MUN Brings More Than 170 Middle and High School Students Together to Tackle Climate Change

April 22, 2016 | Tampa, FL

UNA-Tampa Bay hosted its annual Model United Nations Conference at the University of South Florida’s Marshall Student Center on April 22, Earth Day. Our flagship Model United Nations conference, established in 2002, brings middle and high school students together to debate, discuss, and analyze global simulated scenarios.

This year the theme was climate change and students addressed these challenges by simulating the following United Nations bodies and topics:

High School
Security Council: Ecological Terrorism
UNEP: Climate Change

Middle School
General Assembly: Financing for Development, Non Self Governing Territories
ECOSOC – Youth Employment for Sustainable Development, Education in Post Conflict Situations

Susan Glickman, Florida Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, provided this year’s keynote speech. Her dynamic and energizing speech challenged the young delegates to consider the variety of ways in which they can address climate change issues.

The following schools participated in this year’s conference: Franklin Middle School, Giunta Middle School, Liberty Middle School, Walker Middle School, Wilson Middle School, Freedom High School, King High School, Middleton High School, Steinbrenner High School, and Palm Harbor University.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our USF student chapter and our award winning USF Model United Nations team for organizing and staffing this event with volunteers! Special thanks to our treasurer, Dr. Kelly Miliziano!

Learn more about our annual Model United Nations and Model Arab League conferences.
Stay connected with UNA-Tampa Bay by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media.

Check out our upcoming local events on our calendar.

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University of Tampa and UNA-Tampa Bay Host Human Rights Conference

April 23, 2016 | Tampa, FL

On Saturday April 23rd, the University of Tampa and UNA-Tampa Bay hosted an all-day conference on human rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) at the University of Tampa’s Vaughn Center.

This year’s keynote address was Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program. Tampa City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione (district 7) gave a keynote speech on CEDAW and the role of city council’s and local government in promoting gender equality.

Representatives and members from the League of Women Voters, the Florida Department of Health, Equality Florida, YWCA, Enterprising Latinas, Radiant Hands, Pepin Academies, Eckerd College, and the University of South Florida gave presentations.

A film screening and panel discussion of Escaping Syria (2015) was held prior to the conference. An art showing of the Red Sand Project, displaying activist artwork created by Molly Gochman created opportunities for people to question, connect, and take action against human trafficking. This year’s event concluded with a screening and moderated discussion of Rape in the Fields (link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/rape-in-the-fields/  (2013), a PBS documentary.

We would like to thank all of our presenters and those that attended for making this year’s conference an engaging, informative, and successful event! Special thanks to our education director Dr. Marcus Arvan!

Stay connected with UNA-Tampa Bay by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media.
Check out our upcoming local events on our calendar.

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UNA-Tampa Bay Enters Partnership With Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force!

April 22, 2016 | Tampa, FL

UNA-Tampa Bay is proud to announce that we’re partnering with the Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force! The Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force is coordinated through the Florida Department of Children and Families and is funded through federal grants. The Task Force builds partnerships with national, state, and local entities to help refugees settle, integrate, and thrive in our community.

Our Chapter looks forward to this new partnership with the Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force and the opportunity to further engage with and advocate for our local community.

On June 17, the Tampa Bay Refugee Task Force will host World Refugee Day at Pinellas Technical College (PTC). At the event, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will naturalize more than 30 former refugees as U.S. citizens. A film screening of Refugees: Road To Success created by PTC’s Digital Video Department will follow. This event is coordinated through PTC, USCIS, the Florida Department of Children and Families Refugee Services, and the Pinellas Refugee Education Program.

In 2015, Hillsborough county became the first welcoming county in the state of Florida.

To learn more about the Florida Department of Children and Families Refugee Services, see www.dcf.state.fl.us/refugee

Stay connected with UNA-Tampa Bay by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media.
Check out our upcoming local events on our calendar.

More Than 171 Countries Sign United Nations Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day!

