Envoy News December 2019
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News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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Thank you for being a part of the UU-UNO Envoy community, , and for all you have done to further the important work of peace, sustainability, and human rights throughout 2019. May you have a peaceful and joyful start to the new year!

Dear ,

With 2019 winding down, over at the UU-UNO we're looking towards a very busy 2020! Aside from the elections that will be happening in the U.S., we'll also be honoring many significant anniversaries: Earth Day turns 50 in April, in August it will be 100 years since women got the right to vote in the U.S., and in October the United Nations turns 75! We will also acknowledge some somber anniversaries, including 75 years since the first use of a nuclear weapon in Hiroshima, as well as and 400 years since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock and began active colonization of the continent we call North America. This last anniversary will be a big focus of the UUA General Assembly this June in Providence, RI; Registration is open for that now at

And of course I cannot fail to mention the UU-UNO's upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar, All In For Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet in NYC April 16-18, 2020! You can find more details below but I'll point out particularly that we've just extended the deadline for early discounted registration to February 3.

Here are the minutes from the December Envoy calls. Our next monthly meeting will be in January: You can RSVP here.

And finally, as we approach the end of 2019, I invite you to consider a gift to the UU-UNO in your year-end giving. Support from committed individuals like you keeps our office open year after year, ensuring that we can continue to make progressive values a priority at the United Nations.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

Some recommended text to put in your congregation's newsletter.

The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office's 2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will take place in New York City April 16-18, 2020. This year's Seminar, All In For Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet, will equip participants with the skills necessary to be meaningful change-makers in their communities towards a more sustainable and just world. Learn about working together locally and on an international level to achieve climate justice. Open to youth and adults age 14 and up! Register by February 3, 2020 for lower early-bird rates. Scholarships are available to offset the cost of registration: Apply by January 27.


Please complete the following tasks by the end of January.

  1. Submit a sermon or address to the Dana McLean greeley Sermon Competition. Deadline for submissions is February 1, 2020. The theme is intersectional gender equity.

  2. Register with a group from your congregation for the upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar, All In For Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet. Registration rates increase after Feb. 3, so don't delay!

December Review: (1) Start planning for the many anniversaries to mark in 2020
(2) Encourage congregants to make a year-end donation to the UU-UNO or Every Child is Our Child program.

Youth climate activist Daphne Frias addresses attendees at a UU-UNO-sponsored event.
A look behind, a look ahead

December 1: World AIDS Day.
December 2: Registration opens for UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar.
December 2-13: COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain.
December 5: UNO hosts "A Climate in Crisis" event in NYC (photo above).
December 9-13: Allison & colleagues at 1440 Multiversity Service Week.
December 10: Human Rights Day.
December 17: December Envoy Conference Call.

December 18: International Migrants Day.
December 23 - January 1: UUA Offices closed for Winter Break.
January 27: Deadline to apply for reduced registration for Spring Seminar.
February 3: Deadline to register for Spring Seminar at Early Registration rate.
March 2: Final deadline to register for Spring
March 8: International Women's Day.
March 9-20: Annual Commission on the Status of Women forum at UN Headquarters in NYC. Contact the UU-UNO if you wish to participate!
March 10: UNO hosts side-event on preventing discrimination against trans and non-binary individuals as part of Commission on the Status of Women.
March 17: UNO hosts side-event on the role and importance of doulas as part of Commission on the Status of Women.


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for January 2020 will be related to the Eleventh Sustainable Development Goal: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable - focusing on target 11.2 (By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all... notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities, and older persons.) SDG 11? WHY IT MATTERS!

  • This is a classic example of how communities can adapt for climate justice! Make sure that any adaptations your city or town is making towards sustainability and improved public transportation (which lowers carbon emissions!) is accessible for all! So many public transportation systems are inaccessible for people with disabilities, older people, and families with strollers.
  1. Reach out to local organizations that work on disability rights and see if you can join an existing campaign.
  2. Organize a letter-writing campaign during coffee hour for people to write to the public transit board calling for inclusion & accessibility.
  3. Visit the office of your local elected officials and make sure they know how important this issue is for the community.

