Supporting the United Nations
The United Nations Association of Slovenia (UNAS) was established in 1951, supporting the United Nations Organization in its role as a keeper of global peace and stability. Following the declaration of independence on 25th June 1991, Slovenia was accepted as the 176th member state of the UN. Soon thereafter, on 6th November 1992, UNAS was accepted into the circle of United Nations Associations as a member of WFUNA.
The main objective of UNAS – already formulated in 1951 – is to inform the public about the ideas, goals and activities of the UN. Looking back at our accomplishments and successes, we can proudly say we have fulfilled that objective, and in many cases even surpassed our original goals.
UNAS today is a vital non-governmental organization, spreading the ideas and goals of the UN in Slovenia. Our main role is and stays gathering and providing information on the role and activities of the UN. To this end we maintain a library with informative and specialised publications by the UN and its agencies, as well as other publications on various other subjects.
We also maintain a web page, which is a rich source of information and news articles on UNAS and its activities; furthermore, it contains news articles on the UN and other related topics. We can be found at: www.unaslovenia.org and www.unaslovenia.org/en.
An important role in our efforts to keep the public informed about issues surrounding the UN plays the cooperation with the UNIS centre in Vienna.
In cooperation with the Institute of International Law and International Relations at the Faculty of Law of Ljubljana, we also gather, translate and make available various important international documents, books and other publications on the subject of UN and international relations.
Taking part in the public debate on issues of global concern on the UN agenda is another very important aspect of our work. We strive to organize forums where people meet with government representatives; in this way important issues can be addressed and resolved in the UN manner – through dialogue.
Various issues on the UN agenda are also addressed on regular lectures and panels, which are well attended. Not surprisingly, considering the fact that we've succeed to attract many Slovenian experts of international renown.
Such lectures at our offices in Ljubljana are already an important part in the education of university students. But we feel that the UN idea is not adequately presented to the youngest members of our society. For that purpose we have started (in the first months of 2009) a special educational programme focusing on primary schools whose goal would be to introduce the goals and activities of the UN to our youngest.
UNAS is an important factor for furthering research work on the UN; every year on UN Day we award prizes to graduate and post-graduate students for ten best dissertations on this topic.
Since UNAS is a „people's“ movement for the UN, an important part of our activities is also about people connected with the UN and UNAS. Formal and informal social gatherings offer many opportunities to show that the UN are backed by a vast group of individuals, which leads to the acceptance of the UN principles and ideas as a part of people's lives as opposed to something remote and without consequence.
We feel that an important part of our mission is to bring the UN closer to the people; therefore we organize various events that in one way or the other mark the significant impact of the UN on our daily lives. Such an important event is, for example, the celebration on Human Rights Day, when we also award prizes for essays, photographs and drawings made by primary and secondary school pupils on the issue of human rights.
Excursions to various UN institutions in Geneva and Vienna help our members and everyone who is interested become acquainted with the actual work of the UN agencies.
In accordance with the „people's movement“ principle it is only fitting that most of the work is done by volunteers, who are mostly law school and international relations students. But the backbone of UNAS are our valued members – many of them important figures in public life and academic circles. All of them take an active part in the activities of UNAS and give our efforts new meaning.
Last but not least, we strive to maintain a meeting place at UNAS headquarters, welcoming Slovenians and foreigners alike. We try to cultivate an atmosphere where one feels not a stranger but a part of the UN family.