is the Luton branch of the United Nations Association.
We work in partnership with Equality in Diversity CIC and 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.
- 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
The fight for democracy in Myanmar
The UNA-Luton calls for an international arms embargo and sanctions against all military officers in Myanmar until the armed forces are brought under democratically elected civilian control. Every day, ordinary people are displaying extraordinary courage, coming into the streets across Myanmar to protest against the theft of democracy. They refuse to be intimidated, and they need international support.
The generals have made a great mistake if they think that Aung San Suu Kyi’s tarnished reputation clears the way for them to return to military rule. This is not about personalities, it is about democracy. As Tom Andrews, the UN Rapporteur on Myanmar, told the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 12 February, the generals must be made to understand that they are not above the law. The UN Security Council and the UNHRC have both called for the release of all detained political activists.
Following the atrocities committed by the Myanmar armed forces against Rohingyas, Britain and other countries already have sanctions in place against the Commander-in-Chief and his deputy who instigated the coup, along with other individuals known to have violated human rights, but wider multilateral action is needed.
As well as arms embargos and the withdrawal of support from the government of Myanmar, targeted sanctions must go beyond the handful of people at the very top. Every military officer in Myanmar is complicit in an act of corporate treason. All should be subject to sanctions – their overseas assets frozen, any businesses with military officers on their boards or as partners blocked and overseas travel by military personnel banned. If officers lower down the chain of command realise they are vulnerable, this will help to undermine the resilience of the armed services.
Over the past decade, it has often seemed as though democracy was retreating in the face of threats from authoritarian rulers. But the powerful public reactions against crackdowns in Hong Kong, Byelorussia, Russia, Thailand, India and now Myanmar suggest that it is time for the authoritarians to become nervous.Swift and effective international action will send a message not just to the Myanmar junta but to authoritarians and would-be authoritarians across the world that they will be held to account for their crimes.
Humanity and unity will win:
United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021
Glasgow 1-12 November 2021
We are delighted that the United States has rejoined the Paris Climate accord, and we hope this will strengthen the determination of delegates to COP26 in Glasgow to seize the moment and turn the tide. As President of COP26, the government of the United Kingdom has stated its commitment to work with all countries and join forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action.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.
COP 26 is an opportunity to set ambitious targets for practical action to achieve cleaner, low carbon, more resilient economies across the world.
Ideologies of hate will be defeated: Black Lives Matter
Luton supports the worldwide protests against the brutal murder of George Floyd
by police officers in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020.
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.
International Mother Language Day
Valuing identity, culture, diversity and peace
Zoom event, 27 February 2021, 16:00 - 18:30 (GMT)
Climate crisis: our ocean, our future
Zoom event 30 January 2021, 16:00 - 18:00 (GMT)
Luton and the World
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.
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.