|United Nations Association of Greater Oklahoma City
|United Nations Association of the USA
Greater Oklahoma City Chapter
P.O. Box 60856
Oklahoma City, OK 73146-0856
February, 2011 -- As more than 3,000 soldiers from
the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th infantry combat
brigade are deploying to Afghanistan this month, the
United Nations is already there.
The members of the OKC chapter of the United Nations Association wish a safe and speedy return to our
friends and neighbors who are serving in the Oklahoma National Guard. We know the emergence of peace
and security in Afghanistan is a goal of the world community. There is a widespread consensus that stability in
Afghanistan will be achieved only by the development of a free and secure Afghan society -- including the building
up of "robust democratic institutions based on the rule of law and the clear respect for the separation of powers." (1)
The United Nations is supporting the goal of stability in Afghanistan in a
number of ways -- through landmine clearance operations, polio eradication
campaigns, primary and adult education programs, activities of the World
Food Program, agricultural development programs, and more.
In March, 2002, the UN Security Council -- acting with the explicit and full
support of America's ambassador to the United Nations -- created the United
Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The mandate of
UNAMA is to support the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to improve
critical areas -- including security, governance and economic development, and regional cooperation.
"The mandate also recognizes the critical importance of monitoring and coordination of efforts to protect civilians
and support wider human rights, in particular the rights of women and children. In addition, UNAMA works hand-
in-hand with United Nations agencies, funds and programs providing a wide range of humanitarian support to the
Afghan people as well as policy and program support to various Government
Ministries on development matters." (Source: unama.unmissions.org).
UNAMA is helping to bring peace to Afghanistan through a thoughtful, coherent
program of international assistance:
<> In 2010, UNAMA provided strategic help and technical assistance to the
independent Afghan bodies created to organize and lead the 2010 parliamentary
<> UNAMA has fostered national dialogue in Afghanistan -- encouraging regional
engagement by assisting Afghans in finding proper avenues to pursue constructive and inclusive dialogue and in
fostering a conducive political environment;
<> It has supported the "Kabul Silk Road" initiative which brings together Afghanistan's neighbors to discuss and
promote regional political, security and economic cooperation, including confidence-building measures;
<> It has promoted coordination of UN and international aid by assisting the Government of Afghanistan in
identifying its priorities and putting in place an Afghan-led coordination framework.
For more on UNAMA, see the website of
the Better World Campaign ... HERE.
As for our little chapter of the UN
Association, we have been supporting the
people of Afghanistan in a couple of ways:
(1) Through our Human Rights video
series, we help to educate Oklahomans
about the many ways that fundamental
human rights are violated by the conditions
brought on by war and persistent poverty. Solutions to these problems are also addressed. The problem of landmines
has been one of our special concerns.
(2) Through our promotion of the UN Foundation's "Girl Up" program, we raise awareness about the security issues
faced by adolescent girls, including young women in Afghanistan. We know that, "Keeping Girls Safe is a Global
Issue." ( See the short video ... http://www.youtube.com/girlupcampaign#p/f/3/zYUUnmJOkkQ ).
With particular regard to the problem of landmines, we
are proud that the United Nations Association has, over
a ten year period, raised over $25 million for mine action,
cleared over 1,000 minefields, and assisted thousands of
survivors. Our own Oklahoma City chapter has raised
several thousand dollars for landmine clearance activities.
And, not least, we are very proud of our support of the
International Day of Peace -- September 21st each year --
which helps to promote a culture of peace in our schools,
our communities, and among all nations.
Check out this 2-minute video to find out what a
difference Peace Day makes in a conflict zone like
Peace Day in Afghanistan:
Martin Bell, UNICEF UK Ambassador
By supporting these UN activities, we hope to foster the
conditions in Afghanistan that will permit the earliest
possible withdrawal of U.S. and NATO armed forces.
(1) From a statement by UNAMA on February 15, 2011.
"Afghanistan's peaceful future lies in the building up of robust
democratic institutions based on the rule of law and the clear
respect for the separation of powers."
Wishing a Safe Return to
Oklahoma's National Guard
The United Nations is already there.
|We want all of our family,
friends and neighbors in the
Oklahoma National Guard to
come home safe and
Photo Credit: Cpt. Geoff Legler,
Oklahoma National Guard
Office of Public Affairs
The Metropolitan Library System has a
video on landmine clearance.
It is part of our DVD video series,
“What’s Going On?” Find out more ... ...
UN Agencies operating in
Afghanistan -- a partial list:
UNDP (United Nations Development Program)
UNAMA (UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan)
UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development)
UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)
UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Org.)
UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund for Afghanistan)
UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees)
UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)
UNIDO (UN Industrial Development Organization)
UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women)
UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
Killeen Daily Herald
|Photo: Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Say "Thank You" to Oklahoma's Congressman Tom Cole
On Feb. 18, 2011, during a debate on an appropriations bill, Rep. Cole voted against
an amendment that would have barred the payment of U.S. dues to the United Nations.
It was a courageous vote, putting Mr. Cole at odds with other members of Oklahoma's
Congressional delegation. By voting "no," Rep. Cole preserved America's standing in
the United Nations. He made it possible for President Obama to continue to work with
and gain support from our allies in the UN. It was a responsible and mature vote. It
was a decision that deserves our thanks.
Please express your appreciation to Rep. Cole by adding your name to our online
"Thank You" page ... CLICK HERE. Also, if you live in Mr. Cole's district (Norman, Ada,
Ardmore, Lawton, etc.), please be sure to comment on his vote. His "contact" form
is on his website, here ... http://cole.house.gov/contact/
Rep. Cole has offices in
Norman (405-329-6500), &