News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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March 2018

Dear ,

During the month of March the UU-UNO had the opportunity to co-host a couple of different events at the annual Commission on the Status of Women at the UN. Details about the events (one about community-based organizing, and the other on global & local efforts to end FGM) will be on our blog in the coming weeks. Everything's just hectic around the UU-UNO these as we get all ready for the Intergenerational Spring Seminar next week! I'm really looking forward to seeing those of you who are coming! For those who aren't able to make it to New York for the actual event, we will be live streaming a couple of the events which are open to the public so keep an eye out for more details about those in the coming days.

Here are the minutes from the March Envoy conference call where we talked Disarmament with Joanne Dufour. Our next call will be April 25th - please RSVP here. I need lots of people to attend this one... see pink box right below for why!

Blue Ribbon Congregations will be announced in May. Please send me an email if you think your congregation will qualify but you haven't heard from me yet.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

Envoy... ENERGIZE!

Collaborative Projects
Making a REAL difference
Multigenerational engagement
Global - National - Local
I want to invite everyone to join a conversation in April about
energizing the Envoy Program! We'll discuss how to be the best Envoy, and throw around ideas on how to make the Envoy Program as awesome as it can possibly be. I know you have ideas. So do I. Let's share them!
This is a call for ALL ENVOYS - that means Youth Envoys too!


The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office in March was proud to participate in the annual Commission on the Status of Women, hosting two events that promoted the power of women taking control of their own bodies and of organizing and development in their own communities. The events brought together women from around the world and from around the country to share best practices for local movement-building to make their communities safe and just. A number of Unitarian Universalist women were able to attend the CSW events in New York City through a partnership between the UU-UNO and the International UU Women's Convocation. It is important for UU voices to be heard in international conferences like this one.
A look behind, a look ahead

March 8: International Women's Day!

March 12-23: United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in NYC.

March 15: UNO Hosts CSW panel "Advancing Gender Equality through Community-based Organizing and Global Advocacy"

March 16: UNO hosts CSW panel "Female Genital Mutilation: Advancing Awareness and Advocating for Global Action"

March 20: March UU-UNO Envoy Conference Calls.

March 31: Deadline to meet all requirements to become a Blue Ribbon Congregation!

April 4-7: Intergenerational Spring Seminar "When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration For All" in NYC.

April 9: UU-UNO hosts "Climate Change, Sustainable Cities, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals" event.

April 16: UUA offices closed for Patriots' Day.

The following "Time to Act" suggestions for March 2018 will be related to the Ninth Sustainable Development Goal: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation - focusing on target 9.c (Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.) SDG 9? WHY IT MATTERS!

  • NEWS - A report from the UN released this January shows that the world's least developed countries are on track to achieve universal Internet access by 2020!

  • Act locally - investigate the schools in your district and make sure the students are all getting equal access to information and communications technology education. Is the equipment or IT education program at one school much better or worse than the others in the area? Lobby your local school board to level the playing field!

Dialogue on Freedom and Resistance
The Second Torda450 Theological Reflection Dialogue

Tune in next Saturday to join the five Torda450 global U/U theologians for their next dialogue:
Saturday, April 7, 2018
3:00 - 5:00 PM
Zoom Meeting ID: 617 948 6412

If in NYC, you can even attend in person - this is the concluding event for the Intergenerational Spring Seminar and is open to the public! This event will focus on how Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist theology guides and sustains us as leaders and partners in resistance movements. Follow the event updates via the Theological Dialogue Facebook Event.

Reimagining Interfaith

A Gathering of Multifaith Leaders and Local Activists Working Together in the Face of Fear

July 29 - August 1, 2018
Washington, DC
George Washington University Marvin Center

This event focusing on skill-building, networking, and organizing for grassroots activists and interfaith peacebuilders from around the world, is co-sponsored by numerous organizations including Religions for Peace-USA, Shoulder-to-Shoulder, United Religions Initiative-North America, World Congress of Faith, the Interfaith Funders Group, the Internaitonal Association for Religious Freedom, and multiple faith communities including the UUA! Program Tracks include:
  • Cultivating Inclusive Communities in the Face of Religious Discrimination
  • Community Organizing: Initiating and Sustaining Social Change Movements
  • Staying “Woke”: Recognizing Privilege, Challenging Systemic Oppression
  • Interfaith Organizing in a Changing Spiritual Landscape
  • Making A Movement: Building Skills to Bring Interfaith to the Next Level
  • The Kids' Track!
Registration rates increase on April 1st. See you there?

