About Us and News

We’re a network of young professionals in London who are passionate about the United Nations and how it makes a difference to the world we live in. We run events, campaigns and networking events focusing on a wide range of issues, including human rights, security and the environment.

Get involved with our blogs

12 December 2016 - 2016-17 UNA Westminster Young Professionals committee announced

2016-17 UNA Westminster Young Professionals committee announced

Bethany Ward, Chair of UNA Westminster Young Professionals, has announced the incoming Executive Committee, listed here:

Chair
Bethany Ward
Co-Deputy Chairs
Harry Wright
Isabella Qin
Honorary Treasurer
Trishan Ponnamperuma
Honorary Secretary
Awwab Abbasi
Policy Officer
Mafalda Damaso
Social Media Officer
Grace Carroll

Advisers

Responsibility to Protect
Ludre Stevens
Women’s Rights
Leisha Beardmore

16 September 2016 - UNA Westminster Young Professionals contribute to new Human Rights Report

UNA Westminster Young Professionals contribute to new Human Rights Report

The UNA Westminster Young Professionals group has participated in the year-long programme initiated by the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) to produce a Joint Civil Society Report for submission to the United Nations as part of its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UK. The document will be presented when the UN Human Rights Commission embarks on the second cycle of the UPR which studies the human rights situation of all UN Member States every 4.5 years. The UK was one of the first 42 UN Member States to be reviewed.

The BIHR Report covers domestic human rights protections such as women’s rights; children’s rights; poverty, welfare and adequate standard of living; criminal justice; counter terrorism; racism and hate crime; Immigration, asylum and trafficking; prisons; additional equality and non-discrimination issues; and access to justice.
The Report stresses the need for government guarantees that it will build upon the Human Rights Act (HRA), rather than amending or repealing it via a new Bill of Rights. It argues that refusal to give such a guarantee should be recognised as an indication that there is a significant risk of the human rights framework in the UK being eroded. UNA-UK has also published an excellent submission here.
UNA Westminster is one of many civil society organisations which is deeply sceptical about the prospects, in the current political climate, for a new bill of rights to improve human rights protections in the UK. Notwithstanding this, if improvement is intended this can be done without repeal of the HRA, focusing on better implementation of current protections.
UNA Westminster especially welcomes the BIHR Report as it successfully moved a resolution in the 2009 UNA Annual Conference proposing that ‘a group of NGOs assist in monitoring the UK’s performance and agree an annual report. “The success and wide support for the BIHR initiative is excellent” said David Wardrop, UNA Westminster Chairman, “and we thank Isabella Qin and Mafalda Damosa of our Young Professionals group in their work on this project. UNA Westminster will be examining the recently published audit conducted by the Committee for the International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

19 April 2016 - UNA Westminster Young Professionals to release paper on the Responsibility to Protect

UNA Westminster Young Professionals and Liberal International organised a round table discussion in the House of Lords to review the effectiveness and relevance of the Right to Protect (R2P) concept to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.

The meeting was addressed by Lord Alderdice, President, Liberal International; Lord Hannay, Chairman, UN All Party Parliamentary Group; Kate Ferguson, Protection Approaches; and Leisha Beardmore, Chair, UNA Westminster Young Professionals  Each offered different viewpoints to the challenges faced by states and individual citizens alike. 

The Westminster Young Professionals stated that their aim was to re-ignite the R2P debate in the UK, raising public awareness and knowledge on the topic and to assist it gather sufficient momentum to generate a debate in parliament in 2016. Later this year, the Westminster Young Professionals will release a follow-up paper setting out their position on R2P and its applicability to the refugee crisis. This will be first released on the Young Professionals blog and Twitter account.

21 November 2015 - New UNA Westminster Young Professionals committee announced

New UNA Westminster Young Professionals committee announced

Leisha Beardmore, Chair of UNA Westminster Young Professionals, has announced the incoming Executive Committee, listed here
Chair    
Leisha Beardmore
Deputy Chair
Ludre Stevens
Honorary Treasurer
Trishan Ponnamperuma
Honorary Secretary
Awwab Abassi
Social Media and Website Manager
Elia Trippel
Public Affairs Officers
Mafalda Damaso, Karan Thakrar
Event Organisers
Karin Pointner, Sarah Ewum
Young Professionals Network Coordinator
Bethany Ward
Blog Officers (Distance Based Contributors)
Grace Carroll, Lilia Khousnoutdinova

25 July 2015 - Leisha Beardmore is the new Chair for UNA Westminster Young Professionals

Leisha Beardmore is the new Chair for UNA Westminster Young Professionals

Leisha Beardmore is to be the new Chair of United Nations Association Westminster Young Professionals. Leisha is a Gender Justice researcher with OXFAM and also advises Small Island States on environmental issues. Recently she attended the UN Climate Change preparatory conference in Bonn (picture below). She succeeds Ludre Stevens who remains an adviser to the group and a member of the Executive Committee of UNA Westminster.
Through her Facebook page, Leisha said “I will be the first ever woman to be Chair of the group, and the first woman within Westminster to be chair for 15 years! Super excited and thrilled to have the opportunity!! I want to make it AMAZING, so I hope lots of you will want to be involved with making creative, innovative and thought-provoking ways of bringing international affairs across London.”

Leisha will be coordinating representation of the UNA Westminster Young Professionals at the Bar Council’s reception for the diplomatic community in September. She will lead discussions on cooperation with the Young Bar group and the Young Diplomats in London organisation.



>> become a member