Daily Archives: January 18, 2013

Japan: A major player in global affairs

japan 2Japan is an island nation with a peaceful nature and large economy. As such, it plays an important role in international affairs.

Japan first joined the United Nations in 1956, and up until the present, it continues to support the UN in bringing about peace and stability throughout the world.  Its commitment to the UN shows through its participation in peacekeeping operations. For example, in 1999, Japan contributed refugee relief materials to displaced Kosavar and Timorese people, and it has done the same for Iraqi and Sudanese refugees in more recent years. It is also involved with the Security Council Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. Nonetheless, Japan’s involvement with the UN is extensive.

JapanFurthermore, Japan is currently the third largest economy in the world and thus plays an important role in the world economy. Its major exports include technology-related products ranging from cars to cameras to video games. Popular Japanese brands include Toyota, Honda, Canon, Nikon, Nintendo, to name a few.  Japan is also an exporter of pop culture. Anime and manga comics are among those pop culture exports.
japan flag

Nevertheless, Japan is a country with a grand presence in the world stage. There is no
doubt that it will continue to play out this role in the years to come.

Want to continue learning more about Japan while enjoying exquisite food and good company? Then, join us in our first “Taste of” event of the year!

Taste of Japan will be held at Itadaki Boston on Wednesday, January 23 at 7pm. Come join us and don’t miss out on the fun! We hope to see many of you there!

Tickets are available here: http://yptoj.eventbrite.com

Africa Day Luncheon: Celebrate Africa & Combat Child Marriage!

Africa Day is observed throughout the world on May 25th. The aim of this day is to celebrate the diversity and successes of Africa, and to highlight the cultural and economic potential of the continent. Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. On July 9, 2002, the OAU was succeeded by the African Union (AU), whose aim is to promote economic, social, and political integration, and democracy on the continent. This year will mark the 49th anniversary of the founding of the OAU.

This year, United Nations Association of Greater Boston will honor Africa Day by spreading awareness about the prevalence of early child marriage in sub-Saharan Africa. Child marriage has been a common practice in many parts of the world since very early times. Even though child marriage affects both young boys and girls, girls under the age of eighteen constitute the population that is most adversely affected by it. According to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), girls who get married as children are frequently prone to diseases such as HIV and obstetric fistula. Once married, the girls’ lives become limited to performing childcare and other household chores. Due to their relative lack of social power, girls often are subjected to domestic violence. Furthermore, once child brides get pregnant, their dreams of going to school and having bright futures frequently end.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the second highest rate of early and forced marriage in the world. According to Plan UK, approximately 14.3 million girls in this region are married before they reach the age of 18. Child marriage is associated with significant health risks and consequences. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in sub-Saharan Africa, girls ages 15-19 years old are 2-8 times more likely than boys of the same age to become infected with HIV. Similarly, child marriage has played a critical role in the spread of cervical cancer among sub-Saharan Africans as HPV infection has become endemic in this region. Pregnancy suppresses the immune system, thus contributing to many girls in this part of the world becoming infected by diseases such as malaria. Malaria kills close to 1 million people each year around the world—90% of that in Africa alone.

It is crucial for all of us to educate ourselves about the issues surrounding early child marriage, its consequences and ways to combat it. As global citizens, it is our responsibility to oppose harmful practices, and to help our fellow human beings realize their human rights and live fuller lives. To broaden our knowledge of the issues and to discuss ways of combating this harmful practice, the Women’s Forum is bringing together some remarkable women leaders to share with us their insights about successful programs and projects. We will have:

Josephine Kulea, an acclaimed Kenyan children’s rights activist. Ms. Kulea has rescued many girls from early child marriage and female genital cutting, and has placed them in schools instead. She recently started the Samburu Girls Foundation, a project supporting women’s right to education, and fighting female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Amanda Grant-Rose, a representative from Lift Up Africa, will share with us the organization’s extraordinary HELGA Project, and the Bride Rescue Project, which grew out of HELGA. These projects provide girls rescued from early childhood marriage with education as well as room and board. They work to help young women develop self-esteem and a sense of self-efficacy.

Blessing Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hope for Children International, Inc. Ms. Rogers both works directly with children through her organization Hope for Children International, Inc., and she addresses legal issues concerning child marriage. She is a human rights activist concentrating on the rights of children and women, and she is the host and executive producer of Afrik Express, a talk show focusing on Africans in the diaspora.

In addition to these brilliant women leaders, Wambura Mitaru, a Kenyan singer and Berklee College of Music scholarship award recipient, will join us as part of our celebration! Ms. Mitaru will share with us her musical heritage and artistry.

Our catering partners will be Taste of Kilimanjaro & Teranga Restaurant!

We invite you all to join us on Monday, May 21st! Celebrate Africa and support us in fighting child marriage!

You can RSVP here: http://africadayboston2012.eventbrite.com/

To learn more about child marriage, and the remarkable work other organizations are doing to fight child marriage, please visit:

-Smriti Kattel

In Memory of Daniel Cheever

UNA-GB Honors the Life and Memory 
of UNA-GB Chairman Emeritus 
Daniel S. Cheever

Dan Cheever UNDL 2005
Dan at 2005 UN Day Luncheon 

December 19, 1916 – November 29, 2011

 

In memory of former UNA-GB Board of Directors President and life-long supporter of the United Nations, we honor and recognize Dan’s commitment to international peace and social justice throughout the entirety of this lifetime.  Dan was there at the U.N.’s beginnings: in 1945, when 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the U.N. Charter. He then furthered his knowledge of and passion for international affairs by obtaining a MA and a PhD from Harvard, only to continue his stay in Cambridge as he taught at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. After his time at Harvard, he taught at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs where he became involved with the U.N. Association. He then returned to Boston to help found Boston University’s graduate program in international affairs and not only became a member of UNA-GB but worked steadfastly to promote UNA-GB’s work as chairman of the board.

This year, we had the privilege of honoring Dan at our U.N. Day Luncheon with the 2011 Leadership Award, in the form of a U.N. Peace Bowl.

 

Dan and his passion for international affairs will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.

 

To learn more about Dan and his life-long contributions to the field of international affairs, click here and here.

 

His memorial service was held at Arlington Street Church, (corner of Arlington and Boylston streets) Boston, on December 18, at 1:00 P.M. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Arlington Street Church, 351 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116.