2013 January | UNA Greater Seattle Chapter

United Nations Association Greater Seattle Chapter

Seattle’s Brook Loughrin selected by State Dept as first-ever student observer at the UN!

January 20th, 2013 by unaseattle

Great article regarding Brook Loughrin.  Brook made ties with UNA Seattle when she went on former board member, Abdi Sami’s tour to Iran, sponsored by UNA of Greater Seattle.  She was a student at Lakeside, and gave a program on the Iran tour at St. Mark’s Cathedral.

(Keith Bedford/Insider Images for United Nations Foundation)


Boston College junior Brooke Loughrin, the first-ever US Youth Observer at the United Nations, poses alongside Ambassador Susan E. Rice, the US’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
By Matt Rocheleau, Town Correspondent
The State Department has picked a Boston College junior as the US’ first-ever “youth observer” at the United Nations.
Brooke Loughrin, a Seattle-area native, is at the UN Headquarters in New York City for the ongoing 67th annual regular session of the UN General Assembly after being selected through a pilot program by the US State Department, according to a press release from the United Nations Association of the USA, which has helped organize the program.
Loughrin has an extensive background traveling and studying the globe, including a particular focus on the Islamic culture, the Middle East and Iran – which have been prominent topics at this year’s UN General Assembly, the release said.
More than 730 applications were submitted by people from 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to the release. Student applicants hailed from 236 different colleges and universities across the country.
“UNA-USA is launching an unprecedented program today that connects young people with the United Nations,” Patrick Madden, the association’s executive director, said in a statement.
“While other countries have sent youth representatives to the UN over the years, now young people in the U.S. will have a voice at the United Nations General Assembly for the first time,” the statement continued. “Today, the next generation of global engagement takes a huge leap forward.”
Loughrin will watch the United Nations in action and attend other high-profile meetings and events, including a number of events around the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee, commonly referred to as the “Third Committee,” of the General Assembly, officials said.
She is reporting back about her experiences, including writing blog entries,, uploading photos to Flickr and posting updates via Twitter.
She is also scheduled to travel to speak to UNA-USA chapters around the country and will advise the organization on potential future roles for youth at the United Nations, the release said.
Loughrin is enrolled in the Presidential Scholars Program at Boston College studying political science and Islamic Civilizations and Societies.
She is also an undergraduate research fellow, whose research focuses on politics, religion and civil society in the Middle East and Iran’s social history, contemporary domestic politics and foreign relations, officials said.
She is editor-in-chief of BC’s Middle Eastern and Islamic studies journal “Al-Noor,” and is vice president of the college’s Iranian Culture Club.
In Boston, Loughrin volunteers for the African Community Economic Development of New England organization, Haley House, and in the education department of the Suffolk County House of Corrections, officials said.
Since 2005, she has also volunteered for the Fabric of Life Foundation, based near Seattle.
She has studied abroad in Visakhapatnam, India and Dakar, Senegal, and has traveled extensively in Iran, Turkey, Nicaragua, and Tajikistan, officials said.
For more information on the U.S. Youth Observer program, visit www.unausa.org/usyouth.
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.

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Poll: Americans’ Global Priorities for Obama Second Term by UNA-USA

January 17th, 2013 by unaseattle

Americans’ Global Priorities for Obama Second Term: Support for UN is in Our Best Interest

Bringing troops home, Middle East, global economy top voters’ international priority issues

Washington, D.C. (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Jan. 16, 2013) – As President Obama prepares to begin a second term with new cabinet members and a Congress with more than 90 new members, bipartisan polling data released today by the Better World Campaign provides a clear picture of American priorities on international affairs.
The poll reveals that approximately eight in 10 voters say it is important for the U.S. to maintain an active role in the United Nations, and further that it is in America’s best interest to continue to actively support the UN. More than two thirds favor paying our dues to the UN on time and in full, and say that the UN has been supportive of America’s goals and objectives around the world.


“We are a responsible nation — a nation that understands that international cooperation is vital to our national security and foreign policy priorities.  As we work to emerge from a recession and the faces of our foreign policy leadership change, Americans understand, we need to stand with our partners to make real change on the international stage,” said Peter Yeo, Executive Director of the Better World Campaign.


Poll respondents were also asked what specific international issues they want the Administration to address and help resolve. Strong consensus emerged on bringing troops home and ending the war; creating peace in the Middle East and Israel; and addressing the global economy.

“Even—or perhaps especially—amid concerns about a teetering global economy, Americans cite strong support for involvement in the UN,” added Yeo. “Indeed, Americans’ priority issues are the ones that the United Nations addresses directly on a daily basis.  From promoting sustainable development and poverty reduction through the Millennium Development Goals, to aiding troop withdrawals in Afghanistan by disarming rebel groups, strengthening judicial systems and training police forces, the UN is directly supporting American objectives.”

Additionally, when given brief descriptions of UN specialized agencies, 82 percent said it’s important for the U.S. to be a member of UNESCO; 87 percent said it’s important to be a member of the World Food Program; and 92 percent said it’s important to be a member of the World Health Organization.

The nationwide poll of likely voters, conducted January 6-9 by the bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates, surveyed 900 registered voters (630 landline/ 270 cell) with a margin of error of ± 3.27 percent.

For a memo detailing the full results of the polling, click here.

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