With the full support of its members and member organizations, the Board of Directors of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) unanimously decided to start the “Association” process with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN-DGC) on March 30, 2020 and became an associate member of the UN-DGC  on July 14, 2020.

In this regard, ATAA has formed its very first UN related committee, ATAA Committee on UN Relations, chaired by ATAA New York Region Vice President Bircan Unver.

Established in 1979 to fight defamation and attacks on Turkish Americans, ATAA has evolved to be the most influential grassroots umbrella organization for the Turkish American community in the United States. ATAA celebrated its 40th anniversary via a full-day conference in Arlington, VA on October 5, 2019.

ATAA’s association with the UN-DGC is a threshold for a new era in the ATAA’s history. ATAA is also determined to actively engage with the UN programs and support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals along with ATAA’s Component organizations.

With this newly gained capacity, ATAA will be able to have a delegation which consists of six representatives at the UN, including two youth representatives. These representatives will have the privilege to attend UN meetings.

The following extract from the UN-DGC Press Release provides insight into how the UN-DGC works and why it is important for ATAA.

The Department of Global Communications works with diverse civil society organizations, ranging from small groups to subsidiaries of large networks and academic institutions around the world.  They are required to meet certain minimum requirements before they are associated with the Department.  In addition to their main activities, associated organizations are expected to use their communications assets to disseminate information received from the Department about the work of the United Nations and issues on its agenda to their members and audiences.

Department-associated organizations are expected to join the global effort to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, promote and defend human rights, and promote peace and security.  They also have the opportunity to network with other organizations and to share information about their activities during thematic briefings, capacity-building sessions and the United Nations Civil Society Conference.

The ATAA would like to thank Mr. Jeff Brez, Chief of Civil Society & Advocacy Section Outreach Division, Department of Global Communications and Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Department of the UN-Department of Global Communications for their help and guidance throughout the whole process.

As the preeminent and most impactful Turkish American organization in the United States, ATAA is very proud of this outcome and looking forward to work with the UN-DGC along with the Global NGO Executive Committee in this important mission.

Reference: UN Department of Global Communications Approves 5 Civil Society Organizations for Association | PI/2287-July 14, 2020.