News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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October 2016
Dear ,

Hope you had a Happy Halloween! (Apologies for the late sending of the Envoy News this month!) At the end of September I had a fantastic visit to India where I got to meet up with Shreya (picture at right), a consultant with the UU Holdeen India Program. After returning from a whirlwind vacation, it was then off to the races getting ready for UN Sunday and other exciting October events!

In addition to UN Sunday services, the UU-UNO had our annual Fall Fundraiser on October 21 in Arlington, VA. It was a lovely evening featuring inspiring words about work being done at the United Nations in support of human rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We were proud to welcome the Norwegian Ambassador to the US at the event. He accepted the award honoring the Kingdom of Norway for their essential financial and political support at the UN of LGBTI rights. You can view pictures online. Please make sure to take a look at the UN Sunday section of this Envoy News which includes a couple of important tasks I expect from Envoys to report on their UN Sunday services.

As we wrap up the busy month of October, I wanted to tell you a bit about what's been going on at the United Nations over the course of the last month. You may have heard that last week the UN Disarmament and International Security Committee voted to convene next year to negotiate a treaty banning nuclear weapons once and for all. The resolution will be put to the General Assembly in December. This is a huge step, though it is worth noting that it did not have support from eight nations with nuclear arms (the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, and Israel either opposed or abstained from the resolution), though North Korea voted yes. Which is to say that in order for the future treaty to be effective, a lot of work has yet to be done. On the topic of disarmament, a reminder that this will be the theme for our upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar, Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet.

Here are the minutes from the October Envoy conference call. Please RSVP here for the next Envoy chat which will be Tuesday, November 8th - there's also a New Envoy Training call the day before if anyone's interested! RSVP form is the same.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess
International Engagement Associate

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 April 2016 will be related to the Thirteenth SDG: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.


Please complete the following tasks by the end of November.

  1. Submit a report on your UN Sunday Service. Envoys must submit reports to be considered for Blue Ribbon Status!

  2. Email me and tell me about the issues your congregation is really passionate about right now, even ones that aren't necessarily international-related. 
A look behind, a look ahead

October 21: UU-UNO Fall Reception at the UU Church of Arlington, VA.

October 23: United Nations Sunday!

October 24: United Nations Day.

October 25: Bruce speaks at Culture of Peace event at UN Church Center

October 31-November 3: Allison in Boston, MA.

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

On October 13th, the United Nations General Assembly appointed the next UN Secretary-General: António Guterres will succeed Ban Ki-moon when he steps down on December 31st.  As the the world's top diplomat, Mr. Guterres has expressed that his top priority will be promoting peace, as a way to combat many of the other issues plaguing the world, including the refugee crisis and conflicts that exacerbates threats to our climate and overall development. As a former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, he brings decades of experience with diplomacy and peace advocacy.
Get to know the new UN S-G!


United Nations Day was October 24th and many congregations had their UN Sunday services around that date. Below you can find a list of upcoming UN Sunday services - if yours isn't on my list, please let me know and I'll add it! You can find the UN Sunday packet here. Already held your UN Sunday service? Both of these things are for you to do next (please do both!):

  1. Please fill out the UN Sunday Report form! This is important for Envoys who wish to achieve Blue Ribbon status!
  2. Share your UN Sunday service with other Envoys & the broader community! There's a new special section of our UN Sunday webpage ( where you can see a map of the UN Sunday services that were held this year! It would be great to have all of them up there, and I'm sure will be interesting for folks who are new to UN Sunday to read about other services and get some inspiration. Sharing requires logging into - you should feel welcome to involve others at the congregation with this part, like the congregation's administrator, and share some pictures too if you have permission!

Upcoming UN Sunday services:
November 6: The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT (Bruce speaking)
November 13: The UU Congregation of York, PA (Bruce speaking)
January 8: Conejo Valley UU Fellowship in Newbury Park, CA (Allison speaking)
February 12: New Haven Unitarian Society in Hamden, CT (Bruce speaking)
March 12: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore (Bruce speaking)

Canadian Congregations: Please note that it is once again possible to submit donations to the UU-UNO through the CUC!

Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2017
Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet

New York City
April 5-8, 2017
Registration for the upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar will open in December! If you haven't already begun, now might be a good time to start fundraising. We're putting together a lot of exciting programming this year, and as a warning the registration fees will be higher, especially for youth, who will be staying at a hostel rather than on the floor of a local church.

Human Rights Report on Burundi

Calling us to stand in support of Unitarians and others in Burundi, the Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, minister of the Unitarian Church of Burundi, provides a reaction to the recent UN Human Rights report. Following their investigation into events there, the report reveals horrendous violations of human rights to be pervasive throughout the Burundian regime.
Hurricane Matthew - Why we care

This blog post is written by Rebecca Bowe, an intern at the UU-UNO working on the Racial Justice Initiative. This summer she spent 9 days in Haiti with a mental health team, aiming to implement a mental health component to a medical clinic called The St. Rock Haiti Foundation. During her time there, she fell in love with the country and built strong bonds with members of the community. This blog speaks to how that experience influenced her reaction to the coverage of recent Hurricane Matthew.  
News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Environmental conservation - The United Nations Environment Programme welcomed a unanimous decision from the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to create the world's largest protected area – land or marine – in the Antarctic's Ross Sea.  

ICC withdrawals - In a concerning turn of events, three African nations (South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia) have indicated their intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court

Children's health - A recent Unicef report reveals that a
bout 300 million children in the world are living in areas with outdoor air so toxic that it can cause serious health damage, including harming their developing brains.

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 with "Attn: [program]" in the subject line.
Climate Justice

The climate justice initiative is looking at environmental racism and climate refugees, bringing attention to the perpetuation of discrimination against marginalized groups and how this lack of access to resources intersects so concretely worldwide with threats from global climate change.
LGBTQ Human Rights

The UU-UNO is launching a discussion within the NGO community at the UN focusing on healthcare and well-being for LGBTQI populations in Asian developing countries. Specifically, measures on reducing HIV amongst these populations will be one of the main issues. Keep an eye out for more information coming soon!
Racial Justice

Our specific areas of focus recently include the role of media in perpetuating racism, health effects of discrimination against marginalized groups, and the incidence of colorism worldwide. By giving these topics a platform, we strive to illustrate how external factors shape people's perspectives and experiences.
Women's Rights

The Women's Rights initiative has been focusing on developing workshops for the 2017 Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). We are collaborating with a number of groups, and hope to present an event related to how women's menstrual health affects their ability to function in the world, and especially in the workforce. 
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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States