Freedom from Violence Coordinators Share Lessons Learned at Seminar

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.
Freedom from Violence Coordinators Share Lessons Learned at Seminar
Friday, November 21, 2014

NEW YORK - WFUNA welcomed the six UNAs involved with our Freedom from Violence project to New York City this week for a four-day seminar aimed at sharing lessons learned from a busy year of advocacy around the inclusion of a peace goal in the post-2015 development agenda.

National project coordinators from UNAs in Armenia, India, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Venezuela, along with a few members of their UNA leadership, listened to roundtables featuring post-2015 stakeholders, from governments and UN agencies such as UNDP and the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to fellow NGOs such as Save the Children and Beyond 2015. Group presentations, recommendations and capacity building workshops on project development, communications and fundraising rounded out the seminar's agenda. 

"At this seminar, we [the UNAs] realized that we are different, but we have similar expectations," said Erly Munoz, UNA-Venezuela's national project coordinator. "We realized that we are not alone. We have goals in common and that's peace. We all want peace." 

Since Freedom from Violence launched last spring, our UNAs have targeted civil society, the academic community, media, and governments in their respective countries. They've accomplished much this year: over 5000 youth have been educated on post-2015; collaborations with 30 universities have been established; UNA members have appeared on national TV, radio and print publications. UNA-Uganda even received the endorsement of President Yoweri Museveni.

While a goal on peaceful societies, Goal 16, has been included in the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), WFUNA's and the UNAs' work is far from done. As UN Member States enter the intergovernmental negotiations phase, revisions can still be made on the final number of goals and targets.      

"If it wasn't for civil society's hard work and advocacy, Goal 16 wouldn't be on the post-2015 agenda," said Laura Spano, WFUNA's Conflict Prevention Officer. "We must continue to work to make sure Goal 16 is kept on the agenda and build upon our goal of ensuring more peaceful societies." 

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