News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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August 2017

Dear ,

We are continuing to keep in our thoughts and prayers all those in the path of Hurricane Harvey who are dealing with flooding and other devastation from the storm. In case you haven't seen it yet, the UUA & UUSC have set up a Hurricane Harvey recovery and relief fund - the funds will go to a combination of at-risk populations served by UUSC partners, and UU congregations and members most affected by the storm.

Meanwhile, South Asia is also experiencing severe flooding across the region. The UU Holdeen India Program has proudly partnered with the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) since 1984. We recently learned from SEWA that devastating floods have affected hundreds of thousands of their members. Teams from SEWA have reached those affected and are distributing emergency relief. We are in regular touch with SEWA and are standing with them through this ordeal - it's at moments like these that solidarity and partnership become most important. Donations to the UU Holdeen India Program help us to ensure that when Unitarian Universalism's partners are hit by tragedy, they know we are with them.

I hope the summer has been a rejuvenating time for you. I had the great joy a couple of weeks ago of visiting & speaking at the First UU Church of San Diego and Monte Vista UU Congregation on a quick trip in California! 

Here are the minutes from the August Envoy conference calls. On that call, I told those who attended to mark their calendars for a training webinar on September 11. We've actually had to postpone the webinar, and instead will have a normal monthly conference call on the 11th. Please RSVP here for the conference call. The training webinar, which will prepare Envoys for teaching about and working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, will take place on Tues, September 26th! I hope lots of people will be able to attend! See below for more info.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

Announcement Regarding Blue Ribbon Congregations 

A congregation is awarded the Blue Ribbon award yearly when they have met the following four requirements:
  1. Have an Envoy, Youth Envoy, or Envoy Team
  2. Hold an annual UN Sunday Service
  3. Have 5% of your congregation (or 15 members, for large congregations) become individual UU-UNO Supporters
  4. Give a congregational donation to the UU-UNO, either as a budget line or a special collection plate
Starting this year (2017-2018), in order to achieve the 3rd requirement, in order to count as a "Supporter", each individual will need to give according to one of the following annual levels (these giving levels were first introduced a year ago): 
  • $250.00 - Global Equality Supporter
  • $150.00 - Family/Household Supporter
  • $60.00 - Individual Supporter
  • $30.00 - Retired/Student Supporter
Global Equality and Family/Household Supporters can qualify as two (2) individuals for Blue Ribbon purposes.
This is not a new requirement, but the UU-UNO is being more strict about enforcing the minimum donation required to qualify as a "Supporter." In order to make this clear with congregants, you may wish to pass out donation envelopes. Please contact Allison to request that these envelopes (which list the Supporter levels) be mailed to you prior to your UN Sunday service. Click below for more details about the Blue Ribbon Award.


Please complete the following tasks by the end of September.

  1. Send me (via email your plans for Disarmament Week (Oct 24-30) which conveniently falls right after UN Sunday this year - what action are  you taking?

  2. Let me know if you need me to send you donation envelopes (see Blue Ribbon announcement above) and how many you need.
August Review: (1) Send me the date of your UN Sunday service (2) Share information about Planning Committee Applications for 2018 Seminar


This summer, the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office brought inclusive intergenerational dialogues to the United Nations! The Director of the UU-UNO, Bruce Knotts, serves as Chair of a committee of non-governmental organizations that put together a day-long event at the United Nations that consisted of youth, adults, and seniors coming together to discuss the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event, "Intergenerational Dialogues on the SDGs" was the first of its kind at the United Nations, raising up the voices of young people and elderly people as they expressed their unique perspectives on solving some of the world's largest problems. The UU-UNO continues to advocate and campaign at the UN for all those whose dignity and rights are not respected.
A look behind, a look ahead

August 1Intergenerational Dialogues on the Sustainable Development Goals - NGO/DPI event.

August 9-12Youth Assembly at the United Nations.

August 19: Disarmament & Sustainable Development workshop at Monte Vista UU Congregation led by Allison.

August 20: Allison guest preacher at First UU Church of San Diego.

August 23: UU-UNO co-sponsors "Yes to Love, No to Hate: NYC Interfaith Gathering of Solidarity, Hope, and Action" at Fourth Universalist Society.

September 4: UUA closed in observance of Labor Day.

September 12-22: Allison out of office (vacation).

September 12-25: 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

September 20: Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (part of UN GA).

September 21: International Day of Peace

September 26: UU-UNO Envoys Webinar on the Sustainable Development Goals, led by CVSA.

