The United Nations Association of the United States of America is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and vital work of the United Nations among American people. Its educational and humanitarian campaigns, including teaching students in urban schools, clearing minefields and providing school-based support for children in African communities that have been hurt by HIV/AIDS, allow people to have a strong influence at a local level.

In addition, UNA-USA’s highly regarded policy and advocacy programs stress the importance of nations working together and the need for American leadership at the United Nations. The association is affiliated with the World Federation of United Nations Associations, which was established in 1946 as a public movement for the UN.

Our Mission
We are dedicated to educating, inspiring and mobilizing Americans to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations, strengthening the United Nations system, promoting constructive United States leadership in that system and achieving the goals of the United Nations Charter.

Learn more about UNA-USA's work in support of the United Nations.

Today, UNA-USA is a leading center of policy research on the UN and global issues like peace and security, health, development and human rights. The business council is a leading catalyst for action, understanding and innovative opportunities between member companies and the UN.With nearly 20,000 members nationwide, UNA-USA combines broad grass-roots outreach with high-level policy studies involving scholars and government officials from many parts of the world, identifying fresh ideas and areas of potential cooperation. Through a series of programs, UNA-USA continues to pioneer efforts to involve the American public in the discussion of foreign policy priorities as well as to provide information and educational materials for Congress, the executive branch, corporations, NGOs, the general public and the media.

Through its national network of more than 135 community chapters and divisions, 100-plus- member Council of Organizations and newly reinvigorated National Council, UNA-USA reaches out to millions of concerned citizens who want their voices heard in Washington and at the UN. UNA-USA is also part of the World Federation on United Nations Associations, a larger network of United Nations Associations around the world. With its headquarters a few blocks from the UN in New York and a Washington office, UNA-USA operates with a staff of approximately 50 full-time employees and an annual budget of about $8 million. Operating funds are provided by private foundations, corporations, individuals and membership dues. Nonoperating funds are provided by these sources and government grants.Our aims are to educate Americans about the UN and build constituencies for it through our programs and chapter efforts.

UNA-USA's History
The American Association for the United Nations, UNA-USA's predecessor organization, grew from the League of Nations Association in 1943. A group of prominent citizens, including the first executive director, Clark M. Eichelberger, activated the association to promote acceptance of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals in the late years of World War II,. Among the association's early actions was a national tour by a number of US representatives to spread the word and gain support for American adherence to the Dumbarton proposals, which led to the creation of the UN.

When First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a member of the association’s board of directors, completed her term as a US representative to the UN General Assembly in late 1951, she walked into the association’s offices and asked for something to do. Her offer was gratefully accepted, and in early 1953, she established an office at the association’s headquarters.
This was the quiet beginning of a major campaign in which Mrs. Roosevelt carried the message of the American Association for the United Nations across the country through personal appearances, recruitment speeches and fund-raising efforts that continued until her death in November 1962. She was elected chairwoman of the board in 1961.

In 1964, the association merged with the US Committee for the United Nations, a group of 138 national organizations supporting the work of the UN, thereby creating the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Since then, several distinguished Americans have served in positions of leadership at UNA-USA. These include Arthur J. Goldberg, former Justice of the US Supreme Court and US permanent representative to the United Nations; James S. McDonnell, former chairman of the McDonnell-Douglas Corporation; Elliot L. Richardson, former US attorney general and US representative to the Law of the Sea Conference; William Scranton, former governor of Pennsylvania and US permanent representative to the United Nations; Cyrus Vance, former secretary of state; and John C. Whitehead, former deputy secretary of state.

In 1999, the Business Council for the United Nations joined UNA-USA as a division. Founded in 1958 with the blessing of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, BCUN worked to build support for the UN among business leaders and employers of major US corporations, enjoying the early support of such leaders as former Secretary-General U Thant and US Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman.
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