The United Nations Associations are non-governmental organizations that exist in various countries to enhance the relationship between the people of a member state and the United Nations, raise public awareness of the UN and its work, promote the general goals of the UN and to be an advisory body to governments, decision makers and the media. They are not a part of the UN itself, but as a testimony of their valuable role, UNAs are the only national level organizations entitled to use the UN emblem.
The World Federation of United Nations Associations was created in 1946, inspired by the opening words of the United Nations Charter “We the Peoples”. Today it is a global network of people linked together through the United Nations Associations in over 100 member states of the UN.
This network enables people to discuss the issues such as peace and human rights, the spread of democracy, equitable development, and international justice.
The mission of the World Federation of United Nations Associations is to inform, sustain and energize a global network of United Nations Associations to support the principles and programs of the United Nations and to help shape its agenda.
The World Federation is an independent, non-governmental organization with Category One Consultative Status at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and consultative or liaison links with the other UN agencies.
It publishes “UN Connections”, a bimonthly newsletter which shows the present work of the UN. It aims to provide an appreciation among people of what is happening at the UN and gives insight into the partnerships formed between the UN, NGOs and civil society. Many UNAs members as well as the World Federation itself have been actively involved in the various processes for reforming the UN with the aim of, in UN Secretary General Kofi Annan words, “Making the UN a more effective instrument.”
WFUNA Youth aims to gain more support for the spirit of the United Nations among young people, as well as to promote the world-wide activities of United Nations Youth Associations and UNA Youth Programs. It seeks to promote the establishment of United Nations Youth Associations or Youth Programs where they do not exist. WFUNA-Youth is an autonomous, not-for-profit organization, affiliated with the World Federation.