The Year in Review: Global Action’s Virtual Life


Many of you who consulted our largely out-of-date website in 2018 did so to access our increasingly influential policy blog (the tree to the right) and so know more or less what we’ve accomplished over this past year, with whom we have accomplished it, and the “so much” that still remains to be done.

Our philosophy has remained constant over these past few years – put ideas and commitments into the policy community, but define ourselves less by what we do ourselves and more by what we leverage together with others. Giving interesting projects a “push” is what we do best, not owning or controlling, nor branding or gate-keeping.

Moreover, the focus remains on the development of the diverse young people who grace our office on a regular basis, and certainly have done so this year as well. Ready or not, it is “their turn” to see what can be made of the challenges and opportunities that lie before us. That young people still want to be part of our office and this policy community, and that they collectively “look like” the UN community as a whole, remains a great blessing to us.

We need to better nurture these younger voices. That we can take as good care of them as we do is largely a function of some generous donors of funding and in-kind support who have stood by us as we cleaned out our longtime office space, shifted some core partnerships, and addressed a few access challenges inside the UN. This space is not sufficient to thank all who have rooted us on in tangible ways during 2018, but mention must be made here of Dylan Hixon and the A & A Fund, Hope Hanafin, Lois Whitman, Karin Perro, Robert Thomas, Wendy Brawer and Green Map, and Danielle Katz. We also honor Dr. John Burroughs and the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, without whom Global Action might well have not thrived (let alone survived) into the present.

If the closing of our office was the most physically and emotionally demanding part of this year (see reflection and new contact information below), there were many other energy and soul-lifting moments that we were honored to share. Marching with Marta Benavides in San Salvador to honor the legacy of Monsignor Romero; sitting in a Marrakesh churchyard speaking with refugees from a region of Cameroon to which we have long accorded special importance; holding sessions with Roman Hunger to help NATO implement its new and expanded commitment to curb the proliferation of small arms; meeting with our dear colleague Dr. Catherine Jones and Indonesian officials to map out security priorities as they join the UN Security Council on January 1, 2019; speaking to business school students at Georgia Tech University, international affairs students at Instituto Mora in Mexico City and participants celebrating the launch of Lin Evola’s extraordinary “Peace Angel” sculpture inside the World Trade Center museum in New York.

There was quite a bit more; indeed more than I can recall let alone communicate gratitude for. Much attention and feed-back by us to UN policies and processes will continue of course, but also beyond the UN in diverse communities who have learned to look past our (mostly my) sometimes excessive intensity to the offers we continue to extend, sharing what we have (and what others have given us) with people doing innovative and hopeful things, ideas and activities that promise to give us all a “fighting chance” in the years to come.

We honor all of these promises, all of the hard work, caregiving and honest thinking that go into initiatives that give us the best opportunity to endure these current difficult moments and emerge in a more sustainable place. We will do our best to persevere on multiple fronts through 2019, offering you our most attentive, thoughtful and generous efforts as many of you have already done for us.