Background

THE UNITED NATIONS

The United Nations is an international organization founded after World War II “determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. San Francisco was chosen as the site for global deliberations, which began on April 25, 1945 when 50 governments and many NGOs came together as the UN Conference on International Organization. They successfully drafted the Charter of the United Nations on June 26, 1945. Upon ratification of the Charter the UN officially came into existence in New York on October 24, 1945.

The UN works to stop wars between countries and to provide a platform for dialogue. Its multiple subsidiary organizations carry out its mission to facilitate cooperation in international law, security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and peace.

UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION-USA

The American Association for the United Nations, UNA-USA’s predecessor organization, grew from the League of Nations Association in 1943. Shortly thereafter, inspired by the opening words of the United Nations Charter “We the peoples”, the World Federation of United Nations Associations was established in 1946.

In 1964, the American Association for the UN merged with the US Committee for the United Nations, a group of 138 national organizations supporting the work of the UN, creating the United Nations Association of the United Sates of America (UNA-USA). UNA-USA became a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building understanding and support for the ideals and work of the UN among the American people.

UNA-USA, a member of the global World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), is dedicated to educating, inspiring and mobilizing Americans to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations toward achieving the goals of the United Nations Charter. Today, UNA-USA is a leading center of policy support for UN global issues such as peace and security, health, sustainable development and human rights, while emphasizing the importance of cooperation among nations.

UNA-USA SAN FRANCISCO CHAPTER

MISSION: The United Nations Association of San Francisco (UNA-SF) is the San Francisco chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), a national, nonpartisan, and nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing US participation in the United Nations system and to strengthening that system as it seeks to define and carry out its mission.

Within a national network of more than 175 community chapters and divisions, the San Francisco Chapter of UNA-USA holds a unique global responsibility by being located where the UN Charter was developed and signed. UNA-USA San Francisco Chapter hosts a wide variety of community programs and events, provides information and educational materials, cooperates with related international NGOs and community organizations, and maintains a primary focus on youth development. Our outreach efforts engage the public in the discussion of local and foreign policy issues as we strengthen the United Nations system by encouraging community members to realize the importance of the United Nations in their everyday life.

In 1995 UNA-USA San Francisco was the host organization in commemorating the United Nations 50th Anniversary. Many thousands of our citizens and community groups came together to participate in celebrating peace, culture and education as represented by the United Nations. UNA-USA San Francisco has continued to host UN Anniversary celebrations every 5 years.