Welcome to the re-launched website of UNGA-Link UK.
A few words for those who remember UNGA-Link and were perhaps signed up as members: my apologies for the long delay in getting the website functioning again. I’m happy to give a full explanation by e-mail to anybody asking for one. As you’ll see below, I think of this re-launch as effectively starting from scratch and I hope you Old Friends will stay in contact from time to time.
From 1998 – 2007 UNGA-Link UK existed as a small NGO with a mission to promote more systematic relations between the United Nations system and Civil Society at large through a companion Assembly linked to the UN General Assembly under Article 22 of the UN Charter. From 2003-2007 we were formally affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information/DPI. After a Special General Meeting in 2007 we were no longer an autonomous NGO but an informal network within the United Nations Association in the UK. Our full name changed from “UK Network for Civil Society Link with UN General Assembly” to “UNA-UK Members for a Civil Society Link with UN General Assembly”.
The UNGA-Link newsletter, which I edited, ran from 1999-2010, the last issue containing the obituary notice of our Founder and guiding spirit, Dr Jeffrey J Segall. Since Jeff’s death, I have used the legacy he left me to fund this website. For a few years it served the purpose of keeping Jeff’s own input online along with the newsletter archive and a few other postings on diverse subjects. The United Nations system lends itself to diversity. One colleague offered hours of technical support for a few years and another kindly removed a flood of spam which had accumulated. An Editor with websites of her own supplied many of our diverse postings.
In December 2015 someone from 1&1 Internet, our hosting company, suggested we upgrade our site, offering 24/7 technical support for a website which could be accessed by smart phones as well as computers. Nearly half-way through the year, we shall see how the re-launch goes.
For a start, I anticipate getting Jeff’s basic documents up again along with the newsletter archive. In due course I’ll write a profile of myself as for the time being at least this will be a personal project. I’ll include links to some of the many organisations and websites relevant to the UNGA-Link agenda. When we were affiliated to the UN DPI we listed our main area of interest as Governance, with three others being Conflict Resolution, International Peace and Security and Social Development. The form offered 47 to choose from.
Writing in 2016, I’m glad that the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by UNGA last September cover Environmental as well as Social issues. I’m also glad to see how Civil Society relations with the UN have progressed since the first Rio Summit in 1992 and the period of UNGA-Link’s existence as an autonomous entity. I want Jeff Segall’s arguments for an institutional change to democratise the UN’s structure accessible to a wide audience once again. We the peoples of the United Nations need our governments to work for the common good of our Common Home!
Alison Williams, Co-ordinator, UNGA-Link UK