Luxembourg. WFUNA was founded on 2 August 1946 by 22 United Nations Associations (UNAs). This was one year after the UN Charter was proclaimed with the opening words “We the peoples of the United Nations”. Ever since, WFUNA has been the only global organization with the primary mission of supporting the principles and purposes of the United Nations.
The event represented an opportunity to celebrate WFUNA and United Nations Associations’ achievements since the foundation of the Federation. Representatives from the founding United Nations Associations of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary and Switzerland were present at the meeting, along with representatives from Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, and Sweden.
In his address, WFUNA Secretary-General Bonian Golmohammadi talked about WFUNA’s role as a bridge-builder and peace messenger, bringing together people of divided countries, pushing for the realization of human rights of the most vulnerable, and promoting the sustainable development agenda within the framework of the United Nations. He focused on the importance of a more transparent and accountable United Nations, from the Security Council and the election of the Secretary-General to stronger frameworks for sustaining peace and the protection of victims of conflicts worldwide.
The event included speeches by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, H.E. Mr. Jean Asselborne, who spoke about the necessity to strenghten the United Nations role in upholding the rule of law and human rights; Ms. Deborah Seward, Director of the United Nations Regional Information Center, who focused on the UN’s efforts on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; and Ms. Simone Beck, President of the National Commission of Luxembourg for the cooperation with UNESCO, who stressed the importance of the contribution of civil society for a stronger and more effective United Nations.
A roundtable of the participating UNAs on the bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the framework of WFUNA took place as a side event to the celebration of the 70-th anniversary. The delegates of each participating UNA presented their flagship projects during 2016. The representative of UNA-Bulgaria Mr. Ivaylo Stoimenov presented the “Together to meet the global challenges”, “17 steps” and “Open up the Borders of Our Minds” projects communicating the Sustainable Development Goals with various target groups – high-school and university students, foreign volunteers and refugee youth in Bulgaria.