September 26: International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for August 2017 will be related to the Third Sustainable Development Goal: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages - focusing on target 3.3: By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases...

  • Send an insecticide-treated net to someone who needs one through Nothing But Nets, an organization that works with UN agencies to distribute mosquito nets to countries with high rates of malaria.
  • Fight the AIDS epidemic by supporting and spreading the word about our Every Child is Our Child program. In addition to helping children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS go to school, the UU-UNO's ECOC program provides health care cards for all members of the care-giving families of those children served by the program. See box below for more about ECOC!

Training Webinar for UU-UNO Envoys

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Zoom Meeting ID: 482 906 872
Please join Yael Alonso from the Commission on Voluntary Service & Action (CVSA) and Allison Hess from the Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA's) International Office for a special training webinar for UU-UNO Envoys!
CVSA has generously offered to support Envoys who would like to become more informed and engaged on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Please RSVP if you plan to attend. Joining on the computer for video conference is best (even if you don't have a webcam) so that you can see the slides Yael will be presenting.

United Nations Sunday

UN Sunday is coming up soon! If you haven't yet, be sure to get in touch with your congregation's minister and/or Worship Committee to get UN Sunday on the schedule. The recommended date for UN Sunday this year is October 22nd (closest Sunday to UN Day on the 24th). If that doesn't work, October 29th might be a good one too! It's in the middle of Disarmament Week (Oct. 24-30) and this year's UN Sunday theme is on the topic of disarmament! Great timing. If your UN Sunday service isn't on my list yet, please let me know and I'll add it! (You'll notice Bruce & I both have some open dates - invite one of us to speak!)

August 20: First UU Church of San Diego, CA (Allison speaking)
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

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)

Please see Part III of the UN Sunday Packet for guidance and timeline for planning a UN Sunday service, including logistics for a special collection and sample words!

Every Child is Our Child

The UU-UNO's Every Child is Our Child program provides needed school supplies and health care cards for children in Maye Krobo (Eastern Ghana) who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. The program has been going now for 12 years, but in order for it to continue and grow, we need support from congregations and individuals! Help us to ensure that these inspiring children can continue their schooling! As many of the students are growing up, they dream of attending high school. Unfortunately, we are currently only able to support a handful of students through high school, due to the increased expenses for tuition. 
This December, UU-UNO Director Bruce Knotts will be traveling to Ghana to visit the program, and speak with the Queen Mothers, teachers, students, and families involved with ECOC. We hope to put together a trip in 2018 for supporters! Please contact if you might be interested in participating in such a trip!
From the International Blog

Educating Refugee Girls: Finding Solutions When 2 Problems Collide

By Amy Perry, Women's Rights Intern

Educating refugee girls presents a unique and complicated challenge in many places around the world. This issue is pressing because it is the intersection of two issues that can severely harm a person's life: the refugee...

A Big Leap: Highlights of the Intergenerational Dialogues

By UU-UNO Summer Interns

On August 2st, a day-long event was held at United Nations Headquarters entitled "Intergenerational Dialogues on the Sustainable Development Goals." The organizing body for this event was the NGO...

Empower Women: Empower the World

By Kate Mays, Gender Equality Intern

Improving gender equality within a society creates a ripple effect, directly or indirectly improving the lives of everyone within that society in different ways. As we work towards achieving the fifth United Nations...

Gender Equality & Violent Extremism Event at the United Nations

By Andrea Floersheimer, Women's Rights Intern

On Thursday, July 13th, the UU-UNO co-sponsored a 2017 High-Level Political Forum Side Event on gender equality and violent extremism. The event was co-sponsored by the NGO Committee on Human...

News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Health during conflict - The United Nations trains hundreds of health providers to provide desperately needed help to conflict-affected Nigeria. The violence destroyed more than 40 percent of health facilities which forced doctors and nurses to flee.

Neglected emergencies The UN aid chief gave $45 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to four countries “struggling in crises away from the headlines”. These four countries include Afghanistan, The Central African Republic, Chad, and Sudan, where more than 21 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance. A large portion of these funds are going to people who are affected by displacement— this money will provide health care, food assistance, access to clean water and sanitation, and other humanitarian aid.

North Korea ballistic missile -  The UN Security Council condemned the latest missile launch executed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This missile flew over Japan before crashing into the Pacific Ocean. The Security Council stated that this behavior is “outrageous”.

Ceasefire in eastern Ukraine - The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the commitment to implement a permanent ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

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