Category Archives: UN Day
Read about how UNA-GB celebrates the anniversary of the UN every year with events, informational posts, and the UN Day Luncheon!
It’s officially fall (and pretty chilly in Boston)…which means it’s once again time to celebrate United Nations Day with UNA-GB! The office honored UN Day last week on October 24th by raising the UN flag above Boston City Hall, did anyone spot it?
UN Day, which has been celebrated every year since 1948, recognizes the creation of the United Nations and its founding principles of peace, cooperation, and collective action. This year, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon echoed these founding ideals in his address: “we continue to show what collective action can do. We can do even more. In a world that is more connected, we must be more united. On United Nations Day, let us pledge to live up to our founding ideals and work together for peace, development, and human rights.”
In a more formal celebration of UN Day, UNA-GB is hosting its annual UN Day Luncheon on Tuesday, November 5th (next week!) from 12:30 to 2 pm at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Why should you honor us with your attendance? Here are a few reasons we can think of!
1) Ambassador Nicholas Burns will be there.
Not only will he be there – he’ll be delivering the keynote speech on “America’s Global Challenges 2014.” Ambassador Burns served in the US Foreign Service for twenty-seven years, during which time he was appointed Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador to NATO, Ambassador to Greece, and State Department Spokesman.
He worked on the National Security Council staff as Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Affairs and was Special Assistant to President Clinton and Director for Soviet Affairs for President George H.W.Bush. He is currently Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the Programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia, as well as Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project. Burns is also the Director of the Aspen Strategy Group, Senior Counselor at the Cohen Group, and serves on the Board of Directors of Entegris, Inc.
You may have read some of his work in The Boston Globe, where he writes a bi-weekly column on foreign affairs.
2) Special guests, Georg Kell and Jonas Haertle will also be there.
Mr. Kell and Mr. Haertle are this year’s Global Corporate Citizenship Honor Roll guests! The honor roll recognizes Massachusetts-based companies who have signed on to key business principles through the UN Global Compact.
Georg Kell is the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative with 8,000 corporate participants in 145 countries. A key architect of the Global Compact, he has led the initiative since its founding in 2000, establishing the most widely recognized multi-stakeholder network and action platform to advance responsible business practices. Mr. Kell joined the United Nations in 1987, and has been at the leading edge of the organization’s private-sector engagement ever since.
Jonas Haertle is Head of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) secretariat of the United Nations Global Compact Office. The mission of the PRME initiative is to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally. In his role as coordinator for Global Compact Local Networks he works with the country networks in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr. Haertle holds a master’s degree in European Studies of Hamburg University. As a Fulbright scholar, he also attained a MSc degree in Global Affairs from Rutgers University.
3) There will be opportunities to network with professionals, consuls, and other individuals who are dedicated to promoting the founding principles of the United Nations!
Members of the UNA-GB, professionals of all ages, Consuls from a variety of Consulates in Boston, and most importantly, YOU will have the opportunity to discuss anything from national issues/achievements to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, to the chilly Boston weather! This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded people who support the work of the United Nations.
4) It’s a good excuse to get out of the office (or school or the house) and enjoy some delicious food!
Could there be a better incentive? The Boston Park Plaza Hotel will serve some delicious appetizers, entrees, and desserts! It is a chance to spend a few hours out of the office/school, enjoy great company, and have a tasty meal at a swanky hotel…what more could you ask for?
5) You will be supporting UNA-GB’s programs, which aim to educate today’s youth and tomorrow’s leaders!
Funds raised from ticket sales and sponsorships at the UN Day Luncheon directly support UNA-GB’s community events and classroom-based programs, which serve more than 5,000 participants annually in greater Boston.
Convinced? Then what are you waiting for?! Sign up to attend UN Day Luncheon 2013 today!
Written by: Eliza Berg, Programs Intern
On Thursday, October 10th, Katrina Sousounis introduced Girl Rising to about two hundred and sixty attendees at a film screening hosted by UNA-GB. She explained that the most pervasive issues affecting the people of the world today (including poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, violence) disproportionately affect young women. Katrina finished the speech with a call for educational reform to give opportunities to women everywhere, and ended with this quote from the film: “Boys need to believe in girls, and girls need to learn to believe in themselves.”
Katrina is 13 years old.
Founder of the first Girl Up club in Massachusetts, Katrina was inspired to try and solve the problems so carefully outlined in her speech. Her club is part of an organization founded to help girls and young women around the world to reach their full potential by ensuring that they are educated, safe, well-fed, and guaranteed basic human rights.
