Global Ties, Local Conversations: An Inter-faith Dialogue on Women and Equality


Click here to rsvp with link to the registration form:

August 28 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Global Ties, Local Conversations: An Inter-faith Dialogue on Women and Equality
Panel moderated by Dr. Shelly Cline, Public Historian, Midwest Holocaust Center

8:30 breakfast, 9:00 panel discussion

Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Founders’ Hall, 415 W. 13th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

This is a free event and includes breakfast.

General Information

Cleaver letter

The United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City is one of 135 chapters nationwide dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and vital work of the United Nations in the Greater Kansas City Metro area. Our education, policy and advocacy programs emphasize the importance of cooperation among nations and the need for American leadership at the UN.
Our educational and advocacy programs strive to engage our community and develop international leadership skills among youth with a passion for making the world a better place. 
We are particularly proud of the linkage of the founding of the United Nations to President Harry S. Truman.


It is because of this connection that the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City built The United Nations Peace Plaza in Independence, Missouri. The United Nations Peace Plaza was unveiled on October 27, 1997, formally dedicated by U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan on April 25, 2003, and is described by its creators as "the only memorial in the world to those persons serving in the Peacekeeping Forces of the United Nations…" The 12.5-foot statue is named "Girl with Dove" by its sculptor Tom Corbin[ and in 2003, a four-foot miniature was gifted to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City
“The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members.” 
Harry S. Truman 





IMG_0430Some of the challenges addressed by the United Nations and requiring support from the Metro Kansas City Region include:

Extreme poverty of the "bottom billion," those living on less than $1 per day
Climate change-an unprecedented threat to the survival of nations and the planet
Furthering of women’s rights and empowerment internationally
Hunger and disease that annually cause nearly 9 million preventable deaths
Unimaginable destruction wrought by natural disasters
Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament; banning landmines, cluster bombs, and other anti-personnel munitions

Mayor’s UN Day Dinner Monday Oct. 27

The United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City invites everyone to join Mayor Sly James for the annual Mayor's UN Day Dinner October 27, 2014 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. reception at 6:15 p.m.
We are celebrating the work of the United Nations.
The event will be held at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza located at 401 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64112.

Join the Mayors of Kansas City on the occasion of the 69th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 44th Anniversary of the Mayor’s UN Day Dinner as they welcome to K.C. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, former U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Individual tickets for the event can be purchased for $60 each.
Table Host for ten (10) @$600
Dinner Sponsor: tables for ten (10) $700 each and acknowledged as a sponsor in the dinner program.

Registration is now closed.

MayorJames“Our city’s support for the United Nations goes back to the organization’s founding in 1945, when resident Harry S. Truman, a Kansas City-area native, signed the UN Charter.

To this day, Kansas City has a special relationship with the United Nations. It is in Kansas City that America buys the food we donate abroad through our government, charities and the UN World Food Program. And we are home to Hallmark Cards, which is the exclusive supplier of all United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) cards and gifts sold in the United States.

Our City’s collective vision for peace and hope is highlighted at the Mayor’s UN Day Dinner, where we celebrate the mission of the UN and welcome accomplished speakers such as Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo.We welcome Ambassador DiCarlo and appreciate the time she has taken to share her experiences with us.”

– Mayor Sylvester James, Jr.


Keynote by Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo

dicarlo newAmbassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo retired in September from the State Department after an exemplary career in the service of her country. Ambassador DiCarlo most recently was the U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a position she assumed in July 2010 and held until she retired in September 2014. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she previously served as U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs to the U.N., and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Ambassador DiCarlo also served as the Director for United Nations Affairs at the National Security Council and as Washington Deputy to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Ambassador DiCarlo’s overseas assignments included tours at the U.S. Embassies in Moscow and Oslo. She also held the positions of U.S. Coordinator for Stability Pact Implementation (Southeast Europe) and Director for Democratic Initiatives for the New Independent States at the Department of State. Earlier in her career, she served as Coordinator for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Information Agency.

