A new group is working to bring international issues to the forefront for local residents.
The Prince George branch of the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC) is celebrating its launch next week, just in time for the 69th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations at the end of the Second World War.
UNAC is a charitable organization with 20 branches nationwide, all with the mandate of educating and engaging Canadians in the UN's work and critical international issues.
"Our intention is to create global awareness," said local branch president Giulliana Tamblyn.
To kick off that awareness, the new chapter is hosting a public forum on the UN's local priorities for international development, also known as Sustainable Development Goals on Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at UNBC in The Gathering Place, room 5-123.
United Nations Association in Canada president and CEO Kathryn White will be on hand to moderate the new branch's first public event, which will solicit input not only on issues such as poverty, development, human rights and the environment, but also what projects and issues the local branch should focus on as it develops and grows.
"What we would like is to have that local perspective in our community. One of the sustainable development goals is to end poverty everywhere. The belief is that there is poverty just in developing countries, which is not true," Tamblyn said. "We do have poverty in developed countries as well and one of them is Canada and we do know there is poverty here in Prince George."
Following a presentation to city council on Monday night introducing the group, the local UNAC branch will host a fundraising dinner at Twisted Cork from 7 to 9 p.m.
On Oct. 24, the group is inviting the community to city hall at 9 a.m. for the city's proclamation of United Nations Day with the raising of the UN flag.
Going forward, the P.G. branch holds meetings on the second Thursday of every month at CNC, which are open to the public. For more information, contact UNACPG@gmail.com.
"I truly believe that this is the first step to get the Prince George community engaged in international issues," Tamblyn said.