Welcome, readers, to the inaugural issue of the United Nations (UN) Association of Canada (UNAC), Victoria branch electronic newsletter.
The branch is resurgent (not a reference to a movie). Having been very active for more than 30 years, the branch became inactive about a decade ago. A couple of years ago a young university student took up the challenge of re-activating a Victoria branch and, when that student went east to study law, others took up the project.
Our Annual General Meeting, held on September 10th, represents a milestone. With new bylaws and a new Board of Directors, and fresh input from members, the year ahead can be exciting, notwithstanding COVID-19.
Victoria is a wonderful community for an active UNAC branch. We have three post-secondary institutions that attract students of every age. Many are interested in global affairs, peace-keeping, community and economic development, the work of international agencies, and media coverage of it all. Employers in Greater Victoria also attract more young people who are recently out of school, energetic, and interested in the same range of issues.
At the same time, greater Victoria attracts and is home to many people who have corresponding education and lived experience, with the same broad range of issues and organizations – international media, peace-keeping, research, consulting, work with international agencies, political experience, and more.
Last, but not least, Victoria is home to like-spirited organizations with which we can collaborate: the Canadian International Council, the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Canadian Club, the University of Victoria Model United Nations Club, and more.
We have a wonderful opportunity for inter-generational programs and projects that would benefit participants and the community as a whole.
In these uncertain times, the challenge is to find new ways of getting the message out, attracting people to be involved, and learning.
Whether you are a member, a supporter, or simply interested in knowing more, we want to hear from you. What kinds of face-to-face situations might work well? How can we use technology more widely and more effectively? With each technology, what applications seem to have real value?
Looking past the situation and the technology, when you think of the UN (and Canada’s role in the UN) what do you want to learn? What can you contribute to the learning process? What would you like your friends and neighbours to know about the UN?
There is much to be done. The work will be meaningful and rewarding. The relationships will be long-lasting.
David King, President
P.S. My heartfelt thanks to Belle, and Oscar, Melissa, Natasha, Annie, and two Sheila’s, Sharon, Shourav, Catalina, Josee, and others.