Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority established its position as a global influence with the announcement by the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that it had granted AKA Special consultative status. This status, which was engineered by AKA’s international president Barbara A. McKinzie, is granted to Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have a special competence and are concerned specifically with certain fields of activity covered by the ECOSOC.
This powerful designation enables Alpha Kappa Alpha to promote the aims and objectives of the UN and to further the understanding of its work to AKA members and communities they serve. This status means AKA can now actively engage and consult with the ECOSOC, its commissions and subsidiary bodies. The status also allows AKA to access ECOSOC’s provisional agenda, attend public meetings, make oral presentations, submit written statements for circulation by the UN Secretary-General, participate in preparatory meetings and attend international conferences relevant to its expertise.
Achieving this consultative status gives AKA the leverage to ensure that the United Nations’ human rights mission gains another voice. AKA will focus on gender equality and advancement of women worldwide and will also strengthen international cooperation for social development with particular attention on the core issues of poverty eradication, employment generation and social integration. AKA will also continue its support of its member, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in her mission to rebuild the economy and strengthen governing institutions in the war-torn country. Ambassador Alice Dear, AKA’s NGO representative, and her team, will reinforce Africare’s resolve to address needs in health, agriculture and water resource development. Alpha Kappa Alpha will also add voice in the ECOSOC to the message of its programmatic partner CARE as it addresses the global poverty crisis.
Serving in this key role continues Alpha Kappa Alpha’s long and storied relationship that is rooted in its commitment to human rights and inspired by the activism of one of its founders, Norma Boyd, who laid the foundation for AKA’s participation with the UN.
Alpha Kappa Alpha helped craft the highly-heralded Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the document around which the mission was defined. The Declaration was inspired by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who so admired AKA’s vigorous advocacy and passion for speaking out against human rights violations that she accepted honorary membership into the Sorority.