April 22, 2016 | Tampa, FL

On April 22, 2016, more than 171 countries signed the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Among other things, the Agreement calls on countries to set targets for their carbon emissions with scheduled updates to occur every five years. This signing occurred following a breakthrough in negotiations in December 2015 and occurred on the 46th Earth Day.

Nations that sign onto the treaty must officially ratify it through domestic procedures before it goes into force.

UN-Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made the following remarks:

“We have made historic progress today, taking the next step to move from the aspirations of COP21 to action on the ground. The Paris Agreement provides the policy certainty and clear direction requested by the private sector, civil society and local leaders. Now we must take climate action to the next level. By acting on climate, we advance the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. National, state and provincial governments, cities, the private sector, investors, and the public at large – all are crucial to tackling the serious dangers posed by climate change.”UNF-Paris-agreement-part2 - Copy

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry echoed these sentiments with the following:

“For sure, the agreement that we reached in Paris is the strongest, most ambitious global climate pact ever negotiated.  But the power of this agreement is not that it, in and of itself, guarantees that we will actually hold the increase of temperature to the target of 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees centigrade.  In fact, it does not and we know that, we acknowledge it.  The power of this agreement is the opportunity that it creates.  The power is the message that it sends to the marketplace.  It is the unmistakable signal that innovation, entrepreneurial activity, the allocation of capital, the decisions that governments make, all of this is what we now know definitively is what is going to define the new energy future – a future that is already being defined but even yet to be discovered.  The power of this agreement is what it is going to do to unleash the private sector, and it is already doing to set in pace the global economy on a new path for smart, responsible, sustainable development.”

The United Nations Association-Tampa Bay Chapter is pursuing local initiatives on the topics of climate change and sustainability as part of our Global Goals for Sustainable Development programming. These efforts involve public events, educational lectures, talks, and movie screenings, and engagement with all levels of the community including the general public, K-12, and University students.

This year’s Model United Nations Conference, our annual educational event attended by hundreds of middle, high school, and university students, centered its core theme around climate change and its impact. Learn more about our Model United Nations program.

Check out our calendar of events and sign up for our newsletter to get the most current news on our Chapter.
Want to get more involved? Join our chapter.
Have questions? Contact us.

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Join UNA-Tampa Bay April 30 at Take Back The Night!

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Join UNA-Tampa Bay at Take Back The Night on April 30th at 6:00 PM at North Straub park in St. Petersburg. Take Back The Night is an annual event held around the country for survivors of sexual or domestic violence.

UNA-Tampa Bay will be providing information on our CEDAW initiative which is pursuing gender equality initiatives in the greater Tampa Bay area.

Learn more about our CEDAW initiative.

Download a Take Back The Night flyer (PDF).

This event is coordinated by the Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay, a coalition of organizations and agencies that serve survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Learn more at www.sexualviolencetaskforce.com.

If you or someone you know has been assaulted, help is available. Information on your local crisis center is available at: https://www.fcasv.org/find-your-local-center

 

 

David Hawk Talk on Documenting Human Rights Violations

Join UNA-Tampa Bay for a talk by David Hawk on documenting human rights violations.The event will be held on Tuesday March 29th at 6:00 pm in the Poynter Room of the USF St. Petersburg Library (140 Harborwalk Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701).

Mr. Hawk previously served as the executive director of Amnesty International USA and as a human rights official with the Cambodia Office of the UN high commissioner for human rights. He has written numerous reports on human rights issues covering the Rwandan Genocide and recent violations in North Korea.

UNA-Tampa Bay Seeks Fundraising Director to Join Board of Directors

March 13, 2015 | Tampa, Florida

The United Nations Association-Tampa Bay Chapter is searching for a fundraising director to join the board of directors. The all-volunteer board  which meets monthly oversees education and advocacy programs that foster an understanding of the United Nations and its goals.  We service Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties.  Our chapter has more than 250 members  and coordinates outreach through a social media network of more than 6,000. Read our chapter mission statement here. The Director serves as the lead on two major annual fundraising initiatives: the ambassador cup golf tournament and the Better World 5K. Review a brief summary of the primary responsibilities below.

