The UNA-Luton was established in 2009 by Dr Nazia Khanum OBE DL and Dr David Cheesman, with invaluable support from Trevor Evans, Chair of UNA Harpenden. . We work with a wide range of individuals and organisations on many different initiatives, and we welcome support and ideas from all those who are enthusiatic about the vision of the United Nations. If you would like to become a formal member of UNA-Luton, you will need to join the United Nations Association UK. We do not have any charge for membership on our own account.
Dr Nazia Khanum has a BA (Hons) and MA in Political Science from
Dhaka University and a PhD in History from the School of Oriental and African
Studies (SOAS), University of London. After performing senior roles in five
English local authorities, she became founder Director of Equality in Diversity
- an independent management, research, training and community empowerment Community
Interest Company. She is Chair of Luton British Bangladesh Helping Hand, Luton
Multicultural Women’s Coalition (1996 to date) and Purbachal – the eastern sky.
Her previous jobs included: lecturer in Political Science at the University of Dhaka;
Commonwealth Speaker and Teaching Fellow at
Commonwealth Institute, London; Education Officer at Luton Community
Relations Council; Senior Health Promotion Officer in Bedfordshire Health
Promotion Agency. She is the first Asian woman to become a Deputy Lieutenant of
Bedfordshire in its 500 year- history.
David Cheesman's first job was as a Lecturer in English at the University of Constantine, Algeria. He has a PhD in South Asian history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and has published academic articles and a book on the economic and social history of Sindh in Pakistan, as well as papers about decolonisation in Africa, community cohesion in the UK, and Islam and secularism in Britain and France. He was an external examiner and later Visiting Professor of Society and Development at Sheffield Hallam University. He now works in financial services and is a Director of Equality in Diversity, an independent research, management and training consultancy. He is a board member and former chair of Squared Housing Association.
The first AGM of UNA-Luton was held at
St Mary’s Parish Church in Church Street, Luton. Dr Nazia Khanum OBE was elected as
Chair and Professor Les Ebdon CBE, Vice Chancellor of the University of
Bedfordshire, was elected as Honorary President.
Trevor Evans, Chair of UNA-Harpenden delivered the keynote speech on Climate Change. He spoke comprehensively on the UN and UNA-UK's objectives and commitments on the key climate change issues and also on the landmark world summits leading up to the UN Conference on climate change which had opened in Copenhagen a few days previously (7-18 December 2009). He emphasised the importance of working in a linked and coordinated way - internationally, nationally, regionally and locally to tackle this global phenomenon.
He also presented UNA-Luton with a large UN flag and a desk-top flag.
Dr Khanum presented a report on the UNA-Luton's first six months. The initial activities were focused on raising awareness about the UN and UNA-UK's key objectives, and the existence of UNA-Luton, through articles in the popular Luton monthly magazine, Community at the war memorial of Luton , and her speeches at events such as the conferences on Violence Against Women organised by Hertfordshire Constabulary on 30 November and by Luton All Women's Centre on 4 December. To promote peace, a wreath from UNA-Luton was laid at Luton's war memorial on Remembrance Day.
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