced on a local and national level. They truly personify the hope we place in the future.

I wish all the UNAs success on their UN Day events and activities, and I look forward to hearing, seeing and sharing those celebrations across our networks.

Bonian Golmohammadi

WFUNA Secretary-General 

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