United Nations Association of the USA

Campus Advocates

The future is in your hands. Be a voice for the United Nations on your campus today.

2013 - 2014

Getting Started & Issues Guide


Be a Voice
Over half the world’s population of 7 billion people is under the age of 30. These individuals face pressing global problems such as ensuring human rights for all, environmental issues, and preventable disease, but global solutions exist. The UN has the reach to solve the world’s toughest challenges, and youth in the U.S. have more opportunities now than Car thage Colle ge Ca ever before to be part of the solution. m

s The U.S. is at a critical moment in its relationship with the United Nations. UNA-USA seeks to engage students in a nationwide network of motivated young people who stand poised to collectively make their voices heard amongst their peers, in their communities, across the country, and around the world. President Obama has pledged to strengthen U.S. global leadership through a renewed emphasis on international cooperation, diplomacy, and active participation at the United Nations, and now is your time to get involved.

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Whether your passion is LGBT equality, climate change, maternal health, preventable disease, or another global problem, your role as an advocate for the United Nations makes an impact. Be a voice for the UN and promote international cooperation to ensure a better world for all 7 billion of the world’s citizens. You can educate yourself and others on UN issues, advocate on behalf of the UN, and spread the word about the important work the UN does around the globe by becoming a Campus Advocate today!
For more information and resources on how to participate, contact: UNA-USA Membership Monika Johnson (202) 448-4674


Start Today
Educate ........................................ 4
• Learn more about the UN and its work around the world. • Teach others about the importance of the UN and the opportunities U.S. citizens have for leadership.

Advocate ....................................... 6

• Encourage strong U.S. leadership at the UN by advocating on its behalf.

Spread the Word .......................... 8
• Plan a UN Day event for October 24, 2013. • Spread awareness about the work of the UN.

Resources ...................................... 9
• • •

Work with UNA-USA Chapters in your local community. Partner with other organizations and United Nations Foundation campaigns and initiatives to make an impact. Find out more about the many issues facing the United Nations.


Every day, the United Nations and its family of agencies work to improve people’s lives throughout the world. With little fanfare or media attention, the UN delivers on its mandate from the UN Charter to ensure a safer and healthier world for present and future generations. The UN provides everything from emergency relief, to vaccinations, to counter-terrorism training. It resolves conflicts and keeps peace in the world’s most dangerous places, and it supports elections and new institutions that build democracy. Educate yourself and others on the vital work the United Nations performs every day.

Start a Conversation
• Make a presentation at your school on how the UN impacts the U.S. • Work with a teacher or professor to have the work of the UN integrated into their curriculum. • Dedicate your Facebook and Twitter statuses to educating others about the UN. • Educate your peers by getting them involved in Model UN or your school’s international relations club. • When doing outreach for your student group, be sure to incorporate facts on the beneficial work of the UN. • Host a student discussion group to help dispel myths about the UN, increase awareness, and promote understanding of the United States’ role in the UN. • Do UN-based research or work with a professor to explore international organizations.

Talking Points
• Economic Benefit: For every $1 our nation contributes to the UN Secretariat- the institution responsible for carrying out the dayto-day work of managing the UN’s general operations globally- we receive more than $1.60 back. In 2011, the U.S. received more than $192 million in contracts to support 17 UN Peacekeeping operations. • Specialized Agencies: Bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, World Health Organization, International Maritime Organization, and others promote core U.S. foreign policy, economic, national security, and humanitarian goals every day. U.S. engagement with these agencies is an extremely cost-effective way to address global challenges. • U.S. Dues and Contributions: From 2009-2012, the U.S. returned to good financial standing at the UN by fully funding its budget assessments and paying recent debts, in addition to supporting voluntary contributions to most of the UN humanitarian relief and development agencies. A new peacekeeping mission in Mali, however, and enforcement of an arbitrary cap on U.S. dues for peacekeeping operations have created the potential for the U.S. to slide back into arrears over the coming fiscal year. Future contributions should fund the UN in full, on time, and without conditions. • UN Strengthening and Reform: The UN continues to update its operations and management practices to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Changes are taking place in nearly every area of UN operations to increase cost efficiency and transparency, streamline the UN’s work, strengthen accountability and oversight, improve business practices, and recruit and maintain quality staff.

Find in-depth information on these talking points in the UNA-USA 2013 Briefing Book and read up on UN issues on The InterDependent and UN Dispatch.




Each year the United Nations provides food to 100 million people in 73 countries, vaccinates 58% of the world’s children, saving 2.5 million lives a year, promotes maternal health to save the lives of 30 million women a year, and so much more. Elected Leaders in the U.S. need to know more about the positive impact the United Nations has on the world. Students can advocate for UN issues on the local, state, and national levels. UNA-USA educates U.S. citizens and policy makers around four core elements of the U.S.-UN relationship: full payment of dues for the UN’s regular and peacekeeping budgets, human rights, the Millennium Development Goals, and ratification of UN treaties.

How to Advocate
• Write, e-mail, or call your Congressional representative to discuss specific action he or she can take. • Write an op-ed or letter to the editor at your campus or local newspaper urging leaders to recognize the importance of the UN. • Set up a meeting with your local elected officials or an in-district meeting with your representative or senator. • Meet with elected leaders on Capitol Hill.
As a student, you can advocate wherever you live: in your home district or out-of-state.

