United Nations Association Mauritius. A narration by Founder Member and CEO, Nundkeswarsing BOSSOONDYAL

 Nundkeswarsing BOSSOONDYAL, Founder member and CEO of UNA Mauritius

As a founder member and current CEO of the United Nations Association of Mauritius, it give me immense pleasure, especially at the end of my retirement and after serving the UNA Mauritius for more than 4 decades to have a professional type of Website in order to promote the aims and objectives of UNA Mauritius, its affiliates and the UN at larges.

Historical facts:

It gave me a great pleasure to start with by giving a brief info about the coming to existence of a United Nations Association in Mauritius.

It is in fact very strange in the launching of a UN association by a youth organization. It began with my participation as a representative of the Socialist Working Youth League of Mauritius-SWYLM (created on 22nd Sept 1971 as a left oriented youth and student’s organization) at the United Nations World Population Conference held at Bucharest, Romania from 19 to 30 August 1974.   

SWYLMMAURITIUS was invited as an affiliate of the World Federalist Youth (WFY). At the World Population Conference, I met with the representatives of the International Youth and Students Movement for the United Nations-ISMUN as well as the World Federation of United Nations Associations and I was persuaded to join them.

I also met late Hon. Kher Jagatsingh, Mauritian Minister of Economic Planning and Development at Bucharest during the UN World Population Conference and I had raised with him for Mauritian government support in the launching of a UNA in Mauritius.

Upon my returned to Mauritius in September 1974, we amended the Constitution of SWYLMMauritius (Art. 19, section Fbg3) and we created the Mauritius United Nations Association (MUNA). It had function as section of SWYLM-UNAs until 1975 where we had started its registration process with the Registrar of Association (RoA) as an independent association as per the constitution of WFUNA in order to get affiliated with them and to cooperate with other UN related bodies and department for NGOs/Civil Societies. UNA Mauritius get its registration from RoA on 23/10/1982.

24th October: UN-DAY as well as UNAMAURITIUS-DAY

Thus, we keep the day 24th October 1975 as MUNA Day, which coincide with the United Nations annual Day.

I must affirm here that another United Nations Association of Mauritius was existed before 1970s, but failed to pay their annual fees to WFUNA, no local activities and no reports were sent to WFUNA, finally their affiliation was removed.

Affiliation with UN bodies:

Years after, MUNA succeeded to get affiliated with UN/DPI, WFUNA, CoNGO, UN/ECOSSOC-DESA and so on.

Briefs About WORLD FEDERATION OF UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION – WFUNA.

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations (UNAs) and their thousands of constituents. Guided by our vision of a United Nations that is a powerful force in meeting common global challenges and opportunities, WFUNA works to strengthen and improve the United Nations. We achieve this through the engagement of people who share a global mindset and support international cooperation – global citizens. UNA Mauritius got affiliated with WFUNA in late 70’s. I was elected for 2 mandate as Executive Committee Members of WFUNA. Lawyer Rashad Daureawo, former Mauritian High Commissioner and as former UNAMAURITIUS President and its current advisor was also elected as Vice-President of WFUNA and served for two

Achievements of UNA Mauritius:

Mauritius United Nations Association from day 1 in 1975 till to-date, it had been active with several annual programs related to UN and WFUNA aims and objectives as well as on issues regarding Mauritius.

Our programs of activities were and are mostly connected with youth, students, Child, women, disability, drug and substances abuse and elderly.  Several workshops, debates, talk on crucial issues like, Women and AIDS awareness; HIV/AIDS; Women/Child Rights; Poverty; Rights of Education, training and works; Environment; Agricultures; Crimes, drugs and violence; Domestic violence and so on. Programs of activities were mostly jointly organized by: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Local Government, UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, US Embassy, Australian High Commission, MFPA, Private sectors, Banks, Hotels, Air Mauritius, AIDS Unit, Air Port Catering, Municipal Councils, District Councils, Social Welfare Centers, Women Centers, Community centers, Youth clubs and social organizations. Programs were also held at Rodrigues.

We do organize the UN World Peace Day in collaboration with other Civil Societies and was honoured with the presence of the President of the Republic Mr. Kailash Purryag and the UNDP representative in Mauritius.

The United Nations Association of Mauritius marks the UN DAY in Mauritius with several types of activities and functions like:

Seminars/workshops/conference on Human Rights, the Role of the UN and its specialized agencies. For UN 50 in 1995, we held the UN Day at London College at Port-Louis. The functions were honoured by the President of the Republic Mr. Cassam Utteem; The Minister of Education Hon. Armoogum Parsuramen and other 5 Ministers; the Lord Mayor of the City of Port-Louis; Late Harold Chan Lam, Honorary President of UNAM and most diplomatic missions in Mauritius. An exhibition on UN publications was organized.

For other UN Days that we had organized, we were honoured also by the Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius Hon. Rashid Beebeejaun and several of his Ministers. For UN 65 we had as chief guest the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth QC and Lady Sarojini. 

The 70th anniversary of the United Nations and 45th anniversary of the United Nations Association of Mauritius was held at the Municipal Council Councilors Chambers on 23rd October 2015. UNA Mauritius got the support of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Madam Santi Bai ‘Maya’ Hanoomanjee – GCSK, to décor the Building of the National Assembly with BLUE Light. The Municipal Council of Port-Louis and other institutions had also lightened their building with Blue color with slogan: TURN THE UN BLUE. The Chief guest was Hon. Mrs.  Leela Devi DOOKUN-LUCHOOMUN, Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research and honored by the Lord Mayor of the City of Port-Louis Mr. Omar Khooleegan and the United Nations Representative to Mauritius, Mr. Simon Springett.

Several receptions marking the UN DAY – 24 October had been organized at Continental and Gold Crest Hotels.

International participations.

Since the coming to existence of UNA Mauritius, we had been participating in several regional and international events as follows:

WFUNA General Assembly at Canada, New Delhi, China, Russia ex-USSR, Spain. WFUNA Youth UN Model at South Africa, UN Commission on Sustainable Development at UN New York, WFUNA African seminar at Sudan, UN Millennium Summit at UN-2000; WFUNA Exco meeting at New York, Geneva.

Mr. Oomar Karbarry as President of MUNA represented world youth representative addressed the special SIDS General Assembly of the United Nations in 2000;

Ms. Kausal Ozeer as a physically young handicap girl was the representative of UNA Mauritius Youth Council to UN Millennium Summit.

From 2015, UNA Mauritius and its affiliates are fully involved to implement the UN-SDGs – 2030. We are annually organizing Schools Mural Painting competition depicting all the 17th goals of the UNSDGs. This competition has been jointly organized by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources.  The 2019 UNSDGs programs is being also organized with the University of Mauritius. A national survey on UNSDGs is being launched among students of all universities in Mauritius by UNA Mauritius and University of Mauritius. Other regular programs as per realities and demand are being held accordingly.

The following persons have served as President of UNA Mauritius since its coming to existence:

Late Gajendrasingh Purmessur, Anil Gayan, Dawjee Daureeawo, Late Harrydev Ramchurn, Sadek Futloo, Late Issac Lallmamode, Basker Desai, Omar Karbary, Premila Dhunputh, Late Jacque Thomy Rabaud, Cader Hossenally, Lady Jagatsingh, Rashad Daureeawo, Dewendra Dookna, Late Ahmed Rajbally, N. Bossoondyal. Ms. Rubna Daureeawo is the current President of United Nations Association of Mauritius.

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