The Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC), a leading non-profit organization that promotes Asian American business leadership, announced Thursday that it has been selected to formally associate with the UN’s Global Communications Department.

The formal association with the department marks a global milestone for AABDC, which was founded in New York City in 1994 to promote greater recognition of Asian American businesses’ contributions to the general economy.

ABBDC was one of 19 civil society organizations from eight countries including Bangladesh, France, Greece, India, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia and the United States, highlighting the diversity of the most recent inductees.

In a statement issued on Dec 21 by the UN’s Department of Global Communications Civil Society Association, the deputy director of the Outreach Division, Robb Skinner, welcomed the new civil society organizations, saying: “It is only working with civil society that the United Nations will be successful in its efforts to build a more sustainable future for all. As Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his oath of office a few months ago, we live in a changed world, in which ‘the levers of change lie in many hands. The United Nations, and the states and people it serves, can only benefit from bringing others to the table.”

To qualify for the association, AABDC had to meet a number of requirements. Associated organizations are expected to join the global effort to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, promote and defend human rights, and promote peace and security.

“I am so proud that AABDC has qualified to join this diverse group of civil society organizations,” said John Wang, founder and president of AABDC. “As the premier advocate and champion of Asian American professionals and entrepreneurs, we already represent a community that has cultural roots spanning some of the most dynamic countries in the world. This new association will further widen and deepen our connections across international boundaries and enable us to unite and collaborate with like-minded communities.”

Included in the application to join the association were examples of AABDC’s alignment with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN’s Department of Global Communications associated organizations have the opportunity to network with other organizations and to share information about their activities during the thematic briefings, capacity building sessions and the United Nations Civil Society Conference.

Organizations that successfully meet the criteria for association with the department are also eligible to propose and lead civil society briefings organized by the department.

The department works with diverse civil society organizations ranging from small groups to subsidiaries of large networks and academic institutions globally.

In addition to their main activities, associated organizations are expected to use their communications assets to disseminate information received from the department about the work of the United Nations and issues on its agenda to their members and audiences.