The United Nations Foundation and the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) announced last week they are joining forces to build a broader base of citizen support for U.S. engagement and the work of the UN.

Ban Ky-Moon and Ted Turner at Global Leadership Awards

UN Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner, joined by UN Foundation President Senator Timothy E. Wirth, and Co-Chair of UNA-USA Thomas Pickering, made the announcement of this alliance during the Global Leadership Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Together the two organizations represent the single largest network of American supporters of the UN.

Annie Lennox Speaks at Global Leadership Awards

During the event, the UN Foundation and UNA-USA honored Senator John Kerry, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, American Idol creator and producer Simon Fuller, and Microsoft for their leadership in advancing UN causes. ESPN’s Rick Reilly served as the Master of Ceremonies for the dinner and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador Annie Lennox offered a special performance. His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, was an honored guest.

Annie Lennox Performs at Global Leadership Awards

“More than a decade ago at this dinner I announced my historic $1 billion gift which led to the creation of the UN Foundation to support the UN and its causes. It was the best investment I ever made; the money has helped the UN to fight disease, empower women and girls, combat climate change, and lift people out of poverty,” said Ted Turner, UN Foundation Founder and Chairman. “I am pleased that once again this unique gathering of UN supporters is the place for another historic announcement. Working together we can spotlight the important role the UN plays in solving global problems, and help the United States engage more constructively with the UN.”

“We are pleased to join forces with the UN Foundation to empower and recruit UN supporters across the country who want to help the UN create a better world,” said Thomas Pickering, Co-Chair of UNA-USA. “For years we have been working together to encourage U.S. leadership in supporting the UN, including paying our dues on time and in full, and supporting the critical work of the UN around the globe. Now, as a sister organization, we will be better positioned to help the UN take its best work and ideas to scale – through advocacy, partnerships, community building and fundraising.”

The complementary strengths of the two organizations will provide new momentum to strengthen the U.S.-UN relationship. The mission of UNA-USA and its chapters is rooted in the founding principles of the United Nations: to inform, inspire and mobilize Americans to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations, and to strengthen the United Nations system. Under the new alliance UNA-USA will continue as a robust membership program of the UN Foundation. Together, UNA-USA and the UN Foundation will pool their talents to increase public education and advocacy on the work of the UN. UNA-USA will work closely with the UN Foundation’s sister organization, the Better World Campaign, whose mission is also to strengthen the U.S.-UN relationship.

“There have been no closer partners than the UN Foundation and UNA-USA, working hand-in-hand to strengthen and deepen citizen support for the United Nations,” said Timothy E. Wirth, UN Foundation President. “By formally joining our efforts, making UNA-USA a program of the UN Foundation, we will combine more than 100 UNA-USA chapters around the country with the UN Foundation’s strong and vibrant advocacy network to support UN causes. Together, we will build upon decades of success on policy, programs and advocacy.”

For 52 years, the Global Leadership Dinner has brought together policymakers, world leaders, UN supporters, business leaders, and celebrities to call attention to the vital role the UN plays in helping the global community advance peace, prosperity, and justice. For this first time this year the event is being co-hosted by the UN Foundation and UNA-USA.

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Photos: Stuart Ramson/UN Foundation.

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