USA-UNA World

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UNA-USA World, 4-29: WHO: Risk of Pandemic; Sri Lanka Crisis...

UNA-USA World Bulletin April 29: WHO Responds to Risk of Pandemic; Sri Lanka in Crisis; Haitian Relief and more.
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 Advocacy | In the Field | Grassroots Voices | News & Notes | Did You Know | UN Watch   
 UNA-USA Blog | Event Calendar | UNA on YouTube | YPIC on Facebook | Photos on Flickr
IN THIS EDITION

WHO Responds to Risk of Pandemic
By Barbara CrossetteCivilians Caught in the Cross Fire as Sri Lankan Conflict Rages
By Tendai MusakwaCanadian Diplomats Released From Captivity
By Barbara CrossetteCommitments Build for Haiti
By Georgianna VaughanIt's Time for Business and Civil Society to Bond
By Asa Maclay HornerAction Alert: Safeguard President Obama's Peacekeeping ProposalVideo Report: Shedding Light on Life as a UN Correspondent
By Damiano BeltramiPress Freedom Day Stresses Dialogue and Reconciliaton
By Jason Williams

Featured Video
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Linda Fasulo, author of "An Insider's Guide to the UN," talks with UNA-USA about reporting on the United Nations.
 Featured Video
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Ambassador Susan Rice speaks to reporters April 22 about the crisis in
Sri Lanka.
 Courtesy MaximsNews Network


 UN WATCH

WHO Responds to Risk of Pandemic
By Barbara Crossette
As an outbreak of swine flu spread beyond North America, and numbers of the virus’ victims rose, the World Health Organization today elevated the international pandemic alert to its highest level since the warning system was introduced in 2005.
Read more.

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More than 100,000 Sri Lankans, like the villagers pictured here, have been displaced by war. G. Amarasi/UNHCR

Civilians Caught In the Cross Fire as Sri Lankan Conflict Rages
By Tendai Musakwa
Life has become an intensifying nightmare for civilians caught in the conflict between the military and the insurgent Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. Read more.

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Robert Fowler was freed on April 22. CBC Photo
Canadian Diplomats Released From Captivity
By Barbara Crossette
Robert Fowler, a popular former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations who led a campaign to expose the scandal of “blood diamonds” in Africa that fueled vicious civil wars in the 1990s, was recently freed after four months in mysterious captivity in Niger. Read more.

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Haitian girls wade in knee-deep water after tropical storm Hanna ripped through their village in 2008. UN Photo


Commitments Build for Haiti
By Georgianna Vaughan
Building on the commitments made to Haiti in 2006, the international community on April 14 pledged $324 million in aid to the country, which last year endured devastating hurricanes and is chronically plagued by high crime and poverty rates. Read more.

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It’s Time for Business and Civil Society to Bond
By Asa Maclay Horner
Some veteran players in the world of public-private partnerships recently took to task the notion that the global recession will douse the effectiveness of such joint business ventures. Read more.

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Shedding Light on Life as a UN Correspondnet
Linda Fasulo, a longtime UN correspondent for NPR and NBC News, has recently updated her book, “An Insider’s Guide to the UN.” In this video interview with Damiano Beltrami for UNA-USA, Fasulo explains the challenges in writing a book about the UN, how she became a UN correspondent and where UN decisions are really made. To watch the videos, click here.
 
To read an advance preview of Fasulo’s chapter on the American ambassador to the UN, excerpted from "An Insider's Guide to the UN, Second Edition," to be published in June 2009 by Yale University Press, click here(.pdf).

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Press Freedom Day Stresses Dialogue and Reconciliation
By Jason Williams
The necessity of free press can be summarized in the words of former American president Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “Free speech, exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where people are themselves free."

And perhaps no single event better embodies the spirit of Roosevelt’s message than the United Nations’ World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated this Friday, May 3. Read more.

Advocacy News

Safeguard President Obama's Peacekeeping Proposal
Earlier this month, President Obama took a significant step toward restoring America's influence abroad by submitting an ambitious request to Congress for $836.9 million in funding for UN peacekeeping. As the request works its way through Congress, the critical funding for UN peacekeeping is likely to be a ripe target for many legislators eager to prune federal spending. Help strengthen America's global leadership by urging Congress to fund the full $836.9 million for UN peacekeeping. Take action now!


