We’re a network of young professionals in London who are passionate about the United Nations and how it makes a difference to the world we live in. We run events, campaigns and networking events focusing on a wide range of issues, including human rights, security and the environment.
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8 April 2018 - Westminster Young Professionals Chair cites SDG failures by both UK government and parliament
Westminster Young Professionals Chair cites SDG failures by both UK government and parliament
Harry Wright, Chair of UNA Westminster Young Professionals, explains in his article The UN Sustainable Development Goals should not be Terra incognita to Westminster and Whitehall alike how the UK government is still failing to properly address the challenge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Also, he shows how our parliament has much to learn from those in Commonwealth partners soon to arrive in London for the Commonwealth Summit. The article can be read here.
2 February 2018 - Westminster Young Professionals launch ‘Meet the Ambassador’ programme
Westminster Young Professionals launch ‘Meet the Ambassador’ programme
Westminster Young Professionals will launch the first of their planned monthly ‘Meet the Ambassador’ meetings on 13 March, to be kindly hosted by the law firm Ashfords LLP. The event will feature the longest serving ambassador in London, HE Mr Khaled Al-Duwaisan. As Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, he represents all diplomats in London, liaising with government.
The meeting room will be open from 5.30pm from when Ashfords will kindly provide tea, coffee and soft drinks. The ambassador will give a brief overview to be followed by open discussion. The meeting will end at 7pm after which all are invited to join the Westminster Young Professionals at a nearby location for a networking session and more. The fee will be £5. To register, click here
3 January 2018 - UNA Westminster welcomes Young Professionals link with UK youth climate change group
UNA Westminster welcomes Young Professionals link with UK youth climate change group
UNA Westminster is delighted to welcome its Young Professionals group’s link-up with the well-established UK Youth Climate Coalition for a Clean, Clear Future (UKYCC). Leading the link-up has been Harry Wright, Co-Vice-Chair, UNA Westminster Young Professionals, who was invited to address the 13th Conference of Youth (COY) in Bonn, Germany, in early November. This was linked to and immediately preceded the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP23) in the same venue. “UKYCC and its programmes will help bring focus to our own environment initiatives, especially that relating to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)” Harry says. “We plan to cooperate in promoting events and linking our social media networks to broaden knowledge on these issues.”
20 March 2017 - Young Professionals screen Before the Flood at L’ Escargot restaurant
Young Professionals screen Before the Flood at L’ Escargot restaurant
UNA Westminster Young Professionals screened the Fisher Stevens documentary Before the Flood featuring Leonardo DiCaprio before a capacity audience at the L’ Escargot restaurant on London’s Soho.
Following the screening, Harry Wright, Co-Vice-Chair of the Young Professionals moderated a Q and A session with Paula Owen, founder and CEO of Green Gumption ; Joanna Haigh CBE: Co-Director of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College; and Georgina Shiplee, Sustainability Consultant at Corporate Citizenship.
12 December 2016 - 2016-17 UNA Westminster Young Professionals committee announced
2016-17 UNA Westminster Young Professionals committee announced
Bethany Ward, Chair of UNA Westminster Young Professionals, has announced the incoming Executive Committee, listed here:
Social Media Officer
Responsibility to Protect
16 September 2016 - UNA Westminster Young Professionals contribute to new Human Rights Report
UNA Westminster Young Professionals contribute to new Human Rights Report
The UNA Westminster Young Professionals group has participated in the year-long programme initiated by the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) to produce a Joint Civil Society Report for submission to the United Nations as part of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UK. The document will be presented when the UN Human Rights Commission embarks on the second cycle of the UPR which studies the human rights situation of all UN Member States every 4.5 years. The UK was one of the first 42 UN Member States to be reviewed.
The BIHR Report covers domestic human rights protections such as women’s rights; children’s rights; poverty, welfare and adequate standard of living; criminal justice; counter terrorism; racism and hate crime; Immigration, asylum and trafficking; prisons; additional equality and non-discrimination issues; and access to justice.
The Report stresses the need for government guarantees that it will build upon the Human Rights Act (HRA), rather than amending or repealing it via a new Bill of Rights. It argues that refusal to give such a guarantee should be recognised as an indication that there is a significant risk of the human rights framework in the UK being eroded. UNA-UK has also published an excellent submission here.
UNA Westminster is one of many civil society organisations which is deeply sceptical about the prospects, in the current political climate, for a new bill of rights to improve human rights protections in the UK. Notwithstanding this, if improvement is intended this can be done without repeal of the HRA, focusing on better implementation of current protections.
UNA Westminster especially welcomes the BIHR Report as it successfully moved a resolution in the 2009 UNA Annual Conference proposing that ‘a group of NGOs assist in monitoring the UK’s performance and agree an annual report. “The success and wide support for the BIHR initiative is excellent” said David Wardrop, UNA Westminster Chairman, “and we thank Isabella Qin and Mafalda Damosa of our Young Professionals group in their work on this project. UNA Westminster will be examining the recently published audit conducted by the Committee for the International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
19 April 2016 - UNA Westminster Young Professionals to release paper on the Responsibility to Protect
UNA Westminster Young Professionals and Liberal International organised a round table discussion in the House of Lords to review the effectiveness and relevance of the Right to Protect (R2P) concept to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.
The meeting was addressed by Lord Alderdice, President, Liberal International; Lord Hannay, Chairman, UN All Party Parliamentary Group; Kate Ferguson, Protection Approaches; and Leisha Beardmore, Chair, UNA Westminster Young Professionals Each offered different viewpoints to the challenges faced by states and individual citizens alike.
The Westminster Young Professionals stated that their aim was to re-ignite the R2P debate in the UK, raising public awareness and knowledge on the topic and to assist it gather sufficient momentum to generate a debate in parliament in 2016. Later this year, the Westminster Young Professionals will release a follow-up paper setting out their position on R2P and its applicability to the refugee crisis. This will be first released on the Young Professionals blog and Twitter account.
21 November 2015 - New UNA Westminster Young Professionals committee announced
New UNA Westminster Young Professionals committee announced
Leisha Beardmore, Chair of UNA Westminster Young Professionals, has announced the incoming Executive Committee, listed here
Social Media and Website Manager
Public Affairs Officers
Mafalda Damaso, Karan Thakrar
Karin Pointner, Sarah Ewum
Young Professionals Network Coordinator
Blog Officers (Distance Based Contributors)
Grace Carroll, Lilia Khousnoutdinova
25 July 2015 - Leisha Beardmore is the new Chair for UNA Westminster Young Professionals
Leisha Beardmore is the new Chair for UNA Westminster Young Professionals
Leisha Beardmore is to be the new Chair of United Nations Association Westminster Young Professionals. Leisha is a Gender Justice researcher with OXFAM and also advises Small Island States on environmental issues. Recently she attended the UN Climate Change preparatory conference in Bonn (picture below). She succeeds Ludre Stevens who remains an adviser to the group and a member of the Executive Committee of UNA Westminster.
Through her Facebook page, Leisha said “I will be the first ever woman to be Chair of the group, and the first woman within Westminster to be chair for 15 years! Super excited and thrilled to have the opportunity!! I want to make it AMAZING, so I hope lots of you will want to be involved with making creative, innovative and thought-provoking ways of bringing international affairs across London.”
Leisha will be coordinating representation of the UNA Westminster Young Professionals at the Bar Council’s reception for the diplomatic community in September. She will lead discussions on cooperation with the Young Bar group and the Young Diplomats in London organisation.
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