News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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October 2017
Dear ,

I hope all are doing well as we reach the end of October and get ready to switch the clocks back again and pull the fuzzy sweaters out of storage. Happy Halloween! Anyone know kids who will be doing Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF?

The UU-UNO held our annual Fall Reception on Saturday, October 21st in Bethesda, MD at Cedar Lane UU Church! The evening honored two individuals for their work on human rights, Ambassador Susan Rice and Senator Chris Van Hollen. Unfortunately both of them were unable to attend due to prior commitments, but they sent very moving remarks about the importance of protecting the rights of all and supporting organizations like the UU-UNO that work for justice and human rights on a global scale. Here you can read Amb. Rice's remarks (pdf) and watch Sen. Van Hollen's remarks (YouTube). And of course many congregations held UN Sunday services this month! See more on UN Sunday below. Be sure to share about your service if you want to become a Blue Ribbon Congregation this year!

Here are the minutes from the October Envoy conference call. It was great to have Rev. Chris Antal as a guest join us for that call - he shared shocking information about the impacts of lethal drones and has provided lots of resources to involve congregations. Take a look in the grey box down below for some of the materials and please consider signing up to host a drone film screening at your church! A few congregations have already begun holding these conversations and are finding them very powerful. Please RSVP here for the next Envoy chat which will be Tuesday November 8th.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess
International Engagement Associate


Please complete the following tasks by the end of November.

  1. Start raising funds to send a group from your congregation to the Intergenerational Spring Seminar! Registration opens in early December.

  2. I have received a couple UN Sunday Reports from people. Don't forget to send yours in!
Remember to keep track of your progress using the Envoy Timeline.


In advance of Disarmament Week, October 24-30, the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office hosted an important conversation for congregational Envoys to the UU-UNO. The discussion focused on how UU congregations can be involved in education and action to combat the use of lethal drones by the U.S. military. Though the U.S. government does not keep, or at least make public, precise records of how many civilians are killed in drone strikes, civil society estimates range from 7,000 to as much as 10,000 people killed. The use of drone strikes has only increased under the Trump administration. Rev. Chris Antal shared resources from the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare, including information about a free film series that can be screened in congregations with discussion guides.
A look behind, a look ahead

October 2: International Day of Non-Violence.

October 11-18: UNO Director Bruce in Taiwan for Tzu Chi Buddhist retreat.

October 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

October 21: UU-UNO Fall Fundraiser at Cedar Lane UU Church.

October 22: UN Sunday!

October 24: United Nations Day.

October 24-30: Disarmament Week.

November 2: YOUnited Youth Briefing at the UN on how youth can affect change.

November 5: UNO Climate Justice Intern Mengluo's birthday!

November 6-17: UN FCCC COP23 in Bonn, Germany.

November 22-24: UUA offices closed for Thanksgiving holiday.

The following "Time to Act" suggestions for October 2017 will be related to the Fifth Sustainable Development Goal: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls - focusing on target 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences...

Educate your Congregation on
Drone Warfare

In the October Envoy Conference Call, we were joined by Rev. Chris Antal who presented about the realities of lethal drones used by the U.S. military and shared many resources for Envoys to use to get their congregations involved.
Educational Resources Learning about the impact of lethal drones
UUA Resources Connecting our UU faith with advocating against lethal drones
Resources for Congregations Leading programs about lethal drones
  • Flyer about film series on lethal drones - there are 5 (soon to be 6) half-hour films with accompanying discussion guides. Consider hosting a "Scones & Drones" or "Calzones & Drones" series after church!
  • Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare website is where you can register to host the film series and find lots of other info & resources on this topic.
  • Drones Quilt Project allows congregations to host an exhibition of drone memorial quilts (each square honors a person who has been killed by a U.S. lethal drone strike)
Rev. Antal wants to get at least 25 congregations registered to host these conversations & film screenings - can yours be one? Please visit to register and email Rev. Antal for additional info/support.

