We educate, inspire and mobilize support for the ideals and vital work of the United Nations.

Calendar - Upcoming Events

DC June 9-11 Global Leadership Summit

Join Fairfield County neighbors June 9-11 as we lobby US Senators and House Representatives.

Advocate for the USA to cooperate with the world's interconnected countries, peoples & institutions.

Gain valuable skills and experience via organized issue/policy training.


HUMAN RIGHTS - ENVIRONMENT - JUSTICE - PEACE - SECURITY - HEALTH


Meet-Listen-Discuss the Most Pressing Global Issues with Super Bright Congressional Staff

Learn Practice Reinforce Universally Valuable Leadership Skills

55th annual jUNe Day 2019

United Nations Diplomats, Staff and Families are Invited!

Saturday June 29, 2019

United Nations participant registration will open ~May 15th

jUNe Day is a very special event established in 1965 by the late Ruth Steinkraus Cohen, private secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt and founder of the United Nations Association of Southwest Connecticut, in observance of the signing of the UN charter on June 26th, 1945. Friendly interactions between UN visitors and their Connecticut hosts embodies the UN goal of “working together for peace, freedom and justice”. Hundreds of United Nations diplomats, staff and families, from around the world, interact with local Fairfield County "citizen ambassadors" in a variety of activities, demonstrating good will and person-to diplomacy in its purest sense.

jUNe Day guests have free access to Earthplace (nature center), Compo Beach, Longshore Park's seaside pools, tennis, golf, paddleboarding and kayaking. Restaurants throughout the area contribute breakfast and lunch served by local volunteers at Saugatuck School to all who attend.

At 10:30 a.m. there is a brief welcoming ceremony at the School with UN Senior officials and elected local state and federal leaders followed by a competitive soccer match between the UN team and our Westport Knights. We cordially invite UN Delegations, Secretariat and Agency staff to join in the Day’s activities!

Event Co-Chairs: Michaela MacColl and Alex Anvari

Impactful volunteers

In consultation with the board, members and friends, 2019 program leadership roles are now open. Of particular interest are cross-sector initiatives where industry, government and society work to advance SDG Sustainable Development Goals.

Secretary role is open to a highly organized, articulate leader who writes crisply and is skilled at keeping meeting agendas and project planning efforts on track. This role is a valuable credential for a mid-career professional developing an executive presence.

Event Coordinator/Leader is for energetic "get the job done" volunteers passionate about advancing initiatives, programs and projects pursuant to UN objectives. UNASWCT Event Proposal form.

Content Coordinator/Archivist/Curator places photos and videos of events on Google Sites, Google Drive or Dropbox, after soliciting and selecting from submissions.

Campus Coordinators are young adults actively learning, sharing and building the global coordination across political boundaries that is essential to human progress.

UN organizations deliver environmental protections, economic development, social welfare, policy debates and coordination, security initiatives, legal frameworks, human rights protection, transportation improvements, scientific advancements, peace initiatives and cultural enrichment. Want to learn more about having an impact? Join UNA-USA!

Free for 25 or younger. $25 if fixed income. $50 for everyone else.

UNASWCT seeks partners for programs driving Sustainable Development Goals

  • #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • #13 Climate Action
  • #16 Peace Justice and Strong Institutions

UNASWCT Board of Directors

Alex Anvari - President - alexanvari@yahoo.com

Bill Hass - VP Advocacy Chair, former President - hassbj@aol.com

Barbara Jay - Treasurer

Arline P. Gertzoff - Membership Director

Marjorie Nieuwenhuis - Education Director

Michaela MacColl, VP jUNe Day, former President

Events Archive

2019

MOTHER Earth Day CREATIVITY Contest

Eva Marder - First Place Winner

9th grade, Greenwich High School

Participate in dynamic and informative discussions of pressing issues facing the United Nations. World leaders interact with USA's top grassroots change-makers. There is division in our country and in Washington but you would never know it looking out at attendees of all ages, races, genders, and political affiliations brought together by common cause telling the world U.S. stands with UN.

