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ENVOY NEWS
November 2016

Dear ,


Greetings! At the beginning of this month I spent a couple of days in Boston and met with some folks at UUSC & the UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ)! It was right before the beginning of COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh, so we made some signs (see picture). Stay tuned on more about UU-UNO collaborations with the UU College of Social Justice.

We're working hard to get ready for the upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar in April - registration opens December 5th! Envoys are offered a $50 discount at registration. I hope you can attend! There will be an Envoy Breakfast one morning during the seminar to get to know one another and talk about important issues relevant to Envoys.

Here are the combined minutes from the November Envoy conference calls a couple of weeks ago. Be sure to read them if you weren't able to make it! Please RSVP here to the December conference call - it will be on Tuesday December 13th. Take a look below at the "Resources From Envoys" section where you can find useful resources provided by your fellow Envoys, as discussed on the November calls.


How about UN Sunday reports? Only two people so far have filled out the form, and I received detailed reports from 3 others via email. If you held a UN Sunday Service and haven't sent in your Envoy Report, please be sure to do that soon! It would also be great if you can share about your service with others by posting on our web map application (and check out what others have shared)!


In faith, love, hope, and justice,


Allison Hess

Int'l Engagement Associate

TIME TO ACT

Sharing information and news is important, but you want to make change in your local and global community. Here's how.


Sustainable Development Goals

In light of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the following "Time to Act" suggestions for November 2016 will be related to the Fourteenth SDG: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.


ENVOY TASKS

Please complete the following tasks by the end of December.

  1. Fill out the Envoy UN Sunday Report! Tell me about your UN Sunday service and see if you qualify for Blue Ribbon status.
      
  2. Are you keeping track of your progress in the Timeline for Envoys that I shared earlier this year? In case you forgot about it, this is a friendly reminder. It's there to help you!                                                          
  3. December's a great time to check the date for your District or Regional Assembly and think about hosting a UU-UNO related event/workshop or an exhibit table!

FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER


Flying largely under the radar in terms of news coverage, a United Nations climate change conference took place in Morocco during the first two weeks of November. At that conference, referred to as COP22, countries discussed instituting concrete legislation to make possible the objectives signed at last year's UN climate conference in Paris. The key message is that continued greenhouse gas emissions increase the likelihood of severe, irreversible impacts on people and ecosystems. As threats to our climate and human rights protections become even more prominent on a global scale, it is more important than ever for us to be aware of and engaged with global trends, action being taken worldwide and the commitments to which we must hold our governments accountable, including the Paris Agreement.
ATTENTION, YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS! 
Apply now to attend United Nations Winter Youth Assembly in February! Meet other young leaders from across the globe, learn and discuss this year's topic: 
Realizing the 2030 Agenda: Youth in Action
The 2017 Winter Youth Assembly takes place at UN Headquarters in NYC from February 1-3, 2017. Register by December 2nd for priority registration. After that date there are higher fees and the application process is more selective - applications accepted through January 6, 2017.

*** UN Youth Assembly is not a UU-UNO program; we're just letting you know about it! ***
Events
A look behind, a look ahead


Oct. 31- Nov. 3: Allison in Boston, MA at UUA headquarters

November 7-18COP22 UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco

November 24-27: UN Office closed in observance of US Thanksgiving.

December 1: World AIDS Day

December 5: Registration opens for UU-UNO 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar!

December 10: Human Rights Day.

December 18: International Migrants Day.


December 24-January 2: UN Office closed in observance of winter holidays.
Learn more about UUA
observers at COP22!
The group of UUA observer delegates to the first week of the COP22 UN climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco!
Resources from Envoys
During our last Envoy Conference calls, a couple of Envoys offered to provide some resources to help out their fellow Envoys (that means you!) - take a look! Hopefully these will be useful for you and/or your congregation. Thanks so much to Vicky & Joanne for sharing.


Explaining Human Rights to Kids - from Joanne Dufour at North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, LA
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Joanne shared a simplified version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for kids that can be printed out and inserted into an order of service! This is a great idea to include on Human Rights Day which is coming up very soon (December 10th)!

Promoting Women's Rights in the US - from Vicky Demos at the UU Fellowship at Salisbury, MD
Cities for CEDAW: We have a lot of work (especially now) to do in the United States to promote basic rights and dignity for all women. Have you heard of the UN's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)? The US has not ratified it, so there's a movement to get cities to adopt CEDAW as a city ordinance! Here's a Cities for CEDAW toolkit and Vicky prepared a sheet of additional information so you can learn more about this issue and the movement! Let's get engaged with this so the US will have hundreds of CEDAW cities.
Major issues that CEDAW could help address in the United States include:
  • Violence against women, particularly domestic violence.
  • Pay equity. 
  • Paid parental leave for both parents in all lines of work. 
  • Sex and labor trafficking.
Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2017
Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet

Registration opens next week!

