Oct. 3, 2001
Before September 11, the average American worried more about gas
prices than global politics. Watching an airplane fly into the side
of the nations financial center changed everything. Terrorist
attacks have turned the spotlight on international affairs, bringing
new significance to the role of the United Nations.
A timely United Nations Association conference will address the organizations
role in critical world issues. On November 10, interested professors,
students, business leaders, UNA members, or residents of the region
can spend 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Stanford's Center for Educational Research
discussing Is the UN an endangered species?
The conference is sponsored by the Mid-Pacific Region of the United
Nations Association, which includes the Palo Alto-based mid-peninsula
chapter. Goals of the local chapter are to act as a link between the
community and the UN and to strengthen US participation in the UN.
Security issues will be addressed at the conference, along with global
health, racism, and US relations with the UN.
Opening speaker Jeffrey Laurenti, Executive Director of Policy Studies
at UNA-USA, actively promotes US participation in the UN. At a Harvard
University conference last year, Laurenti warned against withdrawal
from the UN.
It could leave the field open for Americas abandoned allies
to join others in applying coordinated pressures to hem in the wayward
hegemon, Laurenti said.
Closing speakers include congress members Anna Eshoo, who is active
in health care issues, and Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor from Hungary
who serves on the House International Relations Committee.
US Senator Barbara Boxer will also speak at the conferences
end. Boxer, who has been a California senator since 1993, is a member
of the senates Committee on Foreign Relations. Local assembly
member Jim Simitian was invited to be a closing speaker, but cannot
attend the conference.
The conference fee will range from $25 to $35. Interested parties
should contact Mary Granholm of the UNA-USA Midpeninsula, at 650-326-3170.
To write this brief, informative article,
I attempted to contact the local UNA chapter. Unfortunately, no one
was able to speak with me prior to the class session. I then researched
the UNA and the invited speakers on the Internet. I attempted to reach
assembly member Joe Simitian, and was told that he had declined the
request to speak at the conference.
I believe that this article doesnt deserve a great deal of column
space, and that an article after the conference could be more lengthy.
Speakers might have addressed interesting points, which could lead
to subsequent issues. Since the conference is still more than a month
away, it is doubtful that the politicians have prepared their remarks,
and more should develop from the event itself. The purpose of this
blurb is to inform the public that theres a conference they
can take advantage of, and to give them a general sense of who will
I do believe, however, that this article is a bit incomplete - mainly
because it gives no information on what will be happening between
the opening speaker and closing speaker. Before I would publish this,
I would be sure to gather that information from Mary Granholm.