Ambassador DiCarlo is a recipient of the State Department’s Sustained Superior Achievement, Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards. Before joining the Foreign Service, she was a member of the Secretariat of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


World Citizen Award 2014

jayphoto copyMayor James will present this year's KC World Citizen of the Year award to Jay Sjerven, president emeritus of the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City. Jay also is a member of the Steering Committee of the Council of Chapters and Regions of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. He served 10 years as the Greater Kansas City chapter’s president, from January 2004 until December 2013. In January 2014, he was named president emeritus, the first in the chapter’s history. Jay joined the UNA in 2002 at the urging of his parents, Mel and Ione Sjerven, who were charter members of the Greater Kansas City chapter.

Jay helped carry forward the tradition of the Kansas City Mayor’s UN Day Dinner, the longest-standing official city observance of UN Day in the United States. He helped establish the annual UN Peacekeepers Round Table, where international military officers share their experiences as peacekeepers. In collaboration with the Harry S Truman Library, the UNA chapter, under Jay’s leadership, helped organize Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s visit to the UN Peace Plaza and the Truman Library. Jay convened several UNA Round Tables on International Food and Agriculture Assistance.

He paid particular attention to developing a younger and more diverse chapter leadership, a new generation of UN advocates. Professionally, Jay is senior editor, markets, at Sosland Publishing Company, where he has worked since 1982.

World Citizen Awards

~ Roster of World Citizens Awardees
       ( Chapter founded December 16, 1971
YEAR Name of Awardees
1973 Mrs. E. Grey Dimond
1974 Charles Bebb
1975 Jim Burke
1976 Dr. John Swomley
1977 Dr. Eliot Berkley
1978 Madeleine Brock
1979 American Field Service and Catholic Charities
1980 Mayor Ilus David
1981 E. Grey Dimond, M.D.
1982 Louann and Sheldon Stahl
1983 Manny Pedram, PhD
1984 Marreitte Yeckel, PhD
1985 Ambassador and Mrs. Charles Price
1986 Priscilla Wilson
1987 Marry Morgan
1988 Gus Leimkuhler
1989 Charles Gusewelle
1990 David Wolfe
1991 Information missing
1992 Suzanne Gladney
1993 Henry Mitchell, PhD
1994 Benedict K. Zobrist, PhD
1995 William McSweeney
1996 Terri Petri
1997 Charles Wheeler, MD, JD
1998 William A. Voss
1999 Dr. Robert Meneilly
2000 Mary McNellis, Sl
2001 Lillian G. Pardo, M.D.
2002 James Everett
2003 Frank Koranda, D.O.
2004 James and Virginia Stowers
2005 Sharon Kirkpatrick, PhD.
2006 Michael B. Wood
2007 James Malouf
2008 GaryMorsch, M.D.
2009 Nicholas Comninelis, M.D.
2010 Gary White
2011 People to People Intl of Greater Kansas City
2012 Steve Youngblood
2013 Robert Chien
2014 Jay Sjerven


GenUN – Student Memberships


GenUN, a national student initiative of UNA-USA, engages a generation of young people in the work of the United Nations by empowering them to inform, inspire, and mobilize their peers to support the vital work of the UN. Globally minded middle school, high school, and college students can promote constructive United States leadership at the UN by participating in an array of UNA-USA activities at the local and national levels. 

Whether you are a Model UN delegate, an advocate for reducing global poverty, an international affairs student, or new to the work of international organizations, GenUN offers you the opportunity to participate in a nationwide movement for the United Nations. As the next generation of leaders in the international community, students stand poised to take action and make a difference in their schools, communities, and country. Explore the opportunities for students and young people to help build a strong U.S.-UN relationship and a better world.

Student Memberships

Become a Member of UNA-USA

UNA-USA is proud to offer middle school, high school, and college students FREE memberships. Your membership links you to a network of like-minded students who promote the work of the UN at the grassroots level.

If in the Greater Kansas City area please list chapter on your membership application (Choose a Chapter). 

Join here!


Don’t Forfeit American Leadership at the United Nations

After more than two decades of Congressional controversy over the payment of U.S.

contributions to the UN regular budget, peacekeeping, and UN specialized agencies and

voluntary programs, the United States fully funded its commitments to the United Nations

system in recent years. Unfortunately, in light of the serious budgetary challenges currently

facing our country, staying in good financial standing at the UN could be quite difficult in Fiscal

Year (FY) 2014. Specifically, unless Congress acts to address funding shortfalls for UN

peacekeeping likely to be accumulated in FY’13, it is possible that the U.S. could go into arrears

with regards to its peacekeeping dues.


