On Wednesday October 24, in honor of the 67th anniversary of United Nations Day, Jan Miyasaki spoke with Barbara Nichols, president of the United Nations, USA Dane County Chapter. Barbara is also the first African American woman to head the American Nurses Association and the Wisconsin Nurses Association, and has recently retired as the Chief Executive Officer on the Commission of Graduates on Foreign Nursing Schools. Also joining the discussion was Melissa Hilbrenner in New York with the UNA USA National Office with the Girl Up campaign.
Barbara explains, “The UN Day Celebration is on the day that the UN received its charter, and the day reaffirms the mission and values of the UN, which are to stop war, work for justice, and address the silent crises of hunger, disease and poverty. The significance of this day is for all individuals to pledge as one human family to create a better world for all.” The UN, says Barbara, “provides food for 90 million people in 73 countries; vaccinates 2.5 million children a year; assists 36 million refugees and people fleeing from famine, war, or persecution; keeps the peace with 120,000 peacekeepers in operations in 16 countries across four continents; promotes mental health; saves the lives of over 30 million women a year; and has over 80 treaties that deal with human rights and social justice; assists 30 countries in elections, and has worked to fight poverty in over 370 million areas.”
Melissa Hilbrenner, with UNA USA, explains the mission of the Girl Up campaign, “it engages teen girls [in the US] to learn about the issues… and it ensures future opportunities for women and girls worldwide. We are building future UN supporters and future global leaders by engaging a teen girl audience. We are trying to impact the lives of girls in developing countries through UN programs.” Focusing on five aspects of the girls’ lives: education, health services, safety and leadership, the campaign is currently working with several UN agencies to fund programs in four countries, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, and Guatemala. Apart from the Girl Up campaign, the UNA USA also focuses on malaria, vaccination campaigns, maternal health, and energy sustainability, among many others.
Learn more about the Girl Up Campaign here.
For information about upcoming UNA-USA Dane County Events, click here.
Listen to the full interview here: