April 2021 Issue
Christiaan's Thoughts: Some quotes
Copied from Dr Flavia Bustreo:
………Hans Rosling was a brilliant statistician, medical doctor and communicator, who truly understood the value of immunization. 
One of the greatest myth-busters working in public health, he once asked an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos: "What percentage of children today are vaccinated against measles: 30%, 50% or 85%?". Some of the smartest people in the world mostly got it wrong, with just one in five correctly saying 85%.
Hans told this story to drive home how little most of us understand about the positive impact of immunization. Such a low percentage of correct answers was, he said, clear evidence of preconceived ideas. The folks at Davos were not just ignorant of the facts – most of them didn’t recognize immunization as an incredibly high-impact intervention.
Sadly, Hans, who passed away in 2017, is no longer around to set the record straight. Immunization is actually one of the most incredible scientific innovations and has contributed hugely to preventing deaths - mostly of children - and to dramatic rises in life expectancy and economic development. Every $1 invested in immunization returns an estimated $16 in health-care savings and increased economic productivity……..
……… Despite this promising news, the outbreak of COVID-19 has slowed the distribution of vaccines for other deadly and highly contagious vaccine preventable diseases such as measles and polio. Health systems around the world are overstretched and the longer the pandemic continues, the more essential health services like vaccinations will be disrupted. 
Yet, outbreaks are inevitable when pockets of children are left unprotected. Today, over 13 million children are not receiving any vaccines. In some cases, conflict is making it hard to deliver vaccines in remote or restricted areas. In others, parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children because they are unaware about the risks these diseases present or because misinformation has seeded distrust.
As COVID-19 disrupts daily routines, many parents may be wondering whether they still can get their children vaccinated. We advise that if you still have access to immunizations, take the opportunity to get them for your child while following national and local guidance on COVID-19 protective measures. This way, when your children return to school, they will be safe from other diseases. If immunization services are not available, it will be important to seek vaccination for children as soon as it is possible to do so safely.
The COVID-19 outbreak reveals what is at stake when communities do not have the protective shield of immunization against an infectious disease. Vaccines, when they are available, are the most effective tool to prevent outbreaks of dangerous diseases. That is why staying informed about the benefits of vaccines – and the risks of not getting vaccinated – is more important than ever. 
The science is clear. Vaccines are safe, effective, and life-saving tools to prevent outbreaks. #VaccinesWork
Christiaan's Thoughts
I actually feel emboldened enough to pop the question: Can we get going again with the UNA-GP program? If sports can be opened up, then so should social activism. If schools can re-open for teaching, then so should they be open for advocacy and civil engagement.
About a year and half ago we shelved a plan to visit a hundred (middle) schools in Philadelphia and drop off a package of materials to raise awareness about the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals, and some “hot-button issues” like climate change, the departure by the USA from many of the world stages, and the fear of eroding the human rights agenda. We now can dust off those plans, as schools are re-opening this coming week and Principals and Teachers, albeit masked and distanced, can be found in school instead of on-screen. Indeed, the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns are rolling out fast, and steadily (at least in our city) and we can be hopeful for some “solace” for a while from that virus-fear and the drama that that virus and that fear inscribed in our collective existence. And how befitting is it that the last week of April is International Vaccination Week!!!
I want to visit, on behalf of the UNA-GP, 100 middle schools in Philadelphia during that week. Dropping off a package that includes a UN flag, a brochure about the UNA-GP, brochures from our collaborating friends such as the Global Water Alliance, the Global Philadelphia Association, Global Citizen365, Fairmount Water Works, Habitat for Humanity, friendly sororities and fraternities, and all others who aspire to put Philadelphia and its citizens BIG on the world map. I am seeking help. A few volunteers, a few folks with cars, a few members with ideas. And a few who can write, draw, quote good messages to middle schoolers about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Rights of the Child, of the female child, the Rights of Those with Disabilities. AND THE RIGHT TO BE VACCINATED. Can you help? Together we can make time tell.
GEM Event

  YOUTH PERSPECTIVES ON COP26                  
 Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Time: 9:00am to 3PM (EDT)
    Location: Virtually Around the World.
      Registration:  www.gem-ngo.org
COP 26: The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, named for the "Conference of Parties", hence "COP" will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in 1994.
Upcoming Events
UNA-USA Trivia: Celebrate Earth Day

Sunday, April 18 at 3 p.m. ET 

This is a Global Goals- themed trivia event which will celebrate Earth Day! You will be matched with a team of UNA-USA members to answer questions about the 13th, 14th, and 15th UN Sustainable Development Goals. The winning team will receive a UNA-USA swag bag.

You're Invited: Join our Virtual Happy Hour!
Happy Hour for UNA-USA Leaders
Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m. ET ·
Register Now
April is National Volunteer Month, and we want to say thank you to all our leaders within UNA-USA. You are all so critical to the work happening locally and nationally to support the UN. So, grab your drink of choice and swing by our virtual happy hour to socialize, play a few ice breakers, and get to know other volunteer leaders.
This event is open to chapter leaders, UNA Champions, Campus Fellows, Emerging Leaders Fellows, Global Goals Ambassadors, the National Council, and the UNA Youth Observer to the UN. 
Mark your calendars for June 6-11 for virtual Week of Action! 

Registration opens next week. 

 The Week of Action will kick off with two days of live programming to equip you with the necessary tools and trainings to prepare you for effective and impactful meetings with your Members of Congress. More information to come!

Becoming a Member!
Dear Friends of UNA-GP,
We hope you will join us in strengthening support for renewed US commitment to our global community. Use the link below to join the national United Nations Association, listing Philadelphia as your chapter, to help us with our work for international peace and social justice that includes us all. If you have been a participant with UNA-GP and aren't sure if your membership is up to date, this is an easy link to renew!