At a time when the United States and United Nations are working together to address some of

the world’s most pressing challenges—from the humanitarian needs of civilians fleeing Syria’s

civil war, to ongoing instability and governance challenges in South Sudan, the Democratic

Republic of the Congo, Mali, Afghanistan, and Iraq, to the continued threat posed by the Iranian

and North Korean nuclear programs—it is more important than ever that America maintain its

longstanding commitment to global leadership and engagement by fully funding the UN.



Please support full funding for the UN regular and peacekeeping budgets:


$2.183 billion for UN peacekeeping operations funded under the Contributions to

International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account. We also request $347 million

for the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account, which provides voluntary funding to

several critical regional peacekeeping missions.


$1.57 billion for the Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) account,

which funds the UN regular budget and specialized agencies. In addition, we ask that

Congress provide the President with waiver authority to fund UNESCO, as requested

in his FY’14 budget.


Lift the arbitrary 25% peacekeeping cap and allow the U.S. to pay its peacekeeping

dues at the full assessed rate of 28.4%.



The importance of continuing to fully fund the UN:


Assessed contributions are vital as they are the primary source of reliable funding for core

UN activities, such as peacekeeping. The U.S. is assessed 22 percent of the UN’s regular

budget and 28 percent of the UN’s peacekeeping budget. (However, an outdated


Congressional mandate caps U.S. expenditures at 25 percent of the UN’s peacekeeping

budget.) Currently, more than 75% of the UN’s total assessed budget is spent on

peacekeeping, and since no mission can operate without the United States’ vote in the

Security Council, this means that the U.S. directly determines a majority of the UN’s

assessed budget. In addition, U.S. financial support for UN peacekeeping is highly cost-

effective. A 2006 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that UN

peacekeeping is eight times cheaper than fielding a comparable U.S. force.


 In order to continue to effectively use our influence at the UN and press for greater

accountability, we must maintain our seat at the table. Some of the most significant

reforms undertaken by the UN in recent years have occurred because we are current on our

dues and willing to use our seat at the table to press for improvements. Efforts to

strengthen UN oversight and transparency, the creation of a new ethics office, and the

consolidation of four disparate entities into UN Women, have all come at a time when the

U.S. is constructively-engaged with the body and up to date on its financial obligations.

Reforms and accountability come from engagement, not estrangement.


 Cutting UN funding undermines U.S. national security objectives by jeopardizing UN

programs that serve critical U.S. interests and severely erodes U.S. legitimacy and respect

abroad. Not fully funding the UN would undermine U.S. national security, severely erode

U.S. legitimacy abroad and cause massive new U.S. debt to the UN. In addition, it would

seriously impact UN political missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and potentially result in the

U.S. paying significantly more for these initiatives than it currently does. These missions are

paid for out of our assessed dues and are effective because they are funded by all member

states and therefore carry international legitimacy.


 Failing to meet our obligations will diminish our ability to leverage the UN in support of

 vital U.S. interests. In recent years, the UN Security Council has authorized military action

to protect innocent lives in Libya, imposed tough new sanctions on Iran and North Korea to

curb their illicit nuclear programs, and established critical new peacekeeping missions to

improve security and spur development in South Sudan. In addition, in recent months the

Council has also voted unanimously to create new peacekeeping mandates to help stabilize

the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali. Why would we retreat from the UN when

we have seen effective action on issues that are central to our foreign policy interests?


 Fully funding UNESCO and other UN specialized agencies is critical to advancing core U.S.

interests. In October 2011, the General Conference of the United Nations Educational,

Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted overwhelmingly to admit the

Palestinians as a member state. However, in light of two U.S. laws enacted in the early

1990s that prohibit the U.S. from funding any UN entity that recognizes the Palestinians, the

U.S. was forced to immediately cut all funding to UNESCO. This loss of funding is damaging

to UNESCO and the U.S. itself, as the agency supports literacy training for Afghan police,

tsunami warning capabilities in the Pacific, and a number of other activities that advance a

wide range of U.S. interests and priorities. In addition, these laws could threaten the work 

of a host of other UN agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The President’s FY’14 budget requests full

funding for UNESCO as well as waiver authority to bypass these damaging laws. In light of

the fact that the U.S. will lose its vote at the next UNESCO General Conference in October if

Congress doesn’t act, it is critical that they fulfill these requests.



