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October 2014 Back to League Meeting

About twenty members gathered to hear from LWVUS's main United Nations Observer, Rosalee Keech, who is also a member of the LWVUS Board of Directors. Rosalee is one of five League observers, all volunteers who do League work out of their homes and who live close enough to New York to be able to attend multiple conferences and meetings at the United Nations. Rosalee was appointed UN Observer by Elizabeth McNamara after applying and being interviewed for the  position. 
 
The League of Women Voters has had a working partnership with the UN since 1945 and now concentrates on five goals:
  • Promoting women’s political and economic empowerment
  • Furthering democracy
  • Preventing violence against women and girls
  • Promoting environmental sustainability and limiting climate change
  • Promoting older persons' human rights
The five League members work with Non Governmental Organizations, coalitions, UN agencies, and Member States dedicated to these goals by arranging conferences to heighten awareness of best practices and advocating for change.  The last presentation, “Women Leaders in Business and Politics: Making THE Difference” featured the EEO Commissioner of New Zealand, Director from the World Bank and COO from leading advertising firm. The League sponsors a presentation during the Commission on the Status of Women, held annually in late February, which is open to attendance to League members.
 
The League of Women Voters of the United States enjoys special consultative status through ECOSOC, the economic and social arm of the United Nations. This status enables the League to “intervene,” providing written or oral testimony upon request to UN Agencies and member states. For example, Rosalee submitted a paper on the impact to the economy of Saudi Arabia if its women were 
politically and economically empowered. Her paper may have been an influence in allowing enfranchisement to Saudi Arabian women.
 
Rosalee files her observations on Twitter @rokeech. She recommends visiting the UN website and worldwewant2015.org and watching webtv.un.org.  She closed with a wonderful quotation from a Ukrainian mom, “Bad people are elected by good people who don't vote.”
 
Rosalee's presentation was videotaped by Toshi Abe and will be available on the LWVPA website. The League thanks her for making the three-hour drive from NYC in traffic to give us a fascinating insight into the world of a UN Observer.

November Monthly Meeting
7 PM at the Suzanne Patterson Building in Princeton
Lee Forbes urges members to download and read "Charter Schools--an Update, Study Guide and Consensus Questions" in preparation for our November meeting. She, Melissa Scott, and Cathy Stroup will act as presenters.


Forthcoming Meetings
Sandy Smith reiterated that our monthly meetings will follow a new format: brief business meeting followed by an activity such as a speaker or discussion. Members should submit ideas for topics or socialization for December's meeting and subsequent meetings.  Sandy thanked Lee, Toshi, and Nancy Hall for their contributions to Back to League Night.