UNA-Luton

is the Luton branch of the United Nations Association.

We work with a wide variety of community organisations and statutory agencies to promote equality, justice, peace, human rights, community cohesion and the promotion of sustainable development to combat the threat of climate change.

The UNA-Luton stands for community cohesion, justice, peace, the preservation of the environment and the protection of minorities. We reject the attempts by terrorists, extremists and populists to set societies and faiths against each other. They will not succeed because the vast majority of people in Britain and across the world wish to live with mutual respect and in harmony.

Our key objectives include:

  • Promoting action to reverse climate change
  • Eradicating violence against women eg forced marriage & honour-based violence
  • Promoting peace through a counter-narrative to the propaganda of violent extremism
  • Working with disadvantaged communities to improve their awareness about the importance of education, health and economic engagement
  • Promoting gender equality and human rights
  • Promoting respect for diversity and community cohesion
UN Charter.pdf

Climate change: Humanity and unity will win

The greatest longterm challenge facing us is climate change. Floods in Britain, forest fires in Australia, the United States and Europe, droughts in Africa, rising sea-levels and the extinction of animal, insect and plant species are evidence of the threat our way of life poses to the future of humanity. The Covid-19 lockdowns have shown us that dramatic change is possible when the will is there. The UNA-Luton calls for cleaner, low carbon, more resilient economies across the world.

Ideologies of hate will be defeated: Black Lives Matter

UNA Luton supports the worldwide protests against the brutal murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020.

These protests are taking place because Floyd's murder is symptomatic of the racism that damages the lives of minorities in many societies, not only in America - genocide against Rohingyas in Myanmar, the internment of Uighur Muslims in China, the removal of citizenship from Muslims in India, the displacement of indigenous people in the Amazon basin, the marginalisation of indigenous people in Australia, and many more examples of community injustice.
In the UK, the USA and Europe, racism has been hardwired into the culture for centuries through the slave trade and the establishment of empire. Slavery has been abolished and the empires are gone, but the imperial mindset persists. It permeates our language and conditions the way we look at the world. We have to recognise its distorting impact and consciously challenge it.

After the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and legislation against racism and discrimination from the 1970s onwards, it sometimes looked as if the battles had been won and it was only a matter of time before we achieved societies which respected people as individuals and promoted equality of opportunity regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability and age.

In practice, progress has been painfully slow. The Me-Too movement has highlighted the gulf between expectation and reality on gender equality. Like the murder of George Floyd in the USA, the Windrush scandal in Britain confirmed that slavery is not past history. Black British citizens were deported to the Caribbean countries where their ancestors were transported as slaves even though they lived all their lives in the UK and their parents had responded to the call for workers to rebuild the country after World War II. The mass deaths in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic have shown how little we as a society value the more vulnerable members of our community.

The protests are a wake-up call for change. We cannot resolve problems unless we recognise their existence. This is the moment for every individual and institution to question their own attitudes and assumptions and take action to make a difference. For individuals, it means reflection and improvement. For institutions, the response needs to be more structured. Every organisation should carry out a rigorous equality impact assessment of its own policies, practices and procedures, and produce an action plan with measurable targets and realistic timescales to eliminate discrimination and improve equality of opportunity.

We believe the worldwide protests are a signal that we will not go back to the status quo when the pandemic passes. We will take the opportunity to build a better world.

Events

Click to find out about past events

Click to find out about UNA-Luton's involvement in the  Luton International Carnival

Events in 2020


UN International Human Solidarity Day

Zoom event, 20 December 2020


75th anniversary of the birth of the United Nations

Zoom event: 24 October 2020


UN International Day of Democracy
Zoom event: 15 September 2020


Commemoration of International Mother Language Day

University of Bedfordshire: 24 February 2020



 

Luton and the World

Luton is one of the most diverse towns in the UK, with a wide range of ethnicities, religions and cultures. Its people have links to almost every country in the world. Whenever events happen overseas, somebody in Luton is directly affected, and is well informed about the key issues.

Socio-economic challenges

Luton has thriving industries and benefits from its airport and its proximity to London, but not everyone shares its prosperity. With some of the poorest wards in the country, it faces socioeconomic challenges in health, housing, education and employment. UNA Luton contributes to the UN’s and UNA-UK’s goals by drawing on the wealth of Luton’s human resources, learning from experience in Britain and overseas and acting both locally and globally

Working with others

We work with a wide variety of local and voluntary and statutory agencies, including Luton Borough Council and the University of Bedfordshire.