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Our history

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The United Nations Association - UK (UNA-UK) - a civil society organisation founded in 1945 - has been a leading advocate for the UN since its inception. In fact, the Association pre-dates the UN. Growing out of the League of Nations Union, it held its first meeting before the UN Charter had been finalised.

As the country's leading source of independent analysis on the UN, we have sought to build a better understanding of the challenges facing the world. Through our work with decision-makers, we have championed multilateral solutions to these challenges. By working with practitioners and experts, we have endeavoured to strengthen international law and cooperation. By providing education and volunteering opportunities for young people, we have helped to equip new generations of internationalists. By demonstrating why the UN matters, we have encouraged people to act on their responsibilities as global citizens. And by connecting people in the UK to the UN, we have made the case that the UN is an indispensable tool for the UK, and that support by the UK government – a key player at the UN – is necessary for international initiatives to succeed.

More than six decades later, the need for the UN – and UNA-UK – has never been greater. Together with our UK-wide network of members and supporters, and our partner UN Associations across the world, we continue to make the case for a strong, credible and effective UN and campaign for a safer, fairer and more sustainable world.

For a fuller account of UNA-UK's origins, read '60 Years of UNA-UK' written by former UNA-UK Director Frank Field.

You can also view photos, recollections and archive material in our special 60th anniversary edition of New World magazine.