An International Women’s Day Symposium

An International Women's Day Symposium: Women in the Age of Globalization: Setbacks, Promises and Possibilities 

Presented by UNA Women and the National Archives at Kansas City with sponsorship from the Lawrence D. Starr Glbal Studies Institute at the University of Saint Mary

March 8, 2014
National Archives at Kansas City 

Two women, with distinctly different global experiences, will compare and contrast the setbacks, promises, and possibilities of women today in the world of international affairs and business. This program is presented in recognition of International Women’s Day.

About the speakers

Mona Ali, RN, is a Somali-American who has lived in the United States for 18 years. After the civil war started in Somalia, she and her family fled immediately to Kenya, which borders Somalia. The migration to Kenya enabled them to restart their lives and seek resettlement through the United Nations. Thereafter, Ms. Ali came to the United States, where she has rebuilt her future. She lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home to thousands of Somalis, and attended nursing school, graduating in 2004. She is currently director of Crystal Home Health Care in Kansas City, Missouri and the mother of four children. She hopes she can be positive role model to other female immigrants. Ms. Ali will describe her journey and the opportunities she has been granted by coming to the United States.

Martha Jalali Rabbani joined the Humanities and Western Civilization Program faculty at the University of Kansas in 2004 as a lecturer in peace and conflict studies. A Brazilian, she holds a bachelors and master degrees from universities in Brazil, an advanced diploma in peace studies and conflict resolution from the European Peace University in Schlainnin, Austria, and a doctorate in humanities from Jaume I University in Spain. Dr. Rabbani's teaching and research are in peace education, global democracy, and world citizenship. She has authored several articles on peace education. Dr. Rabbani's most recent book is The Development and Anti-Development Debate: Critical Reflections on the Philosophical Foundations published in 2011. Dr. Rabbani will discuss how women worldwide have been impacted by the Global Development Project and how the Millennium Development Goals seek to address this condition and empower women in the impoverished regions of the world.

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) annually on March 8 during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labor movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.

This program is sponsored by the UNA Women of the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City and the Lawrence D. Starr Global Studies Institute at the University of Saint Mary. Program partners include the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University; Global and Multicultural Education (G.A.M.E.); Zonta Club of Kansas City, Missouri; and the American Association of University Women of Greater Kansas City.

UNA Women is a program of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) that works to advance important and timely issues related to women and girls. UNA Women advocate for UN programs that further women’s rights and empowerment internationally.

Envision, Empower, Embrace: Inspiring Change for Women Inaugural Event

“Mobilizing Communities to Make Cities Safer for 
Women and Girls – Local Action, Global Impact”

UNA Women Inaugural Event benefitting Sheffield Place and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women

Keynote speaker from UN Women

Saturday, April 26, 2014 

Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Founder's Hall

415 W. 13th St., Kansas City, MO  64105

Please join us for a night of inspiring oratory, performance, and art.  Come together with us to celebrate the beginning of UNA Women- GKC.  

Let's continue the conversation, raise awareness and inspire change for women and girls locally and globally.

Keynote address from UN Women Representative

* Special performance by Barclay Martin

* Learn about the work of Sheffield Place

* Art exhibit featuring female artists

* Benefit Raffle sponsored by Zonta II Club of Kansas City

* Tickets include food and beverages, including two drink tickets for wine or beer

UNA Women is a committee of the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City.  

My World Conference

The United Nations Association of the United States

United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City and
Johnson County Community College Model United Nations

Cordially Invites You to Join Us for a
 Conversation About
The Post 2015 Millennium Development Goals Framework.

Around the world, consultations are taking place to exchange ideas and gather views on a shared vision of

"The World We Want”

The aim of the program is to invite wider participation in the dialogue about the post-2015 development agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals and set out a new framework for the global development community.  Through a nationwide consultation process the United Nations Association of the United States is gathering views from Americans about what they want for themselves and the global community.  We hope you will join us in this global conversation.