Because of this, Katrina was asked to introduce Girl Rising at UNA-GB’s screening of the film on Thursday, which was a fundraiser for Girl Up. Her presence and hard work demonstrate a distinctive part of Girl Up’s message: to help girls reach their potential around the world, we must empower girls themselves to effect the change that they want to see.
Girl Rising is the story of nine girls from around the world: Sokha from Cambodia, Wadley from Haiti, Suma from Nepal, Yasmin from Egypt, Azmera from Ethiopia, Ruksana from India, Senna from Peru, Mariama from Sierra Leone, and Amina from Afghanistan. Each girl was paired with a writer from her country to help tell her story. Each story is artistically captured differently, with varying experiences when it comes to cultural restraints, parental support, and environmental circumstances. In essence, Girl Rising is a movement to deliver a “simple, critical truth: educate girls and you will change the world.”
The UNA-GB decided to screen this film to get a dialogue started to help men, women, boys and girls in Boston and elsewhere think about solutions to various forms of discrimination against girls around the world. After the film, a musical group called “Women of the World”, which sings in 21 different languages, performed. They chose a song that resonated with the idea that together, we can create positive change.
In 2011, the UN declared October 11th as the first annual tribute to its goal to improve gender equality everywhere. This year, the theme of the day is “Innovating for Girls’ Education.” It sounds simple enough, but the task of ensuring that girls worldwide are educated is complex, both in implementation and consequence.
What exactly is keeping girls from going to school?
A wide breadth of causes keep girls out of school each day. Governmental policies and social issues alike can keep girls and boys out of school. Here are a few major perpetrators:
- School is not free everywhere, and many poor families cannot afford to send any or all of their children to school. In some countries, boys are sent to school while girls stay home and work.
- It can be dangerous: in 2012, Save the Children reported that there were more than 3,600 attacks on education around the world.
- About half of all girls living in the world’s least developed countries are married before the age of 18. Child marriage greatly decreases a girl’s likelihood of finishing school, according to World Vision.
- Lack of sanitary protection means that girls may miss up to five days of school a month
- When basic needs aren’t being met and students are not healthy or well-fed, school may be a low priority.
- There may not be a school within walking distance, especially in rural areas.
- Governmental policies and societal norms can make it illegal or abnormal for girls to become educated
So, how exactly does educating girls help the world?
- According to the UN: “When girls are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, they can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families and participate in the progress of their nations.”
- Educated mothers educate their children; this not only breaks the cycle of poverty, but their sons will be more inclined to educate their daughters.
- UNICEF connected discrimination against women and girls and hunger. Child malnutrition in South Asia is highly linked to women’s limited access to education and difficulties with finding paid employment.
What can you do?
- Education, education, education! Educate yourself by exploring the issue even more- try checking out some of the links below
- Donate! Visit Girl Up’s website, or one of the other initiatives below, to give to the cause.
- Become an activist! Join one of the causes below, or create your own!
Happy International Day of the Girl Child!
UN Day of the Girl Child
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!
October 24, 2012 was United Nations Day, and the UNA-GB celebrated in style!
The UNA-GB celebrated the 67th anniversary of when the United Nations Charter went into effect. This year, UNA-USA commemorated this special day with more than 170 events around the country hosted by 100 communities in 33 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The UNA-GB was excited to participate in these celebrations at Boston’s City Hall. Fortified with pastries and coffee provided by Rebecca’s Cafe, attendees heard Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s UN Day Message and City of Boston’s UN Day Proclamation.
Mary-Frances Wain, our keynote speaker, is the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Within her engaging speech, Ms. Mary-Frances Wain discussed the importance of finding solutions in three categories: hunger, sickness, and conflict.
In addition, Brooke Loughrin, the first ever U.S. Youth Observer for the United Nations, took some time to share her unique perspective about the UN.
We finished the celebration of international unity by raising the UN Flag at City Hall Plaza. Despite a small flag mishap, we still were able to reflect the impact of United Nations on a local and global level.
How did you celebrate UN Day?
Planning and executing an event worthy enough to celebrate the 66 years of the UN‘s critical work promoting peace and prosperity for all is a daunting challenge, but once again, UNA-GB rose to the challenge with this year’s 12th annual UN Day Luncheon, held on Friday, October 28 at the Boston Harbor Hotel. The Luncheon was a wonderful gathering of Boston’s global citizens celebrating the UN and its mission and the ways we bring that mission to fruition in our community, corporate offices and classrooms!
