The Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians and President Obama’s call for an American armed response focused world attention on the United Nations like no other event in recent memory, according to Chris Whatley, executive director of the United Nations Association-USA.
Whatley will be in Grass Valley Oct. 20 to visit with members of the local Golden Empire Chapter of UNA. During his visit, he will participate in the 11 a.m. U.N. Day Service of the Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains church. Whatley will deliver an expanded presentation from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 246 S. Church St., Grass Valley. The public is welcome to join in this community observation of U.N. Day.
The horror of the Syrian chemical attack both shocked the world and starkly highlighted the critical role played by the U.N., Whatley stated in recent remarks, saying that Syria “… offered a reminder of the enduring importance of the U.N. as a peace builder, watchdog, and humanitarian force,” the subject of his U.N. Day address.
On Sept. 27, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2118 endorsing a framework agreement for Syria to eliminate its chemical arsenal. U.N. chemical weapons inspectors have since entered Syria and begun the process to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons.
Whatley leads the UNA-USA’s national staff in Washington, D.C., and New York, advocates on behalf of the U.N. and U.N. causes and educates the next generation of U.N. supporters in the U.S. through UNA-USA’s Global Classrooms Model U.N. program. His visit to Grass Valley comes on the heels of his participation in the Inter-Generational Model U.N. in San Francisco sponsored by Northern California Division of UNA.
Before joining UNA-USA earlier this year, Whatley served as deputy executive director and Washington office director of The Council of State Governments, where he served as a voice for U.S. states in Washington, D.C., and oversaw the council’s federal advocacy and international outreach. He began his career as a field-based program officer for the International Republican Institute, running democracy-assistance projects in Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
From the moment of its founding, UNA has been a grassroots movement committed to weaving together citizens from across the country to promote the value of the U.N. to our country and to the world. The Golden Empire chapter of the UNA was founded in the 1970s by persons interested in promoting world harmony through the powerful forum of the U.N. The Golden Empire UNA sponsors speakers and educational events emphasizing foreign affairs, supports local high school Model U.N. programs and conducts monthly discussion groups focused on global issues of interest to our Nevada County membership.