Daily Archives: December 6, 2012

UN Day Luncheon

On Monday, December 4 UNA-GB celebrated our 13th annual UN Day Luncheon. Hurricane Sandy may have interfered with our plans to celebrate on October 29th but that  could not stop the Luncheon from happening and being a fun and informational event for all. Celebrating at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, we took this chance to honor Brazil, our growing education program and corporations that show strong corporate social responsibility. These businesses included members of the UN Global Compact, Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI), and Principles for Responsible Management Education. All of these groups are dedicated to championing the cause of human rights, labor laws and above all anti-corruption. seeing so many organizations working to fight these problems that have plagued us for centuries is enough to give one hope for the future. If one person can make a difference then think of what we can all do together.

Along with speeches from our wonderful sponsors we were fortunate to have the Consul General of Brazil, Ambassador Fernando de Mello Barreto, join us as our keynote speaker for the event. He spoke of Brazil’s rising stature in the world as a global power as well as its impressive reduction of deforestation in the Brazilian jungles. Following his speech there was a brief Q&A with the ambassador which proved quite informative as well as entertaining.





(Ambassador Fernando de Mello Barreto addressing the audience)

On top of all these wonderful guests we also took time to hear from our very own fearless leaders, Lena Granberg and Richard Golob as they talked about the importance of events like these in the global community as we move forward into the future. The generosity of our guests at events such as this help expand our education programs, which currently reach around 3,000 students per year in Massachusetts.

All in all, we here at UNA-GB are  pleased that everyone could make it out to celebrate the UN at the luncheon, regardless of the rescheduling and would like to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, everyone that supported us on Tuesday.

That’s it for this semester of interns, but don’t worry, we’ll be back after the holidays!

The Red Ribbon of Hope

Yesterday was a day to be educated and have hope, as people around the world joined to spread the knowledge and development of AIDS in the past 30 years. Right in our area, thousands of Bostonians walked with a purpose at the AIDS Walk Boston, showing their support of the 30 year anniversary since the disease was first recognized and working towards the goal of raising $1 million dollars for the cause. The AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts works in supporting the walk and its mission as an organization to give people the opportunity to learn and get involved in spreading their goals of educating people about the disease and working towards the constant search for a cure.

According to the UN, 7,000 people are still being infected by AIDS each day.  However, progress is being made, according to UN’s report “AIDS at 30: Nations at the crossroads” which shows a 25 percent decrease in the amount of new cases of AIDS in the past 10 years. UNAIDS, responsible for the report, is a United Nations organization that focuses on the efforts made in educating and protecting in the world of AIDS.

It has become an important goal to educate people about HIV/AIDS in order to help the future and continue making progress. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal #6 is to Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases and represents the United Nations’ efforts to educate people at a young age and spread awareness about being proactive about the disease. Students have begun to get involved in the search for a cure as well – for example, a youth organization called Face Aids focuses on getting “young leaders” involved to support their goals as an organization.

As this weekend’s walk shows, it is our continued job to stay actively involved in this cause. There is still progress to be made, as treatment that exists is sometimes not available to AIDS patients around the world. In the US alone, action and education is still deeply needed, as 50,000 people in the US are infected by the disease each year.

What do you think about the progress of AIDS over the past 30 years?  Are there things we can be doing in our communities and globally to make a difference?  Leave comments here about ways we can work towards AIDS/HIV eradication over the next 30 years!


Go Inside the 2011 Consuls Ball!

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The United Nations Association of Greater Boston (UNA-GB) hosted its Annual Consuls Ball – an elegant, high-spirited international event that gives tribute to the city’s global leaders of today while benefiting the global leaders of tomorrow – at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston on Friday, April 29, 2011. More than 350 guests and 30 consuls who facilitate business, trade, education, and collaboration came out to celebrate the international community in Boston.

Along with celebrating the Consular Corps of Boston’s service and commitment to international cooperation in the community, the night most notably honored Carol Fulp, Senior Vice President of the Brand Development Group at John Hancock Financial.  Ms. Fulp received UNA-GB’s Leadership Award, a prestigious award given to a Boston leader who has made outstanding contributions to the local and international community.  Past awardees have included Senator John Kerry and Carol Bellamy, former Executive Director of UNICEF.  This past fall, Fulp was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as a Representative of the U.S. to the 65th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

“Carol’s commitment to the Boston community, to our youth, and to the global community through her work at the US Mission to the UN makes her an excellent recipient for our 2011 Leadership Award,” says UNA-GB Executive Director, Lena Granberg.  “She embodies effective global leadership and is a role model for the many students who participate in our Model UN program and who may one day have the opportunity to represent their country in the General Assembly.”

