United Nations Association-USA, Greater Chicago Chapter (UNA-GCC)
The Purposes of the Advocacy Committee are to work with local communities, neighborhoods and elected officials in the greater Chicago area to support the principles and vital work of the UN. The Advocacy Committee is a center for harmonizing the actions of citizens and civil society organizations in furtherance of the UNA-USA's 2013-2015 Advocacy Agenda in four key areas: UN Funding, International Treaties, Human Rights and the post-2015 Development Agenda.
Learn. Connect. Act
Each year the United Nations provides food to 90 million people in 73 countries; vaccinates 58% of the world's children, saving 2.5 million lives a year, promotes maternal health saving the lives of 30 million women a year, and so much more.
People across the United States need to know more about the real impact of the United Nations. 120 Chapters across the United States work with their local communities and elected officials to inform, inspire, and mobilize Americans to support the principles and vital work of the UN.
The United Nations needs you to take action!
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is the imprint that courageous, inspired, engaged and organized individuals & groups, leave on the people, institutions and spaces within which they operate, in the world that they live.
As Advocates, we work with experts and institutions that identify globalized threats to stress the urgency and need for action, now!
At the UNA-GCC, we show how action at the UN level can positively impact people's lives. Through clear messages and clear asks - Give a Shot At Life! Ask Congress to fully fund UN Peacekeeping - we focus on one specific thing to give examples of how people can generate change at the local level and make an impact globally.
There are many forms of advocacy: Listening, Skills Building, Editorial Writing, Legislative Advocacy , Human Rights Advocacy, Human Rights Research, Documentation and Reporting, Video Advocacy, Fund-raising and Building Sustainable Organizations.
Ultimately, we stress how advocacy can help people meet common goals.
UNA-USA's Advocacy Program
Supporting the work of the United Nations
Each year, UNA-USA Chapters across the United States engage their elected officials in meaningful conversations about issues facing the United Nations. UNA-USA engages its diverse constituencies to build a better understanding of and support for the work of the United Nations.
UNA-USA provides Chapters and their members a suite of resources, advocacy training, and a platform to voice their support for the United Nations. Chapters advocate throughout the year, but focus on three main engagement points:
- Spring In-District Meetings
- Advocacy Day on the Hill each Summer
- Fall In-District Meetings
Every two years, UNA-USA's Council of Chapters and Regions approves an Advocacy Agenda that Chapters are encouraged to advocate for during their in-district meetings.
Be Involved! Join Us for the 2014 Annual Meeting.
Each year, the meeting culminates with Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.
Last year, more than 120 meetings took place between UNA-USA members and their members of Congress discussing why they support the United Nations.
New this year:
- Does your Chapter have outstanding student volunteers? Students attend for Free!
- Do you want to have a direct impact on UN policy? Take part in a Post-2015 Development Agenda Consultation or a Universal Period Review Consultation.
- More breakout sessions! Chapter leaders can take advantage of sessions on partnerships, events, and resource development.
- And much, much more. View the draft agenda at www.unausa.org/annualmeeting.
In response to a directive from UNA-USA Executive Director Chris Whatley, we appealed to Illinois' members of Congress to support President Obama's FY '15 Budget allocation of $2.5 billion to UN Peacekeeping and for the lifting of the spending cap.
We encouraged constituents to use the advocacy tool below to ask their Senators and Representatives in Congress to support the life-saving work of UN peacekeepers in the FY'15 budget. https://secure.globalproblems-globalsolutions.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=545
To understand where your member of Congress stands, when it comes to supporting the vital work of the UN, it is important to stay engaged with the ongoing FY '15 Budget Appropriations process, understand their priorities and past voting record on this issue. There were multiple votes taken on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, (H.R. 3547, 113th Congress), and links to each one can be found here. Votes in the House are labeled as “Roll no. __,” and votes in the Senate are referred to as “Recorded Vote Number: __.”
The House Report dealing with appropriations for the Department of State is available here. The committee vote on Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities can be found on page 94. The Senate Report is available here, though there is no separate vote on this issue.
Senate passage of key international UN agreements that we have signed but the U.S. has not yet ratified. Priorities include Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD),Co and Law of the Sea (LOS).
Empowering Women and Girls
The 58th #UN Commission on the Status of Women (#CSW58) recently reviewed efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls.