United Nations Day was October 24th and many congregations had their UN Sunday services around that date. If your congregation isn't on my list (see below) please let me know and I will add it!
Next Steps: Both of these are required for congregations hoping to achieve Blue Ribbon status this year!
  1. Complete the UN Sunday Report form. (It's easy! It's online!)
  2. Share your UN Sunday Service on the web map. While you're there, take a look at what other congregations have done. If you have trouble with the function, please email me with whatever you'd like to share, and I can put it online for you - or see if someone else in your congregation can help!

August 20: First UU Church of San Diego, CA (Allison speaking)
October 8: Community Church of New York, UU in New York, NY (Bruce speaking)

October 15: Fourth Universalist Society in New York, NY

October 22: First Parish in Bedford, MA (Bruce speaking)

North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, LA (Allison speaking)
First Unitarian Church in Toronto, ON
First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR
Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, MD
UU Church of Arlington, VA
All Souls UU Church in Watertown, NY
Community Church UU in New Orleans, LA
UU Community Church of Washington County, OR
Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga, ON
October 29: The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT (Bruce speaking)
November 5: UU Fellowship at Salisbury, MD
December 10: UUs of San Mateo, CA (Bruce speaking)
December 17: UU Congregation at Rock Tavern, NY (Bruce speaking)
January 7: Conejo Valley UU Fellowship in Newbury Park, CA (Allison speaking)
January 28: New Haven Unitarian Society in Hamden, CT (Bruce speaking)

Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2018
When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration For All
Keep an eye on this month as more details emerge about our upcoming Intergenerational Seminar next April. A few details so you can start planning:
When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration For All
April 5*-7, 2018
New York City

Registration will open in early December, 2017. Registration prices and additional information are posted online, so you can start fundraising now.
We are very excited to be partnering with the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice on dynamic, justice-centered, spiritually-engaging programming!

*Youth and their Sponsors must arrive by 7pm on Wednesday, April 4th for orientation and evening worship. Youth attendees (age 14-18) must be accompanied by an adult Sponsor (age 25+) with a maximum of 5 youth per Sponsor.
From the International Blog

Gun Control or Self Control? A Comparison of Countries' Gun Laws

By Katia Altern & Samantha Hussey, UU-UNO Program Interns
Sunday October 1st, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in Las Vegas where 59 people were killed and over 500 people were injured. This was the 273rd mass shooting to take place in 2017. The question that everyone seems.......

The United Nations: It's Your World

By Allison Hess
Over the last few years, I have felt myself going back and forth between waves of fear, anger, sadness, shame, and mourning when I read the news. With each breaking news alert, I brace myself for another wave. When was the last time I got a breaking news alert that contained.......

Almost No One Here Is Armed

By Rev. Rob MacPherson, Unitarian Church of South Australia

Current Australian gun laws, introduced in 1996, as well as their clear effects on suppressing gun-related violence, are frequently cited by gun control advocates in the USA. These laws and their effects were achieved in the wake of the Port Arthur shooting, when a lone, white,.......

Denouncing US Vote Against Death Penalty Ban at the UN

By Bruce Knotts

On Friday, September 29, the Human Rights Council voted in favor of a resolution which condemned the "imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery & consensual same-sex relations".....

News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Iran Deal - The head of the United Nations atomic energy agency reaffirmed that the commitments undertaken by Iran under the nuclear accord of 2015 are indeed being implemented.

Puerto Rico - Human rights experts at the United Nations have observed "alarming" conditions in Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria over one month ago. They called on United States and Puerto Rican authorities to remove regulatory and financial barriers to reconstruction and recovery.

Carbon Dioxide - The UN weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization, just announced that the year 2016 saw levels of carbon dioxide surge at "record-breaking speed" to new highs.

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.
LGBTQ Human Rights

We are conducting research in a number of issues relating to LGBTQ human rights, with an emphasis right now on the issue of bullying. We have participated in a number of programs around the UN to do with bullying and look forward to putting together an event to share this conversation more broadly.
Women's Rights

The UU-UNO is working on creating a panel discussion around women's rights and some of the challenges associated with meeting the needs of girls and women refugees and migrants. We are also working alongside CSW in preparation for the Commission on the Status of Women forum coming up in March 2018.
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777 UN Plaza
Suite 7G
New York, NY 10017
United States

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Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office
777 UN Plaza
Suite 7G
New York, NY 10017
United States