by Peg Shannon, UNA-SNY Vice President, Advocacy
The Southern NYS Division along with chapters and divisions throughout the country completed a survey of their priorities for effective advocacy for the UN over the next two years. We were asked to consider a wide range of issues including those raised by UN actions taken last year - approving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and concluding the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The issues that were given top-most importance reflected the topics of presentations given by the Division and its Chapters over the past few years including the SDGs related to education of girls and boys (#4), gender equality and eliminating violence against women (#5), access to water and sanitation (#6) and access to energy for all (#7). We also gave top-most importance to the need for humanitarian assistance raised by the refugee crisis and the need to develop energy policies that will allow the U.S. to comply with the Paris agreement.
To attempt to bring peace and security and reduce the flow of refugees from areas currently in turmoil, we gave top-most importance to international efforts to prevent terrorism, extremism and organized crime and to support the IAEA efforts toward nuclear non-proliferation.
Given our interest in eradicating human trafficking and reforming the criminal justice system, we gave top-most importance to the promotion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ratification of CEDAW.
The UNA-USA Advocacy Agenda for 2016-2017 will be released before the Day on Capitol Hill when we will be able to raise these UN-related issues with our Members of Congress and Senators. We will arrive at the time when the U.S. budget for 2017 is being negotiated. We will remind our representatives to support treaty-obligated UN funding by the U.S.
To sign up to attend the UNA-USA Annual Meeting - 2016 Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. taking place June 12-14, 2016 click here.