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International Cottages, Inc.
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United Nations Association of America
San Diego Chapter
Founded: 1946

United Nations building and Gift Shop


As you stroll through Balboa Park and come to the area of the International Cottages, you will find the United Nations building and Gift Shop next to the Hall of Nations building and the House of Hungary.  They are not part of the House of Pacific Relations, but the property is city owned as are the International Cottages, and they are very much an International Organization as well.



The organization of the  “United Nations Association” was founded in 1943 and then renamed to become the “American Association for the United Nations” (AAUN) in 1945.

In 1964 AAUN merged with the U.S. Committee for the United Nations, a group who supported the work of the United Nations to create a new Organization known as the  “United Nations Association of the United States of America” UNA - USA.  That organization continues to exist to the present day, retaining largely the same mission that it had at its founding.

Their Mission according to the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations, June 1945 is:


The UNA-USA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of 191 sovereign states who work to maintain international peace and security, support economic and social development and to promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

With headquarters in New York and 177 chapters across the country, UNA-USA has a national membership of more than 20,000 people.

The San Diego Chapter ” UNA-SD” was founded in 1946.  Through the efforts of Eleanor Roosevelt, the City of San Diego granted UNA-SD the permanent use of the current building in Balboa Park.  The UN Building has been the home of UNA-SD since June 1960.

Eleanor Roosevelt was involved with the UN from the beginning in 1943 and joined the Board of Directors in 1947.  She felt very strongly that the UN was the single best way to avoid war in the future.  She lent her name and presence to many fundraising efforts, donated sizable amounts of her own money, and became an important spokesperson in lecture tours in the US and around the world.  She remained committed to her cause to help the UN until her death in November of 1962.


The United Nations building in San Diego has an Eleanor Roosevelt Global Classroom. 

The Education Committee offers classes to more than 5000 fifth-grade students each year, teaching them about the UN, UNICEF and human rights.

The Committee also conducts an annual UNA-USA Essay Contest for high school students and build student alliances on local college campuses.

Model UN Committee

This committee promotes the growth of Model UN programs, conferences and involvement of students with UNA-San Diego.

Through the Annette I. Baughman Scholarship Fund of UNA-San Diego,  $10,000 is awarded annually to college scholarships.

Women’s Equity Council

This council promotes women’s rights, equality and opportunities through programs for International Women’s Day, Women’s Equality Day and conferences to inform the public on the status of women.  They organize fundraising projects for refugee women in San Diego and women in post-conflict countries.

Legislative Committee

Educates members, elected officials and the public about pending federal legislation related to the U.N.

Community Assistance Committee

Here in the San Diego Community this committee tries to duplicate the work of the UN by helping local refugees to establish resettlement organizations.

It also raises funds and awareness about UNA-USA’s Adopt-A-Minefield Campaign.

Public Relations and Communications

Develops and broadens the image of UNA-SD within the community through effective use of print, broadcasting and electronic media.

Focuses on membership and retention.

College and University Affiliates

Builds and supports collegiate United Nations Student Alliances and similar programs at colleges and universities in San Diego County.

Student Internship Program

Recruits students from local universities for non-paid internships in at he UNA-SD office.

Speaker’s Bureau

Provides trained speakers on a variety of national and global issues related to the goals of the United Nations including:  What is the UN? Facts vs. Myths.   The UN & the Status of Women. The  International  Criminal Court.  Terrorism in the 21st century.   The Scourge of Landmines. Global Education through Model UN.

UNA International Gift Shop

Provides financial support for UNA-SD through the sale of gift items from around the world and the UNICEF gifts and cards.  Their flag collection features 160 flags from different countries.

The gift shop is open daily from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.

San Diego Committee for UNICEF

Increases awareness and funds for UNICEF though educational and fundraising activities guided by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.  They coordinate the local Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF drive each October in schools, churches and businesses.

With UNICEF a little goes a long way. The sale of Tribute cards is a meaningful way to send a message for a special occasion to a friend or loved one, at the same time helping the U.S. Fund for UNICEF give children a new lease on life.

You can make a difference:

Contribution of

$25 buys enough antibiotics to treat infection in 83 children.
$50 provides vitamin A tablets to help protect 1,250 children against blindness for one year.
$100 buys basic school supplies for 40 students.
$250 furnishes 56 blankets to families in emergencies.
$500 vaccinates over 20 children against the six killer diseases of childhood.
$1,000 builds wells for safe drinking water for six communities.

The San Diego Chapter of UNA can be reached by calling 619-233-3970 or www.unasd.org

U.N. International Gift Shop
2171 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.233.5044
Fax: 619.233.5838
Email: giftshop@unasd.org




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