Advocacy Resources
UNA-USA provides complete advocacy resources for communicating with elected officials, the legislative process, and up-to-date UN issue talking points. Go to to learn more or click below: Advocacy Agenda (Full Version) Advocacy Resources Advocacy News Find Your Representative 2013 Briefing Book:The U.S. and the UN in the 113th Congress



Top U.S.-UN Issues Don’t Forfeit U.S. Leadership at the United Nations

Full Funding for the UN Regular Budget and UN Peacekeeping
As the U.S. is the UN’s largest contributor, Congressional funding shortfalls will significantly impact the UN’s ability to carry out its operations. At a time when the United States and United Nations are working together to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges—from the humanitarian needs of survivors of devastating earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, to political crises and violence in Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Afghanistan—it is more important than ever that the U.S. maintain its longstanding commitment to global leadership and engagement by continuing to fully fund the UN. Learn More

Promoting Human Rights through the UN
The U.S. has a long history of supporting UN human rights mechanisms, beginning with our deep involvement in founding the UN and our efforts to ensure that the organization would hold the promotion of human rights as one of its core pillars. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt led the effort to develop the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is the first document in human history to spell out the basic civil, political, economic, and social rights that all human beings should enjoy. The UN works to defend and promote human rights through three key mechanisms within the UN system: Human Rights Treaties, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Human Rights Council. Learn More

Encouraging Ratification of Key International Treaties
The United Nations provides a platform for nations to work together to establish international norms, standards, and agreements in the common interest of all nations. In recent decades, the UN has facilitated negotiation of critical international treaties on issues ranging from trade and commerce to the environment and human rights. While, historically, the United States has played a leading role in fostering the development of international law, the U.S. has thus far failed to ratify several important international conventions negotiated under the auspices of the UN, including: the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Learn More

Continued Support for the MDGs and Post-2015 Process
In 2000, all UN member states committed to the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to cut poverty in half by 2015. The United States played a leading role in galvanizing international support for meeting the MDGs in 2000, and reaffirmed its support for meeting the MDGs at the world summit in 2010. The global financial crisis continues to cast a heavy pall over the world’s commitments to the MDGs and foreign aid. Support a foreign aid development agenda based on the Millennium Development Goals. Learn More.

View the complete, in-depth briefing book on the top U.S.-UN issues, go here.


Spread the Word
UN Day 2013: Partnerships for Global Progress


October 24 is UN Day. Consider planning a special event or activity to promote understanding and awareness on the valuable work of the UN! This year, UNAUSA will celebrate UN Day by recognizing the impact and invaluable work that the UN has done and continues to do to fulfill the promise of the UN Charter, and help humanity. Click here for additional resources.

Plan an Event
In collaboration with your campus Model UN or student group, celebrate the UN’s work and impact by hosting events and activities that emphasize this year’s UN Day theme.Your event can focus on solutions and progress made by the UN that impact our lives and the lives of future generations, an issue important to you, and much more. Take advantage of UN Day to learn more and spread the word! • Host a Speaker at your school who will highlight the work of the United Nations in the international community. Think about ways to incorporate this into an academic department, or try to collaborate with another student organization. • Show a documentary related to a UN issue. To make an even bigger impact, charge admission and donate the money to a UN cause, such as the Nothing But Nets campaign to end malaria deaths. • Hold a UN Day roundtable discussion on international youth Issues. Invite students from different backgrounds to share their stories. • Decorate your school, dorm, or student union building in blue and white to promote UN awareness. • Collaborate with international student organizations on a fashion show involving countries and national dress of nations around the world. Be sure to include important facts about the UN with each style! • Plan an advocacy day for your Model UN or student group, asking individuals to dedicate the day to educating their political leaders on the importance of the United Nations. • Host a discussion featuring candidates and/ or elected officials who are running for local, state, and national office to hear their views on the UN and international politics. • Contact UNA-USA about obtaining pre-made advocacy cards related to the topic you’re interested in exploring.

Go Online
• Dedicate your Facebook status to the UN and tweet @unausa. • Blog about issues related to the UN, international development, and foreign affairs.


UNA Chapters
To amplify your voice and impact, consider partnering with your local UNA Chapter or a UN Foundation campaign or initiative.

UNA-USA members and their Chapters work with their local communities and elected officials to inform, inspire, and mobilize Americans to support the principles and vital work of the UN. With nearly 120 Chapters across the nation, they provide a needed voice for the UN locally. Go to to find a Chapter near you.

Other UN Foundation Campaigns and Initiatives
Better World Campaign The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong, effective relationship between the United States and the United Nations through outreach, communications, and advocacy. Check out the Better World Campaign’s youth initiative, My World. My UN and their Thank a Peacekeeper campaign to see how you can participate. Learn more here. Girl Up The Girl Up campaign harnesses the energy and compassion of American girls to raise awareness and funds for the United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. You can work with Girl Up by hosting an event to discuss issues facing women and girls, raising funds, or mentoring girls in your community. Learn more here. Nothing But Nets Nothing But Nets is a global grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. It costs only $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. The message is clear: Send a Net, Save a Life! To help, you and your student group can hold a creative fundraising and education event about the movement to end malaria. Learn more here. 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. Get involved with Shot@Life advocacy priorities by educating yourself, your peers, and elected leaders on public health issues surrounding vaccines. Learn more here. Shot@Life


Peacekeeping Child Labor Child Marriage Urban Spaces Food and Water Access Education Human Rights Hunger Millennium Development Goals Population Issues Refugees Rural Poverty Violence Against Women and Girls Disabilities Sustainable Development Arms Trade Law of the Sea 7 Billion People Youth Employment Maternal and Child Health Economic Development LGBT Equality Post-2015 Development Agenda

UN Topic Ideas Take action today and explore UN issues! Here are a few places to start:


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