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UNA-UK Board statement on Lobbying Act

Published on


Updated for the 2017 General Election.

The United Nations Association – UK (UNA-UK) is a charity registered in England and Wales (no. 1146016). Our purpose is to build support for global cooperation in the areas of peace and security, human rights, humanitarian action, sustainable development and environmental protection.

We believe that international action is needed to address problems like climate change and terrorism, which affect people in the UK and around the world. The United Nations was created to tackle such cross-border issues, and the UK – government, Parliament, civil society and public – can play a crucial role in supporting its efforts.

As such, we promote UK support for the United Nations, provide information and educational resources on its work, and help people and organisations to engage with it. Like many other charities, campaigning is an important element of our work and one which is recognised by the Charity Commission as a legitimate means for us to pursue our charitable objectives.

Following the entry into law of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 (“Lobbying Act”), UNA-UK has made considerable effort to understand the Act and the guidance published by the Electoral Commission. Ahead of the 2015 General Election, we sought detailed professional advice about the Act’s application to our activities.

While our activities relating to the forthcoming General Election on 8 June 2017 will be almost identical, we have taken steps to re-familiarise ourselves with the guidance and the Charity Commission’s case report entitled: Campaigning and political issues arising in the run-up to the 2015 General Election, in particular during the current regulated period: 9 June 2016 to 8 June 2017

Having carefully considered the Electoral Commission’s guidance and advice received, we do not intend to register with the Commission. Our mission is to engage people in the UK with the work and values of the UN. The issues on which we campaign are long-standing policy priorities, for which we – as a strictly non-party political organisation – seek the backing of all political parties. We are particularly careful to ensure this fundamental principle is respected in the lead-up to elections, just as we firmly believe that we have a duty to express views on issues related to the promotion of our charitable objectives.

We will take the utmost care to ensure that any public communications are factual, balanced and independent of the views of those standing for election or those helping them to do so. We will continue to stimulate and contribute to public debate, and to increase understanding of global issues and how they affect our lives.

We do not seek to influence the votes of any member of the public, including our own supporters, and have no intention of promoting or procuring the electoral success of a political party or candidates at any time. Instead, we are engaging directly with politicians and political parties to communicate our vision of a safer, fairer and more sustainable world, and seek their support for the vital role that the UK can play in making this vision a reality.