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ENVOY NEWS
January 2016

Dear ,


I hope 2016 is off to a good start for you! This past Sunday was the 70th anniversary of the first ever resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly. It called for a commission monitoring nuclear energy and for the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is now more important than ever that we commit ourselves to the abolition of nuclear weapons that have no place in our interconnected world. Read the statement below to learn more about this critical issue.


Remember the deadline for submissions for the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition is February 1st. The winner will receive $500 and the opportunity to present your sermon at either the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)'s or the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC)'s annual meeting!


Spring Seminar registration opened yesterday! Check out that section further down for more information. Our next Envoy conference call will be in the second week of February: please RSVP here. Remember you can share information or questions with other Envoys anytime you like on the UU-UNO Envoys Facebook group (more info here).


In faith, love, hope, and justice,


Allison Hess

Envoy Coordinator

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 January 2016 will be related to the Fifth SDG: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.



ENVOY TASKS

Please complete the following tasks by the end of February.


  1. How is your congregation doing on achieving 2015-16 Blue Ribbon status? (Contact me if you'd like to know where you stand so far - deadline for requirements is March 31st.)

  2. Register for Spring Seminar with an intergenerational delegation from your cong!

December Review: (1) Take the Paris Pledge for Action (2) Raise funds & interest for Spring Seminar.  


*Picture on the right is of LGBTQ Program Interns Ian and Justin at the Creating Change conference in Chicago
Events
A look behind, a look ahead

January 10: Bruce led workshop and UN Sunday service at the First Unitarian Church in Wilmington, DE.

January 10: Every Child is Our Child program intern Anisha's birthday.

January 15: UU-UNO calls first meeting of the NGO Subcommittee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE).

January 16 - February 14: 30 Days of Love 2016: Towards Racial Justice.

January 18: UN Office closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

January 20-24: LGBT Task Force's annual Creating Change conference in Chicago; UU-UNO will host a workshop on "Faith and Justice: LGBTQ Asylum Seekers and How Your Place of Worship Can Help."

February 1: Deadline for submission of sermons to the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition.

February 3: UU-UNO participates in World Interfaith Harmony Day ceremony at the United Nations.

February 15: Office & Intern Coordinator Anne's birthday. Office closed for Presidents' Day.

February 24: Climate Justice program intern Mara's birthday.


February 26: Deadline for submission of applications for Spring Seminar scholarships.

February 28: Bruce speaks at First Unitarian Society of Westchester in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.
Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2016
Registration is now open!

Registration is now open for the UU-UNO's 2016 Intergenerational Spring Seminar - The Colors of Inequality: Costs and Consequences. The Seminar will be in New York City from April 7-9. Please note, due to new efforts to make our Seminar as safe as possible for everyone, all youth participants must be accompanied by an adult Youth Sponsor (maximum of five youth per sponsor).

70 Years of Nuclear Disarmament
First UN resolution signed January 24, 1946

Seventy years ago, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed its first resolution, which called for the establishment of a commission to monitor nuclear energy around the world, and for the elimination of atomic weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. This January 24th, 2016, we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the first resolution as we continue to advocate for nuclear disarmamentOn January 24, 1946, in the wake of the Second World War, the world had just witnessed the realities of what nuclear war could mean, and they also realized that in order to prevent that from occurring, it required a combined effort from the entire globe. As we embark on a worldwide effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we cannot ignore the fact that nuclear warfare would make all those efforts futile by destroying our planet as we know it, and bringing about the extinction of most species, including our own.

COP21 International Climate Change Conference
Paris, France 2015  

Climate change has become a huge focus in the last couple years, politically and socially. Some of us have been working on it much longer, but it's inspiring to see the commitment spread to more people and gather more support. Six credentialed observers represented Unitarian Universalist Association at this year's climate talks in Paris, at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21). Please read and share their official statement that compels us all to work together to achieve a better future for our planet and all its inhabitants.

News: United Nations
Include the following in your congregation's newsletter, website, and/or bulletin!   
Adapting for development - In order to combat climate change and to promote development, the UN is working to preserve biodiversity and enhance the application of science and technology.

Zika virus - Many countries in South America are struggling with an outbreak of the Zika virus. As the World Health Organization and other agencies attempt to learn more about this virus, Brazil and El Salvador have had to take drastic measures to combat its spread.

Peace efforts in Syria - After a delay, UN-brokered peace talks will begin Friday, January 29, 2016 in Geneva. Meanwhile, humanitarian organizations continue struggling within a dangerous political context to save lives and promote peace in Syria.

Human rights in Burundi - In December of 2015, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to send a team of experts to investigate human rights abuses in the increasingly dangerous Burundi, but as of January 26, they have been unable to enter the country. The founder and minister of the Unitarian Church in Burundi, Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana has prepared an article to put the current situation into context.

Program Updates
For more information on any of the program areas, email unintern@uua.org with "Attn: [program]" in the subject line.
LGBTQ Asylum/
Refugees


At the LGBT Task Force's "Creating Change" conference in Chicago last weekend, the UU-UNO hosted a very successful workshop on LGBTQ asylum and faith, and how places of worship can get involved in providing help to those who are seeking asylum.   
LGBTQ Human Rights

The first meeting of the NGO subcommittee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity human rights took place this month, sparking fascinating discussion and excitement for the future of the subcommittee. We are also working with the Women's Rights initiative to prepare a LBT panel for CSW in March!
Every Child is Our Child

We have been researching the importance of girls education and strategies to keep girls in school. In the coming months, we will seek funding to provide bicycles and sanitary pads to the ECOC students to help them reach school faster and to help girls attend school during their periods.   
Women's Rights

We are organizing a panel for the upcoming NGO Committee on the Status of Women Forum to be held in March. We will focus on the challenges and successes faced by the lesbian, bisexual, and trans communities and how the SDGs present a platform of action in which to implement many of the goals relating to equality.
Climate Justice

In the weeks following COP21, we have been taking steps to make "the road from Paris" into the "Superhighway from Paris." We're planning an exciting Earth Day event in New York City, continued growth of climate teams, and building new partnerships with faith-based organizations.

Racial Justice

Conversations have been developing with many justice and faith-based organizations around participation in the UN General Assembly Special Session on drug reform in April. We are also planning a spring follow-up event to the Confronting the Silence event we held in November on global racism.
 
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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States

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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States