The day started off with a Private Reception at 11:30 am, in the Rotunda on the 9th floor of the Boston Harbor Hotel, overlooking the gorgeous Boston harbor on a crisp but sunny fall day. The reception provided networking time for the Luncheon’s sponsors, honorary committee and special invited guests with Gillian Sorensen, the keynote speaker, as well as light refreshments before the main luncheon, which started at 12:30 pm. After the reception, guests were escorted downstairs to the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Wharf Room, where all attendees began their meal, which included a special UN-inspired dessert of chocolate espresso cake with a sugar dove. The program began with opening remarks and a birthday toast to the UN from UNA-GB President Richard Golob.
Executive Director Lena Granberg then introduced UNA-GB’s 2011 Leadership Awards and two worthy recipients. The Leadership Award is given every year to recognize outstanding contributions by Boston leaders to the local and international community that reflect the principles of the United Nations. This year’s recipients at the UN Day Luncheon were Daniel Cheever, chairman emeritus of UNA-GB, and Lawrence Finkelstein, UNA-GB Advisory Council member, both longtime supporters of UNA-GB and the UN. In fact, both were present during the founding of the UN 66 years ago, so it was a fitting recognition of their significant support and accomplishments. We raised our glasses to salute Dan and Larry for their leadership and commitment as Lena presented Larry with the traditional UN Peace Bowl.
Following the Leadership Award presentation, Carol Fulp, Massachusetts UN Day Chair and UN Day Luncheon Honorary Chair (and fellow 2011 Leadership Award recipient), introduced our Keynote speaker, Gillian Sorensen. Gillian Sorensen is a seasoned UN expert having served under two Secretaries-General, Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali. She is currently a Senior Advisor at the United Nations Foundation and is a national advocate on matters relating to the UN and UN-US relations. Gillian addressed the luncheon with grace and wisdom on the topic of “The US and the UN: Facing the Crises of Our Time,” shedding light on the important work of the UN and the critical issues we face both as a nation and as global citizens. Gillian closed her remarks by answering a few thoughtful, intelligent questions from the audience, including conversation around the pending legislation in the House regarding defunding the UN.
The luncheon closed with UNA-GB’s first ever Global Corporate Citizenship Honor Roll, an annual tradition in the making. With this Honor Roll, UNA-GB recognized the Massachusetts-based companies who have signed on to key UN business principles. These key business principles are the UN Global Compact, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).
More than 20 companies and academic institutions were on hand to be recognized at the Luncheon; there are currently more than 30 signatories in Massachusetts. For a complete list of the Massachusetts-based companies and academic institutions who are signatories, click here. We hope to see the list grow over the next years, as more companies in our community take a leadership role on sustainability and human rights!
At the end of the day, the global community of Boston had a great time celebrating the 66 years of the United Nations and UNA-GB’s work locally, and inspired the nearly 200 participants to continue to support UNA-GB’s core mission: building a grassroots network of global citizens. Businesses, individuals, students, middle schoolers – all are necessary to make a difference now and for generations to come!
UNA-GB would like to thank our sponsors and partners for all of their support: the British School of Boston, Clark University Graduate School of Management, GGA Software Services, LLC, Ocean Spray, and the New England College of Business and Finance.
Missed the event? Want to view more photos from the Luncheon? Click here!
It has been 66 years since the creation of United Nations. That number is quite substantive – it not only indicates how young the United Nations is but also how much it has accomplished within the short period time and how its accomplishments are affecting our everyday lives in various places.
This past Monday, October 24, we had the chance to celebrate the past, present and future impact of the UN here in Boston. First, UNA-GB went to City Hall to raise the flag of United Nations over the city of Boston. Two dozen boys and girls from the Academy of Pacific Rim and Shrewsbury Montessori School joined us to hear Mayor Menino’s proclamation for UN Day at the event and when it finally was time to raise the UN flag, all of the students took turns winding the flag up the pole.
As the flag went up, people’s head started to tilt back and their eyes began to squint. The UN flag was waving right next to the U.S flag and the children were cheering. As I tried to capture the moment in my camera, I saw the hopeful future of global citizenship. People now have witnessed through UN that we have common purposes as human beings and that we can work together to face global challenges. This idea of globalized world is being passed on to the youngest generation, which is inspiring and reassuring.
After the flag-raising event, the procession moved to the State House for UNA-GB’s UN Day MUN simulation focused on Gender Equality (provided at no cost to the students, thanks to the generosity of our 66 for 66 donors!). The participants were 6th-11th graders from 8 different area schools and they came ready to talk seriously about gender inequality and solutions, not only in depth but from the many different perspectives of diverse countries and cultures. Thinking back to my own childhood, I marveled at the intelligence of the youth.
As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his 2011 UN Day address and Carol Fulp, MA UN Day Chair, reiterated to the students at the MUN simulation, “In these turbulent times, there is only one answer: unity of purpose. Global problems demand global solutions.”
