WASHINGTON, D.C. – Brianna Doran, UNA-USA youth advocate in Brookings, joined more than 500 Americans and grassroots advocates from all 50 states and met with members of Congress and their staff on Tuesday, June 11, to make their voices heard in support of continued U.S. engagement in the U.N. during the United Nations Association of America’s (UNA-USA) annual Global Leadership Summit.
These meetings took place at a pivotal moment for the U.S.-U.N. relationship, as Kelly Knight Craft was expected to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 19 to become U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. With less than a week until the hearing, American advocates were able to directly ask Members of Congress and their staff to maintain full U.S. support for vital UN agencies and programs.
Doran met with staffers from Sen. John Thune, Sen. Mike Rounds, Sen. Hoven (ND), Rep. Dusty Johnson, and Rep. Armstrong (ND) offices. In her meetings, Doran emphasized the numerous reasons why she stands up for the United Nations.
“It’s crucial to keep our seat at the table and use our voice with the U.N. It’s not only federally cost effective to invest in peacekeeping operations, but U.N. efforts are proactive with global matters. Poverty, gender equality and climate action are just a few issues we are dealing with on a local level – but we have the resources with the U.N. to find creative solutions to use on local, national and global scales. The world is stronger when the U.S. takes opportunities to lead, right now we have the choice to be at the forefront of finding these solutions. These are bipartisan issues; we’re standing up for human values, we’re standing up for a stronger, more unified world.”
As the sole representative of South Dakota, Doran learned how to locally work towards the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals as well as participated in the gender equality segment of the Universal Periodic Review for the U.S. – a conducted review of human right practices and challenges of each U.N. Member State.
The events marked the final day of UNA-USA’s Global Leadership Summit, an annual conference that convenes grassroots advocates and community leaders to learn from high-level experts and global activists. Programming took place June 9-10 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.