APA at the United Nations

A Brief Synopsis of Recent Activities

April 14, 2011 – Psychology Day

APA and other psychology organizations at the United Nations host Psychology Day to a capacity audience.

The 2011 Psychology Day at the United Nations, "Reach Them to Teach Them: The role of psychology in promoting universal access to Education," drew capacity audiences. The day-long event began with a morning briefing in the North Lawn Building at the New York UN headquarters on “Psychology and Universal Access.” Sponsored by Psychology Day and the Brazilian Mission to the UN, the briefing to about 200 included remarks by representatives from the UN-Department of Public Information leadership, the Brazilian Mission, UNICEF, psychology, and a graduate student in international management who had been a Liberian refugee. This was followed by an afternoon of plenary and break-out workshops covering education issues from the role of the family to innovative uses of technology in education. A full report will appear in the next issue of Psychology International.

APA participates in events for the UN Commission on the Status of Women

At the March, 2011 meetings of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the APA UN team organized several parallel events. These included:

• “Psychosocial/Cultural Barriers to Women's Involvement in STEM Careers” – a seminar with panelists Virginia Valian, Susan Nolan and Shaista Jabeen discussing barriers, mentors and role models, and case studies of Pakistani women in STEM fields. This seminar was moderated by Deanna Chitayat, APA’s Main Representative to the UN.

• “What Psychology Offers to the Education of Women and Girls” – a Psychology Caucus attended by NGOs and local psychologists.

• Workshop and Best Practices from NASA on involving girls in science activities and careers, with hands-on examples for educators and the public.

APA co-sponsors AIDS event at the UN

Along with the Hunter College Center for Community and Urban Health, the NGO Committee on HIV/AIDS, and the Salesian Missions, APA sponsored a conference seminar at the New York UN headquarters in honor of World AIDS Day. The seminar, titled “Poverty, Rights and Access for those Affected by or Infected with HIV,” included talks by APA Associate Representative, Beatrice Krauss, on Causes and Consequences, a presentation by APA intern Brian Davis and colleague on Barriers to Access, and a talk by Joyce Hunter, Social Worker, on International Activism and Access to AIDS Interventions.

APA member Judy Kuriansky is awarded the 2011 Friends of the UN Lifetime Achievement in Global Peace and Tolerance award

In January, 2011, Judy Kuriansky, Main United Nations NGO representative for the International Association of Applied Psychology and the World Council of Psychotherapy, and liaison to APA’s Committee on International Relations in Psychology (CIRP), was awarded the Friends of the UN 2011 Award for a Lifetime Achievement in Global Peace and Tolerance at a ceremony during the 8th Annual United Nations Youth Assembly. Founded in 1985, Friends of the United Nations (FOTUN) is an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the United Nations' activities through partnerships with educational institutions, corporations, media, international governments and NGOs to bridge the gap between ideas necessary to achieve global progress and collaboration of people worldwide in actual work on issues of peace, human rights, the environment, children and responsible social and economic development.

“My first event with my `new hat’ of Tolerance as a ‘Friends of the UN’ Ambassador,” says Dr. Kuriansky, “will be to announce a ‘call to action’ at the upcoming Youth Assembly at the United Nations, inviting young people to join me in becoming a Friend of the UN, to work together to foster mutual understanding and appreciation of diversity.” The United Nations International Year of Youth began in August 2010.