Celebrating 72 Years of Global Service

By Paula Boland

October 27, 2017

More than ever we must educate and advocate for a sustainable world for all in which the role of women and families is respected and nurtured.

This past Tuesday, October 24th marked the 72nd anniversary of the United Nations.

I began my journey at the UN Association – an organization dedicated to mobilizing support for the UN’s vital work – as a young professional. It was through my volunteer experience that I found an outlet for my passion for international cooperation and an appreciation of the need to advocate for a strong US leadership role in the international community.

I was fortunate to have had access to quality education and opportunities while growing up in Latin America. At an early age, I benefited from living abroad and learning from other cultures. This made me value the important work of the UN in promoting access to quality education for all, particularly for women and girls, and the incredible impact that investment has over time in strengthening communities and lifting them up from poverty.  

However, it wasn’t until I became a mother that I fully realized the critical work of the United Nations and its many specialized agencies around the world and at home.  As a professional woman, I have had to overcome the challenges of advancing in the male-dominated law practice industry. This made me more aware of gender equality issues and, as I juggle the demands of work with parental responsibilities, I have also realized the need to find a work-life balance and to foster a supportive network.

The important role of the family has increasingly come to the attention of the international community. The Global Goals for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders in 2015, focus on ending poverty, promoting shared economic prosperity, social development and people’s well-being while protecting the environment. Families remain at the center of social life ensuring the well-being of their members, educating and socializing children and youth and caring for young and old.

Last June I brought my 8 year old daughter to UNA-USA’s Day on the Hill to meet with our congressional representatives from the State of Maryland. It was one of the most powerful experiences we both had. She was quite shy at first and not sure what to expect. While travelling to meet with our delegation, she asked many questions and ended up preparing a statement on why Americans need to support the work of the United Nations.  She was fired up, got everyone’s attention and truly enjoyed the experience of advocating for a cause that matters.  

More than ever we must educate and advocate for a sustainable world for all in which the role of women and families is respected and nurtured.


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