The world in the 21st century faces many old and new challenges including genocide, gender inequality, population growth, and energy crisis. Despite the continuing problems of the world, looking at how we as global citizens have come so far via the UN day, I reaffirm my dream of making differences in the world and see clearer view of our hopeful future, reflected especially in the faces of the youth we serve through UNA-GB’s Model UN program. It is important that we continue to support and uplift these youth and our fellow citizens as we work towards a better future together. I hope you join us!
– Jun Il Hwang
Each year on October 24 we honor the the day in 1945 when the United Nations Charter came into effect. Each UN Day, throughout the globe, the efforts of the United Nations are recognized and celebrated.
This year, marking the 66th anniversary of the UN, the theme for UN Day is: “UN Day: In Everyone’s Interest.” The United Nations delivers everything from: peace and democracy with over 120,000 troops and personnel deployed to 15 peacekeeping missions; as well as, promoting human rights; to building economic prosperity; and, advancing global health.
Here at UNA-GB we too celebrate this special day each year. This year, beginning on Monday of next week we have several events you can attend to show your support for the important global organization. On October 24, UNA-GB will hold a UN Day Celebration and Model UN Simulation at the Massachusetts State House. The event will begin with UNA-GB raising the UN Flag at Boston City Hall to fly over Boston for the week and will read the City of Boston’s UN Day Proclamation, signed by Mayor Menino. Next, 100 Boston area middle and high school students and additional guests will head over to the Massachusetts State House for a Model UN simulation. The students will step into ambassadors’ shoes from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, China and Russia to debate the pervasive problem of gender inequality globally, and answer the question: Why do global inequalities for women in education and employment persist and what can be done about it?
Carol Fulp, 2011 Massachusetts UN Day Chair; SVP of Brand Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, John Hancock Financial; and US Representative to the 65th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (appointed by President Obama in Fall 2010) will give opening remarks at the Simulation and Governor Deval Patrick has been invited to read his 2011 UN Day Massachusetts proclamation.
You can also show your support on the 24th by heading into one of the award winning local bakery Sweet Cupcakes and purchase a specially made UN Day cupcake at one of Sweet’s four locations around Boston: Back Bay, 49 Massachusetts Ave; 225 Newbury Street; Harvard Square: Zero Brattle Street; Downtown: 11 School Street. Cupcakes will also be provided to students at the Model UN simulation!
Occurring simultaneously on the 24th, cities and towns throughout Massachusetts from Westwood to Yarmouth will be submitting proclamations supporting the UN. Proclamations range in content but all provide resounding support for the mission and work of the UN globally and the work UNA-GB is doing locally in the community.
Ending the week we will be holding our annual UN Day Luncheon on Friday, October 28 which gathers leaders from the business, policy, and academic communities in the Greater Boston area for an engaging dialogue on world affairs and an opportunity to network with other globally conscious individuals and organizations. This year our keynote speaker will be Gillian Sorensen, Senior Adviser at the United Nations Foundation and former Assistant Secretary-General for External Relations. Sorensen has distinguished career at the UN serving two Secretaries-General, Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali. During her service Sorensen was responsible for 4,000 non-governmental organizations, and is also an ardent advocate to the US/UN relationship. Sorensen’s remarks will focus on “The UN and You: Global Citizenship in the 21st Century”.
This year at the Luncheon we will also be introducing our first-ever Global Corporate Citizenship honor roll recognizing the more than 30 Massachusetts-based companies who have signed on to key business principles through the UN Global Compact. We believe it is important to highlight the leaders in our community making a difference around sustainable development and corporate citizenship. Funds raised through ticket sales and sponsorships at the Luncheon directly support UNA-GB’s community events and class-room based programs, which serves more than 5,000 participants annually in greater Boston. This years sponsors include: Clark University Graduate School of Management; British School of Boston; GGA Software Services, LLC; New England College of Business and Finance; Ocean Spray; and our 2011-2012 Education Program sponsor National Grid.
Our Campus Ambassadors will also be celebrating UN Day at their respective universities throughout the month. At Northeastern University there is a two week celebration with events, starting already this past week including a movie screening of “The Whistleblower,” on Sunday, October 16 followed by a discussion of the importance of speaking up in difficult situations and possible resulting reforms. At the beginning of this week, there will be a screening of “Seeds of Peace,” which will kick off a week of various programs including panel discussions with the film maker. Positive Foundations at Brandeis University will be hosting a panel discussion on the importance of literacy and education in developing countries. Other universities such as Boston College, Tufts University and Suffolk University will also be holding celebratory events.
Help us celebrate 66 years of peace, justice and prosperity with the UN and the importance of thinking globally and acting locally!