by David Stillman, Board Member UNA-SNY
David and Ginger Stillman led a roundtable on Goal 16 (Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies) at the UNA-USA Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on June 12th.
Participants included members from chapters in Northern Colorado, Beverly Hills, Tampa, National Capital Area, Seton Hall University, Georgetown University, UCLA, Pomona Valley, Nebraska, Wisconsin, New York and the Southern NY State Division. Individual knowledge ranged from little familiarity with the goal to a person who teaches about the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights at Georgetown University to a peace activist from Wisconsin to a woman who worked for the United Nations in the 1950s. A member of each group acted as rapporteur, using the questions from the goal description page as a guide.
The participants broke off into three groups to discuss Goals 16 and its 2030 targets. The groups had the following recommendations based on work their chapter or division has done:
Ultimately, the groups concluded that UN Association chapters and divisions can work together and in their local communities to specifically address Goal 16. This can be achieved through a Refugee Task Force of the chapter and its partners focused on regugee welcoming and assisting in integration as well as working with the local Health Department on refugees in the community. Through organization and raising awareness UNA chapters and divisions can help promote just, peaceful, and inclusive communities - and it starts right in each of our communties.
Peace and justice start in your community and at the grassroots level. It begins with us and if we start here we can continue to fight for peace in other countries.