UNA Tampa Bay Newsletter  |  March 2016
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In this issue:

Upcoming Events
Event Highlights
CEDAW Update
Board Appointment
Open Positions

Upcoming Events
Model United Nations April 22nd, 2016

UNA Tampa Bay is proud to partner with the USF Model United Nations team in organizing the Spring Model UN for our middle and high school students of Tampa Bay area on April 22, 2016 at the USF Marshall Center in Tampa. Model United Nations conference provides yet another opportunity for our students to engage in global issues and learn valuable skills.

Our Model United Nations Programs are an essential component of the UNA-USA Tampa Bay Chapter’s educational mission. This conference will coincide with Earth Day. The keynote speaker for this event is Susan Glickman, Florida Director, SACE Action Fund. The topics for the conference include:

High School
UNEP – Climate Change
Security Council – Ecological Terrorism

Middle School
General Assembly – Financing for Development 
Economic and Social Council – Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development

Human Rights Day at University of Tampa, April 23rd, 2016

UNA Tampa Bay and University of Tampa co-hosts conference on dual topics of Human Rights and CEDAW at their Vaughn Center on 9th floor on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016. The conference will be from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and is open to the UT students, faculty and members of the general public.

The conference on Human Rights will cover the topics on LGBTQ equality, the freedom of movement in Europe and beyond, the ethics of interdependence- global human rights and duties, education and the rights of individuals with disabilities, criminal justice reform and Clearwater human trafficking task force followed by a panel discussion on global speech, human rights and social justice. The keynote speaker is Jamil Dakwar, Director, Human Rights Program, ACLU speaking on human rights in the age of Obama.

CEDAW conference will include the presentation of CEDAW in Tampa by Lisa J. Montelione, and topics such as disparities in health care and the importance of closing the gaps, empowering women and resettlement of Muslim refugees, RAMWI initiative followed by film viewing and discussion on a PBS documentary, “Rape in the Fields”.

For details see the flyer.

Event Highlights
Hawk Speaks in St. Petersburg on Documenting Human Rights Violations

The Chapter hosted an address by David Hawk at the Poynter Memorial Library on the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus on March 29.  Hawk, who is former Executive Director of Amnesty International USA and Former Director of the Cambodia Office for the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, spoke on how to document Human Rights violations.  The event was attended by over fifty community members and Political Science and Geography students and faculty from USF St. Petersburg and High Schools in Pinellas County. The local host was Dr. Thomas Smith (Political Science) and his colleagues in Geography (Dr. AnnMarie Gunn and Veronica Matthews). Hawk gave a detailed  description of the rigors of documenting violations which, once documented are handed over to lawyers who then make the case for various kinds of human rights abuses in the court system.  He infused his presentation with examples from his documentation of abuses in Rwanda, Cambodia, and most recently, North Korea.

“I Love the UN, but it is Failing”

By: Chris Whatley, Executive Director, United Nations Association of the United States of America

Former Assistant Secretary-General of UN Anthony Banbury critiques the UN system in a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times entitled “I Love the UN, but it is Failing”. Given the pointed nature of his critique it is necessary to have some context in understanding the perception of this article.

Banbury’s thoughtful critique of the UN system hits on a lot of important strengths and weaknesses of the UN. He rightly pointed to many areas that continue to be a challenge – especially as it relates to personnel. It’s important to note that the concerns he raises are not just a challenge for the UN system, senior UN officials, and of course the Secretary-General—something all parties take very seriously—but also its member states, including the U.S.

The timing of this discussion is opportune. This is an important moment of transition for the UN, when the world is thinking about the selection of a new UN Secretary-General. It will be incumbent upon the next Secretary-General to carry forward this critical focus on reform and continual improvement. Therefore, it is timely and essential that member states, and especially the permanent members of the Security Council, think carefully about what they want out of the United Nations.

We embrace Banbury’s core premise: The United Nations is “uniquely placed” to meet the greatest challenges of our time, and “it is doing invaluable work,” like protecting civilians and delivering vital humanitarian aid. We must not lose sight of the enormous positive work the UN is leading on: sustainable development, climate, peace and security, humanitarian aid, and the largest refugee crisis since WWII. Further, the UN remains as essential as ever to promote global and U.S. interests. Fortunately, the UN has been hard at work on reform. Changes have taken place in nearly every area of UN operations, from the management of peacekeeping missions, to tougher ethics rules, to streamlined budget processes, to delivery of humanitarian aid on the ground.

Member state support is essential to continue addressing these issues, from hiring and firing of personnel to the politicized senior appointment process. Positive U.S. leadership will be essential to continuing the reform agenda and ensuring implementation in 2016 and beyond.

CEDAW Update


CEDAW – What is it and why should I care?
- By: Elizabeth Scott Osborne. Esq., Chair – Cities for CEDAW, Gulf Coast Chapter – UN Women/USNC

CEDAW is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. This landmark international treaty, first created in 1979, has helped to advance gender equality throughout the globe. CEDAW’s 30 articles create norms for equal treatment of women and girls in all areas of life; in fact, it is the first UN treaty to fully address the equal rights of all women. Like other UN treaties, enforcement is voluntary and unique to each country.
Though signed by 196 nations, CEDAW has never been ratified by the United States – in fact, we are one of only six nations failing to enact CEDAW. The US Senate has never even voted on CEDAW, despite persistent lobbying in Washington. This failure handicaps us on the international stage and removes the weight of the United States on issues of global equality.
In recent years, activists in the US have begun a Cities for CEDAW movement. Now underway, this campaign helps cities and municipalities in the US enact their own versions of CEDAW, thus bringing equality provisions to widespread and diverse locales in the US. The US Conference of Mayors and over 200 civic organizations nationally have all endorsed this Cities for CEDAW campaign. We are confident that these local laws will help both the individual cities as well as create a grassroots push for CEDAW ratification in the US Senate.
Next month: What is Cities for CEDAW doing right here in Florida?



You can help ban fracking in Florida

- By: Jennifer Rubiello, Director of Environment Florida

Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The result, fracking, is a highly polluting and destructive industrial process that shoots a toxic tide of chemicals underground to get at oil and gas locked beneath the earth’s surface.

As this dirty drilling expands rapidly across the country, we have seen documented cases of contaminated drinking water, nearby residents getting sick, and beautiful landscapes turned into industrial zones. Fracking cannot be regulated safely and that’s why it must be banned.

Florida law is currently silent on fracking, but a bill in this year’s legislative session would have changed that by creating a loose set of statewide regulations for the inherently dangerous drilling technique. Perhaps most importantly for the oil and gas industry, the bill also would have nullified existing ordinances that prohibit fracking and preempted all local bans.

Fracking has drawn widespread opposition from citizens, more than 80 counties and cities, environmental groups and labor groups. Floridians throughout the state are now working to pass ordinances in each city and county to ban fracking permanently. Please click here to tell your county commissioner to ban fracking. Together, we can protect the clean water and natural beauty that makes Florida famous for generations to come!

Board Appointment


New Publications Director: Carolyn Morales

UNA Tampa Bay Chapter is proud to announce the addition of Carolyn Morales, our new Publications Director to the team. Carolyn has been an intern with the Chapter for over a year, was active in developing our CEDAW initiative, attended the annual meeting in Washington, D.C. last year, and, more recently, has been active in delivering our messages through social media.

Open Positions

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

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

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.
The UNA Tampa Bay Newsletter is a monthly publication of the United Nations Association’s Tampa Bay Chapter.

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