United Nations Plaza in San Francisco

The 2020 San Francisco UN75 Conference

“We the Peoples, for the Equal Rights, and Human Dignity for all Men and Women”

Civil Society and the United Nations Conference for International Organization (UNCIO) – The 75th Anniversary of the UN Charter and the UNCIO-San Francisco Conference (1945-2020)

The day of Saturday April 25, 2020 marks the day the United Nations Conference for International Organization (UNCIO), also known as the San Francisco Conference, began 75 years ago in 1945. To honor the important events, conversations and achievements of the past and to recognize our current and future responsibilities and commitments for a better world we are calling you all to participate and contribute to this day of celebration. All the events will be held in the War Memorial Veteran Building and surrounding areas, the historic site of the San Francisco conference.

  • World Cafe: 9:00-12:00
  • Civil Society Conference Panel: 1:30 to 4:30 pm
  • March of Flags: 5:00 to 6:00 pm
  • Evening Reception (by invitation only): 7:00 to 8:30 pm

These events are open to the public and free of charge. A registration is required for the morning and afternoon events. The evening reception is by invitation only and an invitation card (not transferable) is required to enter. If interested to participate please request an invitation to Dr. Marco Tavanti.  The University of San Francisco (USF) is hosting these events in partnership with other San Francisco civil society organizations including the United Nations Association (UNA-USA-SF) San Francisco Chapter, and the YMCA of San Francisco (YMCA-SF). Other co-sponsoring organizations and programs The Nonprofit Administration (MNA) Program, the China Business Studies Initiative (CBSI), the International Studies Program (MAIS), and the International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS).

World Cafe Dialogue: Multi-Stakeholder UN75 Global Consultation

UN75 Global Consultations in San Francisco  – Join the Conversation. Be the Change. #UN75

When: Saturday April 25, 2020, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Where:  War Memorial – Veteran Building, Room: 210, Second Floor

Registration: This event is by invitation only. Please apply through the UNA SF website: https://www.una-sf.org/un75-consultations-call

Participants: This World Cafe will bring together representatives of different stakeholder groups of the city of San Francisco.

Head of Engagement: Elsia Galawish, Vice-President of Administration, United Nations Association of the USA, San Francisco Chapter

Head of Process & Reporting: Fyodor Ovchinnikov, Chair, UN Global Consultations Committee, United Nations Association of the USA, San Francisco Chapter (Contact)

On the occasion of the United Nations 75th . anniversary in 2020 (#UN75) we respond to the call of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of international cooperation in building the future we want.  We want to collect our best San Francisco ideas for a better world and a better future for all. We want to listen to different stakeholder groups in San Francisco including young professionals and other youth in their concerns, strategies, and solutions for the 2030 Agenda and the future we want. We are organizing this event to contribute to the global dialogue of the UN75. The event is part of the series of the UN75 Global Consultations in San Francisco organized by the United Nations Association of the USA, San Francisco Chapter in partnership with the University of San Francisco and other local organizations.

Follow and join UN75 online at: WEB: un.org/UN75 | TW: @JoinUN75 | FB: @JoinUN75 | IG: @Join_UN75 | YOUTUBE:  Join UN75

Panel of Experts: The Civil Society Contributions to the UN Charter


Organizer: David Byrd, President Nonprofit Student Council (contact) and coordinated by the USF MNA Program – Master of Nonprofit Administration Program at University of San Francisco’s School of Management (MNA)


Rev. Paul Fitzgerald

Dr. Marco Tavanti

Ms. Mary Steiner

Gen. (Ret.) Charles E. Tucker

Dr. (h.c.) Chuck Collins






Dr. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi

Dr. Xiaohua Yang

Ms. Kia Harris Tarregrain








Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, SJ. President of University of San Francisco explores what the Jesuit education has in common with the UN Mission and how Catholic Church along other Faith Based Organizations contributed to the UN Mission yesterday and continues to do so today.

Dr. Marco Tavanti, Professor of Nonprofit Administration at University of San Francisco and International Organizations expert explores the influence that civil society consultants and leaders played in the formulation of the UN Charter in 1945 and today cooperations and partnerships with non-state actors aligned with the UN system and its mission.

Ms. Mary Steiner, President of the United Nations Association (UNA-USA) San Francisco Chapter explores the fundamental role that the American Association for the United Nations had during the UNCIO in 1945 and what the UNA does today to fulfill the UN mission.

Gen. (Ret.) Charles E. Tucker, Jr. a US Air Force Veteran, international human rights lawyer, and CEO of WEI, an international NGO explores the role of veteran association in the UNCIO and today’s civil society engagement to fulfill the UN mission for international security and post-conflict transitional justice.