A Note from UU-UNO Director Bruce Knotts

Dear Friends,

Your Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office has been bringing our UU values to the United Nations for 56 years. In that time we have helped establish Religions for Peace, the International Criminal Court, and Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Equality at the United Nations. We helped bring marriage equality to Taiwan and we are a force for equality and sustainable development at the United Nations in ways that affect the entire world.

We live in dangerous times. Our UU values call on us to engage to make this a better and safer world. There are more than 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Many of us know of the nuclear tensions with regards to North Korea and Iran. There are also tensions between the nuclear powers of Pakistan and India. Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea have had discussions of obtaining their own nuclear weapons. Experts agree that we are at greater danger of nuclear weapons being used than ever before. The UU-UNO is working to build a coalition of faith-based voices to call for immediate talks among all the nuclear-weapons-possessing states and those that are on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons to find ways to end all testing and developments and enhancements of nuclear weapons. We agree with Pope Francis that even possessing nuclear weapons is immoral. We work very closely with the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs. We are in conversations the many member-state missions to work for a nuclear-weapon-free world before it’s too late. The UN Mission of Kazakhstan is working for a nuclear free world by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations. We are working with the Parliament of the World’s Religions and other interfaith organizations to use our faith-based networks to work for peace.

I believe that it is imperative that we have absolute gender equality in the world. This is the goal of the Commission on the Status of Women which just ended its annual two-week conference at the United Nations. The UU-UNO presented two parallel events: One on working to empower grassroots organizers to connect to global initiatives and another on working to end FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Both events were well-attended and formed the foundation for future action. We also work with a coalition to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goal target #4.7 which calls for education for global citizenship. This includes, “education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”

We don’t just advocate for a better future, we are making it happen with your support and engagement.

Bruce Knotts
Director, UU-UNO
CUC National Conference 2018
An Invitation to Love and Justice

The Canadian Unitarian Council's biennial national conference this year has the theme "Invitation to Love and Justice"

May 18 - 20, 2018
Hamilton, Ontario
McMaster University

Join with Unitarian Universalists from across Canada for the biennial conference, hosted by the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton in partnership with the CUC. Register before April 7th to get the early bird rates! The UU-UNO will be hosting a multigenerational workshop at the conference focusing on education for global citizenship!

From the International Blog

Forced Migration due to Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

By Longjam Singh, LGBTQ Program Intern

A panel discussion on forced migration due to oppression based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) was organized on February 13, 2018 at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City. This program was organized to bring awareness amongst the general public.......

Amazing Grace: The Role of the Holy See in the Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons

By Joanne Dufour, UU-UNO Disarmament Volunteer & Envoy

On July 7, 2017 a United Nations Conference approved a new treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons requires that parties to the treaty “undertake never under any circumstances to .......

I Join with the Youth to Appeal for Abolition

By Joanne Dufour, UU-UNO Disarmament Volunteer & Envoy

Content warning: this post includes graphic descriptions of the effects of the nuclear bomb dropped in Hiroshima that may be traumatic for some readers. We feel it is important to read these stories in order to capture the real human impact of nuclear weapons.......

International U/U Council Calls, ANSWER Responds

By Rev. Sara Ascher, Executive Director of ICUU

One of the best things about the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) global conferences is the opportunity to connect with other Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists from around the world. To be able to hear and even sometimes see how they live our shared faith into action......

News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Peacekeeping Mission Complete - After a 15-year operation in Liberia, the peacekeeping mission UNMIL will conclude this Friday after assisting the nation in its transition from civil war to a "hopeful era of peace." Article includes a video, photo gallery, and audio clip from an interview with Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande, the first commander of UN forces in Liberia.

Ending Bullying - To help the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) tackle bullying in Indonesia – where one in five children have been physically attacked in school – David Beckham has visited the country to meet youth who have faced peer violence.

Water and Migration - The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said that studying water scarcity trends and helping communities to adapt can help communities who might otherwise be displaced and join the global movement of migrants.

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!       
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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