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

Leonel Fernández , prior to his election as President of WFUNA at the 42nd Plenary Assembly in October 2018, served as the president of the Dominican Republic from 1996-2000 and again in 2004-2012. 

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

Treasurer

In October 20018, Sundeep Bhutoria was re-elected as the Treasurer of the World Federation of United Nations Associations during the 42nd WFUNA Plenary Assembly held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. 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

Chair of Executive Committee

Chair of the Executive Committee

Anne Cathrine da Silva holds a Graduated Master of Art (combination of media, sociology, pedagogy and development studies). She has fifteen years of leadership, also within international experience from development and humanitarian aid. 

Vice Chairs of Executive Committee

Vice-Chair

Ramaz Aptsiauri  is a cofounder of UNA Georgia. He holds the Masters Degree in International Relations from the Tbilisi State University, Georgia. Mr. Aptsiauri served on various executive positions in UNA Georgia since 1995. Currently he is a board member of UNA Georgia and leads its long term country wide project that promotes tolerance and supports disadvantaged youth. Mr. Aptsiauri is the author of several publications, including the first Georgian edition of the guidebook on UN for students.

Richard Baguma

Vice-Chair

Broadcaster with a passion for peace and development, Richard Baguma has been a member of WFUNA Task Force on WSIS. Regional Coordinator for the UN DPI/NGO Exec Committee. Founder, board member UNA Uganda. Was chief host for the WFUNA Regional Academy for Africa bringing African UNAs and other UNAs to Uganda. Holds an MSC in Project Planning and Management and a BA Journalism and Mass Communication. A husband and father.

Chair of the Finance Committee

Helena Laukko

Helena 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).

Vice Presidents

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. 

Cissa Wa Numbe 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.

Dambar Bir Thapa

Christos Theodoulou

Kathryn White  has successfully led UNA-Canada since 2004, meeting its important national mandate to education and engage Canadians in the work of the UN and to grow global citizens, with twenty-five staff, twenty volunteer Branches and 25 000 members and donors across the country. 

Executive Committee

Teta Banks serves as National Chair of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA). She is the first person of African descent to hold this position in UNA-USA’s 75-year history. Ms. Banks leads the organization’s 20,000 members and 200 chapters in connecting American communities to the mission and work of the United Nations and advocating for US funding for UN agencies.

Ray Brathwaite

Ray Brathwaite is the current President of UNATT and the former President of JCI Senators of the Americas and Caribbean. He was also formerly the Deputy Chairman of Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority. 

Joy Dunsheath JP is a past National President of UNA NZ. Her working career has been in education as a teacher of English literature and as a cultural and arts Director. Her interests are: human rights, justice, education, and gender equality. She is a Justice of the Peace.

Torleif Jonasson has been a member of the Danish UNA since 1991 and has been involved in all areas of work. His main focus has been on sustainable development: from 1994 to 2003, he served as a national delegate to the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development; from 1996 to 1997, he organised NGO-activities in relation to UNGASS-19. 

Ambassador Ho-Jin Lee has served the Republic of Korea as a career diplomat over three decades since 1974. His diplomatic service covered the US, Europe and East Asia, mainly specializing in the ROK-US alliance, regional security and economic cooperation in East Asia, global disarmament and export control, and nuclear enterprise. 

Fischer Chiyanike

Ms. Zhang Dan is Vice-President and Director-General of the United Nations Association of China. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990. She is an expert on China”s participation in the United Nations. Working among 193 Member States of the United Nations and the Secretariat since 2006, she managed a broad range of matters, including social development issues, gender equality, human rights and cultural dialogue, enabling effective and strategic participation of China at the United Nations.


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, 2009-2015, member of the Executive Committee 1987-91, 1995-2009 and 2015-). He is a Professor Emeritus 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.

Emil Chireno Hache

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.

Ali Kiyaei

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.

Kenneth Luis was appointed the Executive Secretary of the United Nation Association Malaysia (UNAM) in February 2015. He retired from the Malaysian Administrative and Diplomatic Service in July 2010, having contributed 34 years as a civil servant in the public sector. His last posting was as the Malaysian Ambassador to UNESCO, in Paris, France, where he served for three years and a half, until his retirement in July 2010.

Fermín Quiñones Sánchez

Reginald Munisi has served as both Chairperson and Secretary-General of UNA-Tanzania. He was also an active member of the WFUNA Youth Network, contributing to several initiatives, during his time.

Honorary Presidents

Hans Blix

Klaus Hüfner

Rhyl Jansen

Gregory M. Kovrizhenko

Bhupendra Kumar Modi

Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi, PhD is a social entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor. He was the CEO of Modi Telstra, the first company to launch cellular services in India. Dr. Modi is the Founder and Chairman of the Smart Group which has piloted several social and philanthropic initiatives.  At the Millennium World Peace Summit in 2000, Dr. Modi was appointed by the United Nations as Coordinator for the Indian Sub-continent. He was presented with the Ambassador for Peace certificate by the Universal Peace Federation. In 2013, Dr. Modi founded the Global Citizen Forum (GCF), which works towards creating a sustainable and united global community through events, seminars, and conferences. 

On 20 October 2018, the 42nd WFUNA Plenary Assembly unanimously elected Mr. B. K. Modi Honorary President of WFUNA.

Rena Shashua Hasson

Rena Shashua Hasson, Attorney at law, Member of the Israel Bar Association, was conferred the title of Honorary President at the 41st Plenary Assembly in Vancouver.

In the past, she has served as Vice President of the High Disciplinary Court of the Bar Association and was awarded the Bar Council ‘WOMEN IN LAW’ award in 2009. She also founded and served as CEO of the roof organization of NGO’s in Israel, legal advisor to the Women’s Organizations of Israel and Board member of Bank Leumi. In 2010, she was awarded Honorary Citizen of Ramat Hasharon in Israel.

Rena has been active as board member and Vice President of the WFUNA Executive Committee for the last 25 years.

Mihaly Simai

Doug Roche

Androula Vassiliou

Past Honorary Presidents

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

In Memory of...

Hashim Abdul Halim
Malcolm Harper
Maurice Strong
John C. Whitehead
Axel Wüstenhagen

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