The status of women and girls in the post-2015 Development Agenda is a priority for the United Nations Association-USA, Greater Chicago Chapter. Building on the recent #CSW58 review, the Advocacy Committee's International Treaties and post-2015 Development Agenda Sub-Committee shall develop a Women and Girls Empowerment campaign to educate the public about #CSW58's outcomes and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
The Committee works with partners and coalition members to increase awareness about the core principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the positive work being performed by the UN Human Rights Council and specialized agencies. We highlight local efforts to advance Human Rights such as the Illinois Department of Human Rights work to promote and implement the Illinois Human Rights Act. We also highlight the work of Congressional members to promote anti-trafficking and international anti-violence against women legislation.
Promoting Human Rights through the United Nations
Human Rights Treaties
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Human Rights Council (HRC)
Post-2015 Development Agenda
Building upon the original Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the post-2015 Development Agenda sought to "leave no one behind", put sustainable development at the core, transform economies for inclusive economic growth, build capacity for human development and strengthen infrastructure. The post-2015 MDGs would develop metrics and promote policies that: a) reflect an increased focus on multi-stakeholder engagement; b) address what priorities will be in 15 years; c) identify key partnership goals; d) demand that progress be more equitable; e) require that progress be more sustainable; and f) ensure that there is a human rights dimension to development efforts. The Advocacy Committee is organizing local dialogues to educate the public about the 2015 Development Agenda in key areas such as human rights, education, women and girls, environment and infrastructure.
- Building the Advocacy Committee Team and UNA-USA Membership
- Created Four Advocacy Agenda Sub-Committees which I co-chair with Committee members: UN Funding (Jordan Yates& Ashley Lucchesi), International Treaties (Dr. Stan Howard), Human Rights (Jennifer North, Ashley Lucchesi & Jada Russell) and the post-2015 Development Agenda (Jada Russell & Jordan Yates)
- Developed a strategy to promote the vital work of the UN to Americans who may be unaware through the facilitation of Advocacy Agenda dialogues and events.
- Securing a sign on to UN Funding Support letter - The UNA-GCC Advocacy Committee continues to educate the public and ask Illinois' members of Congress to express strong support for the full funding of UN Peacekeeping as part of the FY 2015 State/Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.
- Leveraging Social Media to enhance advocacy efforts to communicate the vital work of the UN - Tweet Up.
Universal Periodic Review
The UN Human Rights Council will review the human rights record of UN member states in 2015, and it is requesting input from civil society groups like ours. The UNA Greater Chicago Chapter hosted an event to educate attendees about this Universal Periodic Review process and provide the opportunity to make your voice heard on the United States’ human rights record. The results of our discussion will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council and the U.S. State Department, and will be publicly available on the UN’s website.
Nothing But Nets Campaign
UNA-GCC GenUN chapter; UNA-USA at Robert Morris University has partnered up with the "Nothing but Net's" Campaign to raise awareness of the modern day Malaria epidemic happening to children and families in Africa. "Nothing But Nets" is a global, grassroots campaign of the United Nations Foundation to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa. The campaign aims to prevent malaria deaths by purchasing, distributing and teaching the proper use of mosquito bed nets and end malaria deaths by 2015, in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Shot At Life Campaign
Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. A national call to action for a global cause, the campaign rallies the American public, members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together we can save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines.
Global Moms Relay
Use your Social Media Skills to help Moms and Kids!
by Kathy Calvin, President, UN Foundation
Note: This program launched in early March and we have learned that $112,000 have already been raised!
"Mothers around the world are changing their communities for the better. That's why today we're launching the Global Moms Relay to celebrate the power of motherhood and to promote health and happiness for moms and kids everywhere.
Here's how it works: Through Mother's Day, May 11, community leaders and celebrities including Jennifer and Lynda Lopez, Arianna Huffington, Nigel Barker, and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will share personal stories of how a mother has changed his or her life.
Every time you share one of these stories on social media, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per share) to one of three initiatives that support the United Nations' Every Woman Every Child movement to help women and children everywhere lead healthy lives.
The first leg of the relay will benefit the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA), which uses mobile phones to provide new and expectant moms with vital health information.
We hope you will join the Global Moms Relay, read and share inspiring stories, and help create a better future for moms around the world. Your actions can lead to big change and healthier, happier families."