2019-20 Dana Greeley Sermon Competition

Did you host a UN Sunday service this fall that featured an inspiring sermon related to the theme Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World? Or perhaps whoever spoke at your UN Sunday service inspired you to write up some ideas of your own? I encourage you to submit a sermon that addresses the theme of intersectional gender equity to the Dana McLean Greeley Sermon Competition. You have a chance to win $500 and have the sermon featured on our website and social media. Submissions should highlight the work of the United Nations and the UU-UNO and are due February 1, 2020.

Watch last year's winning sermon by Rev. Karen Johnston: "That the Children of Our Children’s Children May Live: Reflections on the Migrant Crisis at the Border" which addressed the 2018/19 theme, When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration for All.

April 16-18, 2020 - New York City

Registration is open for the UU-UNO's 2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar, All In For Climate Justice: People Power Planet. Please be aware of the new deadline for Early Registration: February 3, 2020. This gives folx two extra weeks to register at the discounted rate! And remember: Envoys get a $50 discount as well with the code ENVOY. We're looking forward to some amazing programming and a transformational event that couldn't come at a more pressing time. As we discussed during the most recent Envoy meeting, the COP25 climate conference in Madrid was a major disappointment, making conversations and action on climate justice all the more urgent. And our event falls right before the week of the 50th Earth Day, when people will be mobilized for climate action across the globe! I hope to see you in New York in April.

Support Children & Women's Leadership in Ghana

The UU-UNO's Every Child is Our Child Program has partnered with the Manye Krobo Queen Mothers Association for 15 years to make sure that children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS can attend school and receive needed health care. The program is led by the formidable Queen Mothers, local indigenous leaders who are traditionally responsible for caring for orphaned children. Through their dedication and the generosity of UUs, hundreds of children's lives have been changed through education and care. However, funding is not guaranteed; it depends on us. Let's make sure this program can keep going strong into the future! $120 supports one child through the program for one year. All support is very appreciated!

Find more at

Rohingya Flight Gives Int'l Criminal Court Myanmar Crimes Jurisdiction

By John Washburn, Disarmament Volunteer

The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over crimes against the Rohingya people of Myanmar, according to a November 14 decision by its PreTrial Chamber. It said that although the Court could not take up these crimes while the Rohingya remained......

The Significance of a Treaty as it Applies to the New START Process

By Joanne Dufour, Disarmament Volunteer

If conflict is inevitable in human relations, so might be efforts to reconcile and reach a state of peace. How can this peace be ensured? Over the years of evolution, wise souls have developed an instrument known as a treaty: a written document with input.......

Universal, Indivisible, and Interdependent Human Rights

By Allison Hess & Bruce Knotts, UU-UNO

With human rights under threat around the world, this Human Rights Day we all must be engaged to make sure that every person's human rights are respected and protected. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 71 years old today, lists the human rights.......

The Other Existential Threat - and What to Do About It

By Jerry Ross, Envoy at First Parish Bedford

We know we are facing an existential crisis with the advance of climate change; and what about the other existential threat? Nuclear weapons. Unless we arrest climate change, it will fundamentally change our civilization in a matter of decades.......

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Cholera progress - The World Health Organization reported recently that international action to drive down cholera led to a 60% decrease in cases in 2018, compared with the previous year.

Global Refugee Forum - The first ever Global Refugee Forum concluded in Geneva on International Migrants Day with more than 770 pledges of support - covering areas such as protection, employment, and education - for refugees and the communities that have taken them in.

Climate frustration - Negotiations at the COP25 UN climate conference in Madrid saw much progress made by the private sector and by national, regional, and local governments. However there was widespread disappointment that no overall consensus was reached on increased climate ambition.

Israel-Palestine - The UN's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told Security Council members recently that obstacles to any lasting deal between Israel and Palestine continue to mount, and only "concrete action" toward a two-State solution will change that dynamic.

This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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