Leaders in the San Fernando Valley Chapter (SFV) of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) met with Congressman Brad Sherman (D-30th District) during his Congressional recess period to discuss pressing issues on United Nations Advocacy, the Sustainable Development Goals, Women’s Issues, Peace & Security.
Congressman Sherman reaffirmed his full support for continued U.S. policy leadership and shared funding with other countries for UN agencies in partnership with the private sector and civil society critical to achieving the Global Goals, when asked by David Tuckman, SFV Chapter President, So. Cal. Division Secretary and former UNA-USA National Council Young Professionals Chair. Sherman said he will continue his track record of strong support and encouraging his colleagues to support UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) among others.
The UN currently oversees 16 peacekeeping operations with nearly 125,000 personnel, constituting the largest deployed military force in the world. Tuckman informed Sherman’s Policy Aide John Brodtke that, “Given its position as a permanent veto-wielding members of the Security Council, no UN peacekeeping operation can be deployed without U.S. consent and in fact, both Republican & Democratic Administrations have used U.S. influence at the Council to champion new missions with more complex mandates and in fact is far cheaper than sending in U.S. military personnel.”
Brodtke agreed with Tuckman that collective actions have proven effective to suppress warfare, and the growing threat of non-state violence and terrorism through the success of peacekeeping operations. Tuckman explained that. “Over the past seven years, Congress has led the way to full funding if UN Peacekeeping and this year, it is more important than ever that we fulfill our funding obligations to set the stage for a new administration and Congress.”
Sherman said he, like his constituents, support paying our UN peacekeeping dues of $2.445 billion on time and in full.
Like peacekeeping the UNA-USA also asked Sherman to support domestic and global efforts to seek gender equality including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Chapter Secretary Maureen Lerner said that, “[w]omen are all too often denied access to basic education and healthcare. Alison Tuckman, a UNA-USA Young Professionals member added, “Women throughout the world suffer violence and discrimination, occupational discrimination and gender wage gaps and it needs to stop.”
While CEDAW ratification needs to be achieved in the U.S. Senate, Congressman Sherman who serves in the House, can still reach out to his Senate colleagues to encourage ratification, Brodtke said.
On Sustainable Development, the UN General Assembly adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals, number 13 being Climate Action. More than 85 developing countries have partnered to advance over fifty High Impact Opportunities (HIOs) with a wide range of stakeholders undertaking action that will have significant potential to advance Sustainable Energy for all, said Marsha Marcus, chapter board member-at-large.
“The Paris Agreement covers crucial areas: reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal: establishing a transparent review system for climate action; strengthening the ability of countries to deal with climate impacts,” Tuckman explained, adding that, “The Paris Agreement will establish by the end of 2018, a financial support plan for sustainable development,” which the Congressman supports.
With over one billion people still living in extreme poverty, ongoing world conflicts and the positive impact of the UN demonstrated every day—the U.N. is needed more than ever and the Chapter Delegation demonstrated the strong advocacy of ordinary citizens to advance United Nations Association Advocacy Priorities and the strong support of Congressman Brad Sherman to advancing the ideals, goals and principles of the United Nations.