Event Summary by Nick Dostal, student at UMass

The 2019 UNA-USA Global Engagement Summit at the United Nations started off with an electric entry to the General Assembly by Secretary General Antonio Guterres whose informative and energetic speech detailed the history of America’s involvement with the United Nation, it’s important role in the present day, and reforms underway to improve UN organizational capabilities. A short question and answer session artfully explained his thoughts on the state of the UN and the world. He humbly continued answering questions even as aides warned he was out of time, speaking volumes about his dedication to service. A hopeful and enlightening speech by House Foreign Affairs chairman Eliot Engel was followed by US Acting Ambassador to the UN Jonathan Cohen. Both detailed how they got to their positions and views on the current state of international affairs. The breakout sessions offered panels on conflict resolution in Yemen and the fight to empower women around the world, followed by sessions on nuclear proliferation and global human rights. During lunch hour summit attendees explored the world’s cuisine across Manhattan's lower east side. The afternoon featured interesting topics eg. UN sustainable development goals for cities and the urgency of climate action. After sessions on solving world hunger and more opportunities to learn about, and participate in, Sustainable Development Goals, the Closing Plenary was a series of wonderful speeches by executive director of UNA-USA Chris Whatley, President of the UN General Assembly Maria Espinosa Garces and Teta Bank, UNA National Council chair. Overall, the 2019 UNA-USA summit was an informative and impactful day to learn about, and network within, the United Nations. I hope to attend again next year.

Event Summary by Sydney Hines, Grade 10, Greenwich High School

UNA National Council Meeting February 23, 2019 fostered a learning environment rich in details and full of purpose. The day provided insight into specific initiatives the organization executes on a national scale. As a student volunteer I had the opportunity to hear from UNA Executive Director Chris Whatley and National Council Chair Honorable Teta Banks. Alongside campus and community chapter leaders we explored funding, advocacy, communications, education and representation. Overall, attending the National Council Meeting was a source of inspiration for future work I would like to do with the United Nations Association of Southwestern Connecticut. I look forward to making new friends while supporting the global goals of the United Nations.

Event Summary by new member Saee Kalaskar


January 17th community conversation “Migration in the Sweep Of History” was an insight filled experience for my first ever UNASWCT event. A diverse audience gathered to listen to experts Professor Robert Riggs from the University of Bridgeport and Azrah Karin Rajput from the UN discuss migration’s significant role in shaping our nations and cultures. They stressed how migration impacts societies and the efforts being made to promote and safeguard migration (UN Global Compact on Migration).

To put migration in a historical perspective we were treated to a 1925 documentary “Grass”on the Bakhtiary tribes migration. In keeping with those themes refreshments reflected what a migrant might be eating on a long trek.

An excellent Q and A and our insightful moderator and new UNSWCT President Alex Anvari further contributed to a memorable evening.

Special thanks to Westport Library for cosponsoring and our UNSWCT board members who truly make these events happen.

54th Westport Knights vs United Nations 2018

Local businesses made jUNe Day food donations appreciated by UN visitors & UNASWCT volunteers!

Gaetano'sJoey's By the ShoreRoly Poly Rolled SandwichesShanghai GourmetBagel MavenDunkin DonutsFresh MarketJoe's PizzaStarbucksTrader Joe'sStop and ShopWestport PizzeriaAngelina's TratorriaGarelick & Herbs
Gold's DeliLittle KitchenCalise Food MarketGreat Cakes/Peter's MarketMacDonald'sNewman's Own FoundationSpotted HorseBrownstonesA and S DeliPeter’s Market (Weston)Rye Ridge DeliArezzo’sJulian’s Pizzeria

History

The year was 1945, and the world could finally exhale. The Third Reich was defeated and US troops were coming home. And, in arguably one of the most historic events of the Second World War, fifty-one countries joined together to form the United Nations, a multilateral peacekeeping union, to ensure that wide spread tragedies such as WW2 never happen again. The UN's mission was to be vigilant against tyranny in all forms and to open the world's eyes to the possibility of world peace.

That same year, twenty-five-year-old Ruth Steinkraus was opening her eyes to the world from her home in Westport. A recent graduate of Vassar, where ideas about world issues were sown, this music major and accomplished pianist was slowly developing a passion for activism.

While Ruth was in college, Eleanor Roosevelt had attended one of her piano recitals. This chance meeting initiated a life-long friendship and work relationship that culminated in Ruth serving as Eleanor's personal secretary. More importantly, it stimulated a collaboration on an organizational template for using cross-cultural hospitality events as a springboard to promote understanding and peace. Out of this collaboration came what is now known as the International Hospitality Committee of Fairfield County, which originally stood on its own and now is officially affiliated with the United Nations Association of the USA. In prior years the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV - now Global Ties) engaged our citizen ambassadors in memorable U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Programs.

About UNA-USA

The United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) is a membership organization dedicated to informing, inspiring, and mobilizing the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations. For 70 years, UNA-USA has worked to accomplish its mission through its national network of Chapters, youth engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs, and public events. A program of the UN Foundation, UNA-USA and its sister organization the Better World Campaign represent the world's single largest network of advocates and supporters of the United Nations. Learn more about UNA-USA's programs and initiatives at www.unausa.org.