Through its various channels, UNA-Germany reaches out to a broad audience. It aims to provide information about the whole UN system and its work to everyone, from experts to young people to the interested public. Advocating for close international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations, UNA-Germany addresses the public, academics and politics and focuses on information, participation and public debate. Throughout a year, it offers more than 50 activities. In addition to awarding the Dag Hammarskjöld Honorary Medal and publishing numerous publications, UNA-Germany hosts a number of events which include study trips, conferences, seminars and symposia, panel discussions, talks on topical issues, and press conferences with participants from the field of the UN, politics, academia, and civil society.
Since 1977, the United Nations Association of Germany has biannually awarded the Dag Hammerskjöld Honorary Medal to eminent persons who have rendered outstanding services and are committed to promoting the United Nations as a leader in addressing global challenges and conflicts within the fields of culture, science, journalism and politics.
Previous award recipients include:
- Prof. Dr. Raúl Prebisch (1977)
- Prinz Sadruddin Aga Khan and Prof. Dr. Egon Schwelb (1979)
- Henry R. Labouisse and Rüdiger von Wechmar (1981)
- Robert S. McNamara (1983)
- Liv Ullmann (1985)
- Brian Urquhart (1988)
- Gro Harlem Brundtland (1991)
- Tadeusz Mazowiecki (1995)
- Prof. Dr. Klaus Hüfner and Manfred Eisele (1998)
- Lakhdar Brahimi and the youth group “Aktion Völkerrecht” (2004)
- Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer (2005)
- Kofi Annan (2009)
- Professor Benjamin B. Ferencz and the International Criminal Court (2013)
- Staffan de Mistura and Angela Kane (2016)
UNA-Germany strongly supports and promotes the commitment of young people. Since 2005, two German Youth Delegates accompany the German Delegation to the UN General Assembly to New York every year to advise the General Assembly on youth-related issues. The selection process takes place in joined cooperation with the German National Committee for International Youth Work (DNK). This programme has been complemented in 2016 by the Youth Ambassador Network for the United Nations, which aims to strengthen youth participation for and at the United Nations, including in countries of the Global South. In addition to these initiatives, the programme "Youth for CSW" was launched in 2017, which dispatches delegates to participate on the United Nations Commission on Women's Rights (CSW).
In order to provide quality advice on youth-related issues, the Youth Delegates must be familiar with issues related to youth and must know how these topics are being discussed among German adolescents themselves. In addition to this, they have to develop an understanding of the inner workings of the UN General Assembly as well as all committees relating to youth. The incorporation and discussion of youth topics takes place through the DNK in addition to the youth delegates’ tour of Germany, which is completed every year between April and September. This enables local youth groups to invite the delegates to speak with them about youth related issues. The results of every stop on the tour will be collected as proposals and will flow into discussions about the UN resolution on youth.
Since 1981, the UN has recommended that member states should incorporate Youth Delegates into their UN delegations in order to ensure a form of direct participation for youth in UN politics and processes. Interested young people will have the opportunity to participate in the annual Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural questions. In addition to this, the UN Focal Point on Youth deals exclusively with youth in the field. It also calls attention to the situation of young people and advocates for their rights.
Read more about Youth Delegates on their homepage.
The United Nations Association of Germany (UNA-Germany) holds workshops on Establishing a United Nations Youth Delegate Programme in countries of the Global South. The workshops support 6-10 young people from countries of the Global South with an active UNA/UNYA but without a UN Youth Delegate Programme to start UN Youth Delegate Programmes in their respective countries. Workshops have taken place in Bonn in 2016 and in Frankfurt in 2017. The next workshop will be held in Argentina in November of 2018.