Since 1964, we here at the United Nations Association of Boulder County, have been driven by a single goal; to do our part in making the world a better place for all. We aim to maintain international peace and security, protect human rights, deliver humanitarian aid, promote sustainable development, and uphold international law.
WE ADVOCATE for the work of the UN. Our Advocacy Committee meets regularly with local, state and national elected representatives. We ask them to support UN funding, programs and policies; we explain the importance of the UN in promoting peace. We urge out members to do the same. A basic message is: The U.S. needs the UN. Representatives are surprised to learn that money spent in the U.S. on UN business operations nearly balances our UN dues. the UN provides a good return on our tax dollars by bringing 193 countries together to share the resources and the cost of providing stability, humanitarian aid, and hope to the world. The U.S. cannot police eery conflict or shelter every refuse. International cooperation is needed to find effective solutions to global issues from fighting disease to cyberspace warfare. We are also committed to promoting Cities for CEDAW. The U.S. Senate has not ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted by the General Assembly in 1979. Therefore, we promote adoption of CEDAW at the local level.
WE EDUCATE by sponsoring public discussions and lectures and by supporting specific projects and cooperative efforts to achieve UN goals, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals. To help achieve past UN goals, we raised more than $100,000 for primary education in in Afghanistan and just over $160,000 through the Adopt a Minefield Colorado Initiative for clearing land mines in Mozambique. Thought he Adopt a Future initiative of the UNA-USA and the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in 2017 we committed to raising $30,000 for a school in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya.
WE INFORM the community about the work of the family of UN bodies. There are the annual UN Day, quarterly dinner lectures, monthly talks with Q&A, and monthly discussion groups where you can listen, learn, and put forth your own points of view. You are welcome to help us identify topics and speakers, debate the challenging questions of peace and development, or to just come and listen.
WE RECOGNIZE Boulder County citizens who do significant work internationally and locally in support of UN goals and initiatives that focus on promoting human rights. You can help us identity these persons and publicise the importance of their work. Our International Human Rights Award is presented in December in celebration of the signing go the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
WE ARE 130 of the 13,000 Americans who belong to the United Nations Association-USA. We come from many walks of life. Some of us have worked for UN agencies. We recognize that multilateral actions are crucial for promoting the causes of peace and human development.
The UNA-USA was formed in 1964 when the American Association for the United Nations, a group of prominent citizens who promoted the Dumbarton Oaks proposals in the 1940s, merged with the US Committee for the United Nations, a group of 138 national organizations that supported the work of the UN.
In 2010, UNA-USA formed a strategic alliance with the UN Foundation (UNF). The UNF and its sister organization, the Better World Fund, were created in 1999 with Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift. Today, UNA-USA, a national network of more than 120 chapters, is a program of the United Nations Foundation. Together, UNA-USA and the Better World Campaign represent the single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations in the world.
UNA-USA BOULDER COUNTY CHAPTER
Several Boulder residents remember an early UNA-USA chapter in Boulder that began around 1964 and existed for a few years. John Porritt, who spoke at the chapter’s January 2006 Annual Meeting, as well as Bruce MacKenzie, remembered this short-lived chapter. Even without a local chapter in Boulder County, UN Day celebrations continued in the city of Boulder in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, organized by members of the national UNA-USA, the League of Women Voters, and other concerned citizens; Maxine Hitchcock, Cathy Wrenn, and Bruce MacKenzie were among the several leaders of these efforts. At the 40th birthday celebration in 1985 Susan Markham, a New Zealander working in the UN Public Information Agency, spoke on the Decade for Women, the International Youth Year, and other issues. In 1986 the Daily Camera in Boulder reported that the UN Day celebration featured Dr. Francis Bretherton, from NCAR, speaking on “Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.”
The Boulder County Chapter was formed in the mid-1990s at the suggestion of Prof. Ved Nanda of the University of Denver, then president of the Colorado Division of UNA-USA. Preparatory meetings in 1995 led to the identification of officers and directors, and adoption of bylaws. The first board meeting was in 1996. In 2003 the chapter acquired financial stability when the group Gatekeepers to the Future, a nonprofit associated with First Congregational Church of Boulder, ceased operations and gave the chapter their remaining funds.
The Boulder County Chapter, as other levels of UNA-USA, combines broad grass-roots outreach with high-level policy studies involving scholars and government officials from many parts of the world, Chapter members provide information and educational materials for their representatives in the US government, the general public, and the media.