by Mikhail Shklyarevsky
UNA-SNY Young Professionals Social and Humanitarian Affairs Committee (YP-SHAC)
On December 31, 2016, Ban Ki-moon was succeeded by Antonio Guterres as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon leaves Guterres an organization that has seen great progress during his tenure in the areas of women's rights and climate change. He has created women's rights initiatives, such as the Agenda for Humanity, that make United Nations member states responsible for the empowerment and safety of women and girls. In addition, Ban Ki-moon appointed Major General Kristin Lund of Norway as the first female Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. He also created the Climate Neutral Now initiative, in partnership with multinational corporations, like Sony, and convinced Edward Norton, the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity, to encourage people worldwide to mitigate the impact of climate change. This article will commemorate Secretary-General Ban's achievements on gender equality and climate change, as well as explain their importance in regard to the United Nations.
At the January 7, 2016 UNA-SNY board meeting, two long-time UNA supporters and advocates received our yearly awards. The Margaret K. Bruce Advocacy Award was presented by Joan Levy to Margaret Shannon (Peg). Peg has been very involved in UNA, she has served as President of the Queens chapter and was also the Advocacy Chair. The Lee H. Bloom Leadership Award was pesented to Jeanne Betsock Stillman (Ginger); Ginger has a long history with and has worked hard for the Division and also has made contributions as coordinator and connection to the Council of Organizations, Co-chair for the Mid Atlantic Conference/Members’ Day at the UN, Regional Meeting, and lead on involving the Division in bringing UN to bear on US performance.
Congratulations to Gabriel Levitt, Brooklyn Chapter President and winner of the Margaret K. (Molly) Bruce Advocacy Award, and to Marcia Brewster, Westchester Chapter President and Donna Rosa, Northern New Jersey Chapter President, winners of the Lee H. Bloom Leadership Award. The awards were made at our Annual Meeting on December 8, 2014 by Anne Bruce, Molly's daughter, and DougBloom, Lee's son.