The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) and the UN welcomed nearly 1000 Republicans to the United Nations headquarters today and yesterday for events hosted during the Republican National Convention including free tours, a reception for dignitaries, and a youth event.
Today, over 650 young Republicans attended a briefing on the UN where they heard from UN officials on issues ranging from UN reform to the UN’s role in Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan. Last night, a reception was held for the International Democrat Union (IDU), an international association of conservative political parties. Special guests and speakers included Louise Frechette, UN Deputy Secretary-General, and Catherine Bertini, UN Under Secretary-General for Management.
Additionally, free tours of the UN were offered to all Republican delegates and their families. Free passes for the tours were included in a brochure called, “American Leadership at the United Nations,” which highlighted the work of seven high-level Americans working at the UN.
“This is a unique opportunity to bring both young Republicans and conservative political leaders to the United Nations. The chance to meet UN leadership, in particular its many talented Americans, offers a needed perspective on the organization and its work,” said Kathy Bushkin, Executive Vice President of the UN Foundation.
These programs are part of the UN Foundation’s ongoing mission to encourage a greater understanding of and appreciation for the critical role of the United Nations in addressing many of the world’s most pressing problems.
Today’s group of young Republicans, numbering approximately 650 people, was composed primarily of members from six organizations: the Young Republicans, College Republicans, Junior State of America, The Washington Center, Republican Youth Majority and Lead America.
“Given the state of world affairs and our own national security concerns, we thought a visit to the UN was a unique opportunity to learn first hand about the work of the Organization,” said John Kornacki, Director of the Election Program at the Junior Statesmen Foundation and a Professor at George Washington University.
Attendees of today’s event began their visit with a 45 minute tour of the UN Headquarters. At the completion of their tours they attended an hour long program held in the UN’s Trusteeship Council Chamber where they heard from UN officials on a host of issues and participated in a question and answer session.
“Visiting the UN was a great way for our members to become better acquainted with the work of the Organization in countries like the Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan, countries where the U.S. is very engaged,” said Corinne Schwarz, co-chair of the College Republican National Committee.
The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist R.E. Turner’s historic gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.