News and Notes
  
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Helen Clark, new administrator of UNDP. UN Photo.

Clark Sworn in as UNDP Chief
Helen Clark officially took over the United Nations Development Program yesterday, April 28, as the former prime minister of New Zealand was sworn in at UN headquarters by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Clark promised that the agnecy would intesify its efforts to reduce poverty around the globe. She cited the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, a group of targets for slashing global economic, social and health ills by the year 2015, as a top priority and said she would pursue gender equality as a core value of the agency. 

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Mother's Day Flowers That Make a Difference
UNA's Adopt-A-Minefield has teamed up again this year with Organic Bouquet to offer you the opportunity to support AAM's mission by buying sustainably grown flowers and plants. This Mother's Day, show your mom you care with organic and eco-certified flowers from Organic Bouquet, and Adopt-A-Minefield will receive 10 percent of the proceeds.
To learn more, visit  www.organicbouquet.com/adoptminefieldmday09.

In the Field:
The United Nations Association of the USA

Upcoming Events
View the Complete UNA-USA Calendar

UNA-USA's Grassroots Voices
The United Nations Association of the USA recently launched Grassroots Voices, a new undertaking within its E-Newsletter, to promote cross-chapter dialogue and foster effective civic participation.

The feature serves as a tool for UNA members to voice their opinions on a wide range of issues that concern US foreign policy and the United Nations. Through Grassroots Voices, UNA-USA aims to stimulate new ideas to advance public debate on ways the US and the world can cooperate to address global problems.

Submissions are judged on writing quality, clarity, supporting materials and how well contributors meet the criteria outlined in the authors' guide, available below. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis and edited at the discretion of UNA-USA. Please read the author's guide for all the details.

To respond to writers in Grassroots Voices, please e-mail your letters, of no more than 150 words, to Roger Nokes, Coordinator of Chapter Relations, rnokes@unausa.org, with your name, address and phone number included. Letters may be selected for publication in future Grassroots Voices but may be edited for space constraints.

The views expressed in this E-Newsletter do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations Association of the USA
 


April 30
Cherie Blair and Steve Chalke discuss and sign copies of their new book, “Stop the Traffik: People Shouldn’t Be Bought & Sold." 12:30 pm, UN headquarters, GA-32 (bookshop in general assembly building). www.unodc.org

Through May 1 
The UN Disarmament Commission meets in substantive session. UN headquarters, conference room 4. www.un.org/disarmament

May 4
UN Development Fund and UN Population Fund hold an informal consultation on the UNDP strategic plan for 2008-2011. 10 am-12 noon, UN headquarters, conference room 5. www.undp.org

May 4-15
Commission on sustainable development holds its 17th session. Commission members and observers who want to attend should list their delegations with Vivian Pliner, UN headquarters, Room S-2950E; fax (212) 963-5935. www.un.org/esa

May 12
Election of 18 members to the UN Human Rights Council. 10 am, UN headquarters, General Assembly. www.un.org/ga


Did You Know... 
 
  …that today, April 29, is Remembrance Day for  Victims of Chemical Warfare?

The annual United Nations commemoration is intended to preserve the memory of all victims of chemical warfare and help work toward the elimination of chemical weapons, but it is also a forum to build support for peace, security and multilateralism.

On April 29, 1997, the UN Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force - the first disarmament treaty that provided for stringent verification of the total and permanent abolition of a weapon of mass destruction.

Today, 188 states, representing about 98 percent of the world’s population and including the US, have joined the convention.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague, Netherlands, monitors states' compliance with the agreement and provides technical assistance for the disposal and destruction of  chemical weapons.

All nations that have already agreed to the terms of the convention must destroy existing chemical weapons stockpiles by April 29, 2012.

--Anastasiya Bardunova

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Our mailing address is:
UNA-USA
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New York, NY 10017

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International Day Observances :

May 3
World Press Freedom Day

May 15
International Day of Families

May 17
World Telecommunications Day
 
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