What is a UNA?

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.
WFUNA has over 100 member United Nations Associations (UNAs). UNAs are national civil society organizations that provide a link between the citizens of the world and the United Nations by seeking to ensure that the UN is relevant to the lives of the peoples it exists to serve. UNAs have different programs and a variety of constituencies, such as individual members, member organizations, and partner schools and universities

UNAs have a unique role to play at the national level in:

  • Disseminating information and educational materials about the UN
  • Lobbying the government, political parties and interest groups in support of the UN
  • Conducting research and academic initiatives such as Model UN conferences and seminars
  • Motivating the media to provide frequent and accurate coverage of the UN and its programs
  • Collaborating with other civil society organizations, local UN offices, private sector and other partners on projects related to the work of the UN
  • Commemorating UN Days through public events

Internationally, UNAs often collaborate with each other through bilateral and multilateral projects in various issue areas, as well as participating in global programs (Our Work) run by the WFUNA Secretariat.

…and these are just a few general examples! UNAs have a wide variety and diversity of activities depending on the needs of their communities and the UNAs specific interest areas and expertise relating to the United Nations.

Sample UNA Activities

AFRICA

UNA-Democratic Republic of Congo distributes bed nets to vulnerable populations across the country to prevent malaria transmission and conducts seminars in local communities on tolerance and reconciliation. www.unadrcongo.org

The UNAs of Tanzania and Uganda have an Exchange Program with UNA-Norway, with the aim of sharing competency, learning from each other and facilitating better understanding and cooperation among the UNAs. www.unatz.org and www.unauganda.org

ASIA-PACIFIC

UNA-India organizes public celebrations for UN Days such as Internationals Women’s Day. In addition they are running a youth cell phone video competition on the Millennium Development Goals. ifuna.org

UNA-Republic of Korea hosted the 39th Plenary Assembly of WFUNA in 2009. UNA-ROK translates UN publications into Korean, organizes seminars on UN topics, and is working to establish a youth and young professionals program. www.unarok.org

EUROPE

UNA-Georgia works in coordination with relevant international agencies to advance understanding of both voluntary migration and forced displacement, helping to develop response tools of governmental and non-governmental organizations in Georgia.  It has been an implementing partner of UNHCR since 1998.   www.una.ge

UNA-Sweden runs the School Feeding Program in cooperation with the World Food Programme. The Program offers poor children free lunch at school, something which has positive effects for the children and their families, communities and countries. The Swedish school feeding campaign cooperates with well-known Swedish restaurants and the coffee shop Barista Fair Trade Coffee. www.fn.se

NORTH AMERICA

UNA- Mexico implements a project created by UNA-Canada called Sport-in-a-Box – a step-by-Step Resource Guide created to inspire youth to get actively involved in sport and physical activity through workshops that introduce a global theme through various fun and physical activities. www.amnu.org.mx

UNA-USA runs Global Classrooms, a program established to help prepare students in underserved communities by teaching them to be global citizens by developing literacy skills including the ability to read critically and communicate effectively in writing. www.unausa.org

SOUTH AMERICA

UNA-Suriname runs a Model UN program together with Service Clubs in Suriname, organizes student competitions on topics such as human rights, and has an online newsletter with information about UN activities.

UNA-Venezuela offers online certificate courses on the United Nations to the general public. This project is in collaboration with UNESCO’s Centre for training in Human Rights, Citizenship and a Culture World Peace. www.anuv.net

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