World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to facilitating partnerships across sectors internationally that promote awareness and implementation of the United Nations’ goals. Through publications, workshops, dialogues, other educational, outreach-oriented events, projects and programmes, WCPUN provides alternative think spaces to enable visionary people and organizations of diverse disciplines and expertise to connect and collaborate. WCPUN is a non-governmental organization in association with the United Nations Department of Public Information.
WCPUN was conceived by European scholars and other eminent persons involved in philanthropic activities in the aftermath of World War II. As a private foundation, the organization sought to promote the goals of the newly established United Nations, as well as to assist in the re-establishment of educational and cultural entities in Europe that had been compromised during the War.
The founding members believed that philanthropic action did not warrant publicity and therefore volunteered their diverse resources under the WCPUN umbrella to develop and facilitate projects that complemented the United Nations efforts, with a high level of due diligence, but minimal bureaucracy.
Presided by Dr. Luis G. de Sevilla, Honorary Mexican Ambassador, and Special Envoy of Mexico on behalf of Mexican President Miguel Alemán, as well as President of the Mexican Academy of International Law, the membership of the organization expanded to all regions of the world, and several country chapters were established. In 1967, per the suggestion of Mr. U Thant, then the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, who would later become Honorary President of WCPUN, the organization was formally registered at the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO), in association with the UN’s Department of Public Information (DPI). Among its notable representatives, Luther Evans, former Librarian of the U.S. Congress and former Director General of UNESCO, headed the WCPUN U.S. Chapter and was the first Main Representative of WCPUN to the United Nations.
WCPUN initiatives at that time included fund-raising for the newly-formed United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime; research in food-production and water sanitation technologies to improve people’s livelihood in rural areas in Latin America; support for the development of nutritional supplements to combat malnutrition, especially affecting children; facilitation of meetings with members of the scientific community, diplomacy, media, academia and the private sector to advocate for greater attention and cooperation around emerging issues of water security; promotion of inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue through artistic and academic channels.
Following the passing of Dr. Sevilla in 1994, Sherrill Kazan Alvarez de Toledo was appointed President of WCPUN and in 1995 the organization was registered in the United States as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, and its UN association with DPI was also updated to reflect its U.S. Headquarters.
Dra. Sherrill Kazan Alvarez de Toledo
Board of Directors
John Charity, Vice-President
Aaron Etra, Esq., Vice-President
Shamina de Gonzaga, Vice-President
Dr. Charles Koo, PhD., MH
Dr. Luis Felipe G. Prumbs, MD
Dr. Al Orensanz, PhD
Representatives to the United Nations
Shamina de Gonzaga, Director/ Main Representative
Dr. Al Orensanz, PhD, Alternate Representative
Joan C. Roth, Alternate Representative
Katherine McGehee, Youth Representative
Mu-Chen Yu, Youth Representative
Dr. Charles Koo, PhD., MH – Hong Kong, China
David McNary, JD – US
Renée Niño de Rivera – Mexico
Dr. Renaud Rédien-Collot, PhD – France
Asst. Prof. Dr. Peri Uran, PhD – Turkey
Gema Álava – Spain
Kóan Jeff Baysa, M.D. – US
Barbara Holub – Austria
Gala Narezo – US/Mexico
Rupert Pollard – UK
Bonnie Ora Sherk – US
Adviser for Partnerships
Alexandra Abrams – UK
Alexandra Bonvalot – France
Ebi Spahiu – Albania
Collaboration with like-minded organizations underpins many of our activities. WCPUN long-term partner organizations include:
Angel Orensanz Foundation, Inc.
Ecole Supérieure de Gestion et Commerce International
Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
International Artists for Peace and World Harmony
Life Frames/A Living Library
Lions Club of Hong Kong (Pacific)
Media for Change
New York Metropolitan Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolence
The Society for Young Philanthropists / WCPUN UK
The Tent Project
what moves you?
Wings of Hope
WCPUN partners with and contributes to the work of other institutions and organizations on a project-specific basis.
301 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York, New York 10017
Fax: 212 752 3421