Dr. (h.c.) Chuck Collins, Esq. President of the YMCA (the Y) of San Francisco considers the role of observers during the UNCIO in 1945 and in relation to today’s UN mission reflected in the Y mandate for youth development, community engagement and climate change solutions.

Dr. Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Vice Provost for Diversity and Community Engagement shares her critical perspectives on the UNCIO diversity participation as observed by WEB Du Bois and represented in the NAACP as official consultant organization. She also reflects the critical importance of diversity and community engagement in relation to the UN mission and the future of humanity.

Dr. Xiaohua Yang, Founding Director of the China Business Studies Initiative and Professor in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco. She is an expert in internationalization of Chinese firms, MNE corporate social responsibility and sustainable development and will examine the role of China at UNCIO and the role of business associations and businesses in relation to the mission of the UN.

Ms. Kia A. Harris Tattegrain, Founder and Executive Director of the humanitarian nonprofit organization, Dare Humanity, that creates and delivers programs for self-sufficiency, community-driven development, wellness, and entrepreneurship in Haiti and California. She is also an alumna of the University of San Francisco Nonprofit Administration program, nonprofit consultant and philanthropist.

Participants will be able to network and contribute during the Q&A session.

Conference Overview

April 25, 2020 marks 75 years from the beginning of the 1945 San Francisco Conference officially called the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO). After two months of hard work and negotiations between 850 delegates of 50 nations, 1500 civil society organizations consultants, experts and observers, and overall the engagement of about 6000 people that participated and contributed to the final draft of the United Nations Charter signed on June 26, 1945. The University of San Francisco is contributing with this conference and connected events on April 25, 2020 learn more about the “we the peoples” character of this important international organizations. Through a panel of experts and a dialogue with the participant we intend to learn from the past and present contributions of civil society,  NGOs and other not-state organizations, including academic institutions that share the UN mission and concerns. What is the past, present and future role of civil society to uphold this legacy for peace, partnerships for the wellbeing of people, the planet and prosperity for all? The UN Charter that was finalized 75 years ago in San Francisco reflects the hopes and aspirations of that time. They are inspiring promises and essential institutional frameworks to maintain and protect peace and security, protect human rights, deliver humanitarian aid, promote sustainable development and uphold international law.

The conference is open to the public and aims at promoting the understanding of the importance of public service for the common good and how academia, nonprofits, NGOs as well as private companies are working in partnership with the UN bodies and programs. International experts, scholars and professionals will critically reflect on the many accomplishments and yet to be completed promises including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The consulting relations that nonprofits/NGOs and civil society and faith-based organizations do at the United Nations is not very known by the public and its has been explored very little in the literature. Yet, as its was in the times of its founding conference, the UN has been aiming at its bold mission and translate its mandate in diverse times and contexts through close consulting and collaborative partnerships with not-state actors from both business and nonprofit sectors.

A panel of experts representing multi-disciplinary perspectives from nonprofits to government, from law to international relations, and from academia to businesses will offer insights and engage the public in a conversation on the last 75 years of successes as well as shortcomings along with our shared global responsibilities for the future we want.


1:30: Soft arrival and check in.

2:45: Welcome: David Byrd welcome and introductions

2:50: Panelist Introductions: Kia Harris moderation

3:00: Panelists Opening Remarks: about 1o minutes each

4:00: Panel Discussions and Q&A

4:25: Wrap up and invitation to network and participate in the March of Flags.

The Veterans Memorial at San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center

March of Flags: Marching for our Common Future


Activities: International students will carry flags of countries and will participate in a symbolic march around the Veteran Memorial.

Organizer: Dr. John Zarobell (contact). Coordinated by the USF International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS).

The Green Room at the San Francisco War Memorial and Arts Center

Evening Reception: Celebrating the UN 75th Anniversary


Organizers: USF President’s Office, Contact: Dr. Marco Tavanti

A reception event at the historical site of the UNCIO with country representatives from the Consulates in San Francisco. The Veterans Building at today’s San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center is the building where on June 26, 1945 China followed by all other countries represented signed the UN Charter. The ceremony was held in the auditorium known today as Herbst Theatre of the Veterans Memorial Hall where the delegates signed the Charter. China signed the Charter first, as it had been the first victim of an Axis power. The Green Room hosted several meetings and receptions of the delegates and consultant’s representatives. The Opera House on the left side building hosted the opening ceremony of UNCIO and the voting on the UN Charter on June. 25,  1945.

Postage honoring FDR’s ideation of UNCIO in 1945

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