United Nations comes to Horsham: talk by Viv Williams, Chair of Chichester & District UN Association


The UN was formed in 1945 with 193 Member States.

The UNA aims to be the voice of the people of the UN. It is the UK’s leading source of independent analysis on the UN and a UK wide grassroots movement.

There were 350 000 members but as memories of the Second World War recede there are now only 3500.


Viv believes that the UN was marginalised in relation to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

The UN needs strong leadership and a voice of its own.

It will only get those things if people demand them.


  • Comprises the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Secretariat, International Court of Justice, World Bank Group, World Health Organisation, World Food Programme, UNESCO, UNICEF, Food and Agricultural Organisation, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Labour Organisation, Universal Postal Union, etc.
  • Is the first on the scene of major disasters and has a vital co-ordinating role to organise the contributions of all organisations that arrive to help.
  • Their food programme reaches 90 million people each year.
  • It is at the forefront the elimination of smallpox.
  • It works with Rotary to eradicate Polio.
  • It introduces Human Rights across the world.
  • It has reduced infant mortality
  • Millennium Development Goals were introduced by the UN
  • It works on climate change
  • UNESCO educates millions of children in developing countries
  • The list goes on and on.

The UNA has brought out 10 points that they want political parties to address:

  1. A comprehensive strategy to prevent mass atrocities
  2. More intensive engagement to strengthen UN peacekeeping
  3. A clear pathway to eradicate nuclear weapons
  4. Robust polices to control arms, drones and killer robots
  5. Leadership to protect human rights internationally
  6. A strong commitment to safeguard human right at home
  7. A bold plan to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment
  8. Concerted action to promote new development goals
  9. A vigorous drive to secure the climate deal we need
  10. Support to enhance the UN’s effective leadership by improving leadership selection.

NB The UNA is pushing in areas where the UN cannot move forward.

The UNA believes that the Director General appointment to the UN should be achieved through an open world wide process.

Viv called on BHA to be at the forefront to drive the above points forward, in view of its role in promoting human rights.

The UNA works on a shoe string (7 staff) but has just been granted charitable status which hopefully will improve matters. It publishes the New World magazine 4 times each year.

An important UN Conference concerning climate change will be held in Paris on 15th November.

When asked about the environment and climate change, Viv explained a project to use direct current (DC) cables to use off peak electricity generated in sunny countries to the rest of Europe. The technology has existed for 5 years but it requires an international political solution to be put into practice.

When confronted with the veto of the Security Council, Viv agreed that it was frustrating but that ending the veto might cause Russian and/or China to leave the UN, which would prove more damaging.


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