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Indybay Feature
UNA Santa Cruz Celebrates Nobel Prize and United Nations Day
by Steve Pleich (spleich [at] gmail.com)
Friday Oct 23rd, 2020 12:59 PM
UN World Food Program Awarded 2020 Nobel Peace Prize
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October 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948 and marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, the United Nations officially came into being. This year, UN Day is particularly notable as UNA Santa Cruz celebrates the awarding of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations World Food Program. The world’s largest humanitarian organization was awarded the prize Friday for “its contributions to bettering conditions for peace in conflict affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”. The Nobel Committee went on to say that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Food Program has demonstrated an impressive ability to intensify its efforts. Indeed, the WFP itself has said that “until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos”.


Simply put, the United Nations saves lives. While world media has the tendency to highlight international controversies and policy intervention failures, it often neglects to cover the U.N.’s powerful lifesaving work with its agencies like the World Food Program, which annually feeds 90 million people in 80 countries. For those who don’t know much about UNICEF, it is the United Nations Children’s Fund which was created in 1946 to help children in war-torn Europe, China and the Middle East. The acronym stood for "United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund." In 1947, UNICEF USA was founded to support UNICEF's lifesaving work for children. By 1953, UNICEF's mandate was extended to address the needs of children in the developing world. Today, UNICEF continues its work for the survival, protection and development of children worldwide through fundraising, advocacy and education. In cooperation with governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UNICEF saves and protects the world's most vulnerable children, working to ensure child rights and providing health care, immunizations, nutrition, access to safe water and sanitation services, basic education, protection and emergency relief.

Locally, the United Nations Association of Santa Cruz County works to provide funding for UNICEF through sales of arts and crafts from around the world in addition to pins and flags of many nations. In the UN tradition, our work reflects our shared values as a community. UNA Santa Cruz fosters community humanitarian advocacy by acting as a fiscal sponsor for organizations such as Project Homeless Connect, Project Pollinate and the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. UNA Santa Cruz County is dedicated to educating the community and encouraging leadership around human rights, peace and sustainability. You can find our volunteers staffing the United Nations Store, which is located at 903 Pacific Avenue just across from the Santa Cruz Metro station. Our hours are 1-4 weekdays and 1-3 on Saturday and our phone number is 831-426-3101. Please come by and browse our diverse selection of gifts and pick up one or even a dozen of our ever popular UNICEF cards. Every dollar goes directly to helping children around the world.

And a humanitarian United Nations Day to all!!!

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by Steve Pleich
Friday Oct 23rd, 2020 12:59 PM
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by Steve Pleich
Friday Oct 23rd, 2020 12:59 PM
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by Steve Pleich
Friday Oct 23rd, 2020 12:59 PM
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