Local resident participates in United Nations Association global summit

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United Nations Association delegates Dave Roberts from Connecticut and John De Montfort from Virginia. Submitted photo

West Granby resident Dave Roberts, a member of the Connecticut Chapter of the United Nations Association, recently participated in the organization’s Global Engagement Summit. More than 1,500 of the country’s grassroots change-makers united with world leaders at the U.N. Headquarters in NYC to support the work of the United Nations. 

The summit took place in the U.N. General Assembly Hall where delegates were allowed to sit in the seats of diplomats. The event was live-streamed on webtv.un.org. His Excellency, UN Secretary General António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, delivered welcoming remarks and Roberts was one of five advocates selected to ask the Secretary General a question.

Throughout the day, delegates engaged in global policy discussions on critical issues such as climate change, poverty and hunger, nuclear proliferation, health and girl empowerment. The summit’s closing speaker was Her Excellency Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, who captivated the delegates with her comments about leading the U.N. this year during such turbulent times.

Roberts is a health policy advocate who served as an advisor in the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama in the Department of Health and Human Services. He was the mayor of Solana Beach, California, and a San Diego County Supervisor before relocating to Connecticut in 2017 to care for his elderly parents. He and his spouse are the parents of six adopted San Diego County foster children.

Roberts also led a delegation of 75 Lions and Leos to the United Nations to discuss children’s issues. Roberts is a past District Governor of Lions Clubs International and serves as the Chair of Lions Day with the United Nations for Hartford and Litchfield counties.

The United Nations Association of the United States of America is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to building understanding of and support for the ideals and work of the United Nations.