*** Envoys get a $50 registration discount! ***

At this seminar, learn about international and local disarmament efforts, and hear stories about partnership with people of different faith backgrounds taking action against the armed violence in our world. Early registration rates are available between Dec. 5, 2016 and Jan. 23, 2017. Learn more about this brand new Spring Seminar on our website and spread the word within your congregation! The Seminar webpage will be updated regularly to reflect any news and developments, so keep an eye there!

Better than ever. What's so new and great about this year's Seminar?

  1. Content is action-oriented. In addition to learning about the problems facing our world related to the prevalence and use of weapons, participants will gain tools and skills to bring back to their communities and take action!
  2. Programming consists of interactive workshops and activities for people with diverse learning styles, not just panels and speeches.
  3. A special track of programming for ministers is included. This will be an opportunity for ministers to learn more about how to bring a more global perspective to their ministry and congregational life.
  4. Youth and their Sponsors will lodge at a hostel (in previous years they've slept on the floor of a local church basement). This means showers, bunk beds, and room keys! Most of the seminar will also take place at event space in the hostel.
What great parts of the Seminar will continue from previous years?
  1. High quality speakers and presenters with international expertise and diverse perspectives to educate and inform seminar.
  2. Participants from all over the US and Canada from ages 14+ attend and get to know one another through deep discussion in small Collaboration Groups.
  3. One panel event in a conference room at United Nations Headquarters which will be broadcast live on UN Web TV for all to see.
  4. Saturday morning worship service and lots more opportunities for community building and connecting to spirituality and UU faith. 
... and so much more! 

From the International Blog

Have you read these recent posts on our blog? Both have great relevance for our current times, and might be helpful for your congregation - take a read by clicking below!
The Future of Human Rights Protection at the UN
Blog post by Bruce Knotts (UU-UNO Director)
Recently the UN General Assembly took serious steps to limit human rights protections at the United Nations level. What impact will this and the results of the recent US election have on human rights worldwide?
 
Refugee Crisis - Where is the World?
Blog post by Ann Lundberg (UU Peace Ministry Network)
The Syrian refugee crisis is spinning out of control with millions of displaced people seeking shelter and welcome worldwide. What organizations are making a difference and what can Unitarian Universalists do to help?
News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Peacekeeping adaptations - The United Nations Department of Field Support, which is responsible for managing peacekeeping operations, just launched a new strategy to maximize its peace operations' efficiency in the use of natural resources, and to minimize their risk to people, societies and ecosystems.  

COP22 in Marrakech - To conclude the UN climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco, the State-Parties have adopted the Marrakech Action Proclamation which calls for the highest political commitments to support global momentum towards combating climate change.

Aftermath in Haiti - As Haiti struggles to recover from the effects of Hurricane Matthew which struck the country in early October, UNESCO has pledged support for rehabilitation of schools as well as emphasizing psycho-social support. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) expressed hope that
the situation in Haiti could improve as long as it received continuous support, not just support during emergencies.  

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT - Every two weeks the UN posts articles and videos summarizing noteworthy news developments over the past two weeks in the UN system. Find it here!       
Program Updates
For more information on any of the program areas, email unintern@uua.org with "Attn: [program]" in the subject line.
Climate Justice

In addition to keeping close track of the proceedings at COP22 in Marrakech, the UU-UNO's climate justice program also took part in World Tsunami Awareness Day. At that event, vulnerable countries spoke on how their nations prepare for the worst. Though all from different areas of the world, they face similar obstacles in perfecting their strategies.
LGBTQ Human Rights

We have been working to prepare for a discussion at the upcoming meeting of the UN NGO subcommittee on sexual orientation and gender identity. The meeting will discuss issues such as what the November US election will mean for LGBT asylum seekers as well as immigrants, people of color, and LGBT people more broadly. 
Racial Justice

The Racial Justice program has been preparing for an upcoming event in collaboration with a number of non-profit groups (including UUSC) to address responding to the hurricane aftermath in Haiti. The event will also address broader global media inattention toward issues that primarily affect people of African descent, with this hurricane as a recent example.
Women's Rights

Our Women's Rights program has been active in collaborating with the committee that hosts the annual Commission on the Status of Women conference in March and will be submitting two program proposals to host workshops during that conference. One of these proposals involves collaboration between our women's rights & climate justice programs.
 
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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States