The Ball not only recognized the global leaders of today, but also offered an opportunity to support Boston’s future global leaders.  Judi Allen, Director of History and Social Studies in the Malden School District, and Rebecca Jean, a student from Malden High School, reflected on the impact of UNA-GB’s Model UN program, which teaches 6th-12th grade students in local public schools to think critically about complex global issues, increase their understanding of diversity and the world beyond our borders, and provide them with conflict resolution and public speaking skills.

“Coming from Haiti and growing up in an urban environment I never really thought I would be able to get involved in something like [Model UN],” Jean shared.  “It is an opportunity to have a voice; to jump out of comfort zones, and most importantly, take that experience into the future real world such as in college, in the workplace and in terms of communicating with others.”

In the 2010 school year, over 2,300 students — 1,730 from urban schools — participated in UNA-GB’s Model UN program in over 70 schools throughout the Greater Boston area, including every 7th grader in the Malden School District.

Other elements of the evening’s program included a nod to the Royal Wedding, which was celebrated worldwide earlier that day.  Dr. Phil Budden, Britain’s Consul General to New England, gave a special toast to the Royal Couple and two guests were crowned the “royal” winners of the evening with a Mystery Box drawing featuring a sapphire and diamond ring inspired by Kate Middleton’s engagement ring and a Longines men’s watch fit for a prince, courtesy of Ball sponsor Shreve, Crump & Low. The Ball also featured both a live auction and a silent auction, with the most prominent items of the night being a coveted pair of Red Sox/Yankee tickets, an Olympic escape to Vancouver and a tropical trip to the Cayman Islands.

R.D. Sahl, the evening’s Master of Ceremonies and former NECN broadcaster shared Governor Deval Patrick’s official proclamation, which declared April 29 as 2011 Consuls Day in Massachusetts.  Leonard Kopelman, the Honorary Consul General of Finland and the Dean of the Consular Corps of Boston, and UNA-GB President, Richard Golob, addressed the guests as well.  In addition, the honorary Consular Corps Procession was followed by a moment of silence this year for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Sponsors of the Ball were Shreve, Crump & Low, State Street Corporation, John Hancock Financial, GGA Software Services, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., Hult International Business School, Suffolk Sawyer Business School, and the British School of Boston.

Overall, the Consuls Ball was a great success, even receiving diverse local media coverage!

We had almost a full page feature in the May 5th G Section with photos by Bill Brett.  You can check the lead photo out online here:  http://www.boston.com/ae/events/articles/2011/05/05/party_lines/

Secondly, we had some live television coverage the evening of the Ball by Channel 7 news, in relation to the Royal Wedding.  They did live shots at 10 pm and 11 pm.  You can see footage from the evening here: http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/entertainment/royal-wedding/12004182675761/royal-wedding-parties-continue-in-the-bay-state/

And lastly, we’ve been hard at work here in the office putting up photos from the Ball on our Facebook page:

Reception:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150180787254310.320235.271253314309

Program/Dinner:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150180808144310.320244.271253314309

Enjoy!  And we hope you join us next year as well for THE global gala of the season!

60th Anniversary of the Convention Related to the Status of Refugees

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Related to the Status of Refugees, the international document that defines who is a refugee, the rights of refugees, and the legal obligation of States to protect them.

The 1951 Convention was approved at a special United Nations conference on July 28th, 1951 and entered into force on April 22, 1954. It was initially limited to protecting European refugees after World War II, but a 1967 Protocol removed the geographical and time limits, expanding the Convention’s scope. The Convention is a central component of the international community’s commitment to the protection of refugees and some 147 States (out of a total United Nations membership of 192) have now ratified either one or both of these instruments. The Convention is by far the most widely ratified refugee treaty and remains central also to the protection activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNA-GB is commemorating the Convention’s 60th anniversary through a unique, Model UN mini-simulation at the Boston Children’s Museum. On Monday, April 11th, participating students from the Greater Boston area will have the opportunity to explore the “Torn from Home: My Life as a Refugee” exhibit at the museum, and then debate the international issue of Environmentally Displaced People representing different countries associated with the UNHCR. The countries that will be represented at this mini-simulation include Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Mozambique, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation, Spain, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

Today, more than 30 million people around the world have been displaced due to war and violence — and 10 million of those are children refugees. Specific countries in crisis right now are Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, DR Congo, Haiti, Pakistan, and Somalia.

The men, women, and children of these countries need your help! There are several aid organizations that work with refugees around the world which you can support, including UNHCR, Doctors Without Borders, Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Ministries, International Rescue Committee, OCHA, Refugee Council USA, Save the Children, and World Food Programme.

In the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “There is a fundamental base of universal human rights, and we are each called to recognize and protect those.” And what better time to start fighting for those human rights than now!