Date: November 16, 2013

Place: Regnier Center at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

To Join In – Please RSVP as follows and reply as soon as possible or no later than November 9th, 2013.
Please RSVP reply to (Brian Wright) and tell us about the 3 topic areas you are most interested.

Complete the My World survey at ( )
(Note: this is a special URL for this event! Please use this link to complete the survey so we have accurate results for our Chapter/Division)

 Our conversation will include a group discussion concerning topic areas focused on:

1) Affordable and nutritious food

2) Equality between men and women & freedom from discrimination and persecution (combined)

3) A good education

4) Action taken on climate change & Access to clean water and sanitation (combined)

5) Better healthcare

6) Phone and internet access  


Agenda for November 16 My World Conference
9:00-9:30 Registration

9:30 to 10:30 Welcome/Introduction

10:30 to 11:30 Break into focus/groups

11:30 to 1:00 lunch (free provided)

1:00-2:30 Focus groups report back to full group and discussion

2:30 to 3:00 p.m. Closing comments


UNA-USA Consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

 Around the world, UN Country teams have been convening national consultations on the post 2015 development agenda, a global strategy that would succeed the Millennium Development Goals.  The primary objective of these consultations is to exchange ideas and gather views on a shared vision of "The World We Want", in an open process tailored to country contexts.  This global conversation responds to a growing call for active participation in shaping the 'world we want'.  The consultations are intended to provide evidence and perspectives to governments on the challenges people face in improving their lives and those of their families and communities.  The consultations also seek to encourage more people to submit their views on the survey at

As part of this global effort, the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA), a program of the United Nations foundation, is conducting a series of conversations throughout the United States. UNA-USA is a membership organization dedicated to inform, inspire, and mobilize the American people to support the ideals and vital work of the United Nations.  

The objective of the U.S. consultation program is to gather views from Americans throughout the United States about the post-2015 development agenda, what they want for themselves and the global community. The program aims to invite wider participation in the dialogue about the post-2015 global development framework and foster a community of advocates who will remain engaged and provide grassroots level support for the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 

Specifically ten lead UNA-USA chapters/regions will host one-day events to invite the participation of their communities in the broader dialogue. The chapters/regions include:  Chicago (Oct. 24), Seattle (Nov. 2), New York (Nov. 8), Kansas City (Nov. 16), Tampa Bay (Nov. 19), North Carolina, (Nov. 23), Southern California (Dec. 7), Denver (first week in Dec), Iowa (TBD), and Northern California (TBD).  The events will be chapter lead – so programs may vary – but will include shared presentation materials and focus groups based on the themes in the Myworld2015 survey. Chapters will also partner with Save the Children USA as well as other groups in an effort to include as wide a range of people as possible.   

The consultations will conclude with a comprehensive report summarizing the results of the UNA-USA consultations to be presented to the UN. 


2014 UN Peacekeepers Event

Jordie Hannum, Director of the Better World Campaign
Seven international military officers from seven nations — Australia, Bangladesh, Italy, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan and Uganda — will participate in a round table discussion on their peacekeeping experiences.  We are delighted that for the first time a female officer will be a Peacekeepers Round Table participant.
We also are honored to welcome Jordie Hannum, director of the Better World Campaign, who will discuss America's stake in  supporting UN peacekeeping operations. After the discussion, we will join the officers in laying a wreath at the UN Peace Plaza. The names of more than 100 UN peacekeepers who died while on mission in the latest year will be read.
The UN Peacekeepers Round Table is a program of the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City, The Harry S. Truman Library, Community of Christ, and the Harry S. Truman Center for Governmental Affairs in cooperation with the International Student Division of the U.S.. Army Command & General Staff College.
MAY 10, 2014
A Tribute to UN Peacekeepers
Guest Speaker:
 Jordie Hannum, Director, Better World Campaign
Round Table with International Military Officers with Peacekeeping Experience
Moderated by Mike Wood
1:30 Reception & 2:30-4:00 p.m. Program
Community of Christ Temple
201 So. River Blvd., Independence, MO
(Parking and Main Entrance on the East Side of the Temple)
 4:15 p.m. Wreath-Laying
Honoring U.N. Peacekeepers Who Died on Mission in the Past Year.
U.N. Peace Plaza (corner of W. Lexington Ave. and W. Walnut St. in Independence)
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