Interested in applying? Submit your resume to our chapter president Dr. Mark Amen at amen[AT]usf.edu.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Develop an annual strategic fundraising plan for the Chapter.
  • Build, coordinate, and design fundraising initiatives to maintain existing and initiate new fundraising relationships with corporate, community, and individual sponsors.
  • Coordinate major fundraising initiatives including the ambassador cup golf tournament and better world 5k.
  • Identify new and innovative funding sources for the Chapter
  • Coordinate with the Strategic Communications and Publishing directors to ensure effective marketing and communication of our fundraising efforts and their benefit to Chapter programs.

UNA-Tampa Bay Celebrates International Womens Day

March 8, 2016 Tampa, FL

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8th. The United Nations designates a theme each year with this year’s theme being ‘A Pledge for Parity.’ This year’s theme is based on a 2014 analysis from the World Economic Forum that predicts that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. However, in 2015, the World Economic Forum adjusted their estimate based on the limited progress achieved in gender equality, pushing the year back to 38 years to 2133.

UNA-Tampa Bay is committed to pursuing global gender equality and is currently pursuing local avenues through our CEDAW advocacy campaign. This campaign is part of a larger national campaign called Cities for CEDAW, organized by our national chapter UNA-USA. Learn more about CEDAW and sign our petition today!

Read more at the International Women’s Day 2016 campaign website.

Learn more about IWD 2016 and download a toolkit from the United Nations Foundation.

Gender equality is one of fifteen Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

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2016 Model Arab League Doubles Attendance in Second Year!

March 5, 2016 | Tampa, Florida

UNA-Tampa Bay hosted the 2nd annual Florida Regional Model Arab League conference on February 24 and 25 at the University of South Florida’s Marshall Student Center. The event brought over 80 high school and college students together to participate in mock scenarios during which they represent the interests and foreign policy objectives of other countries.

As a result, students develop first-hand analytical, leadership, and public speaking skills while learning about diplomacy, Arab history, and international relations in a dynamic environment.

Students were paired into teams representing various countries in the Middle East and North Africa. This year the MAL saw attendance grow more than 100%. The number of countries represented grew from 7 to 16.

This year’s conference brought students  from Steinbrenner High School, Middleston High School, St. Leo University, the University of South Florida, the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida, and Stetson University.

One of UNA-Tampa Bay’s core missions is education, learn more about our initiatives and other education programs such as the Model United Nations and our Sustainability programming.

Our student chapter at the University of South Florida assisted with the coordination of this event. Learn more about our USF and UT student chapters.

This event was conducted as part of the Florida Regional Model Arab League, a regional organization that is coordinated through the national governing organization the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR). The Model Arab League was founded in 1983. This year was the second Florida Regional Model Arab League Conference.

Related: USF Student Chapter Featured for Work on Upcoming Model Arab League Conference

Want to stay connected and learn about other upcoming events, including our 2017 MAL conference? Sign up for our newsletter.

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In Memoriam: Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Former UN Secretary-General

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Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 2002, International Women’s Day at UNESCO, Paris, France

February 16, 2016

UNA-Tampa Bay mourns the loss of Boutros Boutros-Ghali who passed away today at the age of 93. Boutros-Ghali, an Egyptian diplomat, served as the sixth United Nations Secretary-General from 1992 to 1996.

Mr. Boutros-Ghali served as an Egyptian politician and diplomat and was a key negotiator and architect of the Camp David Accords. Although a renowned diplomat, Boutros-Ghali was a lawyer and scholar, teaching at Cairo University for almost 30 years.

While serving as Secretary-General, Boutros-Ghali led the United Nations through a tumultous period that saw conflicts span the globe, including those in Somalia and Rwanda. He authored a key report titled “An Agenda for Peace” that analyzed ways to strengthen the UN’s diplomacy and peacekeeping capabilities.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described Boutros-Ghali as a “memorable leader who rendered invaluable services to world peace and international order” whose commitment to the United Nations “unmistakable.”