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Action Items & News for UU-UNO Envoys
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News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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Dear ,


Today, we wrap up Black History Month in the U.S. and Canada. Black history has been very much on my mind this month. I've been lucky enough to participate in an intensive 6-week racial justice workshop through my congregation in February, and over Presidents Day weekend my partner and I took a trip to Alabama. It was a pilgrimage of sorts to learn about this country's past and present realities of racial violence. Visits to Selma and Montgomery were powerful and motivating, particularly the Equal Justice Initiative's Legacy Museum that so clearly presents the legacy of slavery, inviting visitors to consider what each of us can and should be doing to address that legacy that is evident throughout our criminal justice system to this day. I am grateful to be part of an organization that is working on addressing issues of racial violence on a global scale through the UU United Nations Office and more locally through our denominational work in the U.S. and in our congregations.

I urge you to take a careful read through the most recent Act Globally newsletter which you received by email yesterday. It includes a number of announcements about opportunities to connect with global U/Uism in action,
including that the deadline to register for the Intergenerational Spring Seminar has been extended through this Monday, March 4th. More on that below.

Here are the minutes from our February Envoy conference call earlier this month. You can RSVP here for the upcoming March call now. It has been decided that, going forward, the monthly Envoy calls will be regularly scheduled for 3pm & 6pm Eastern on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Mark your calendar now and plan ahead! I hope to have some good conversations in March.

As a reminder, all Blue Ribbon requirements must be met by March 31st, 2019. If you haven't heard from me yet and are hoping your congregation will be a Blue Ribbon Congregation this year, please reach out to me directly.


In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

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


The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office has been the Unitarian Universalist voice at the United Nations since 1962, and UUs have been involved in the UN since its very beginnings in 1945. Some have described the UN as almost a Unitarian Universalist organization, since its goals of preserving human rights, peace & security, and humanitarian cooperation are so closely aligned with UU values. The authoritarian and nationalist trends of the last few years in countries around the world cause anxiety for those who believe in the Unitarian Universalist Sixth Principle, the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. We must do what we can to support the United Nations and international diplomatic efforts. The UU-UNO is working hard to do this and as their jobs get harder, they need congregations and individuals to join them in the struggle. Find ways to be involved and support the work at www.uua.org/un

ENVOY TASKS

Please complete the following tasks by the end of March.

  1. Blue Ribbon: Don't forget to share about your UN Sunday service! www.uua.org/unsunday/services ...and if you haven't checked yet, make sure to be in touch if not sure of your status this year
  2. Report back on the Quick Question below! (Look below!)
February Review: (1) Check in re: Blue Ribbon Status (2) Send Allison a note if you're planning to attend the upcoming Youth Ministry Revival, MidAmerica Regional Conference, or the CUC Annual General Meeting.

QUICK QUESTION...
Do you have a skill, a story, or any particular experience that you'd be willing to share with your fellow Envoys? No need to be a certified expert, but we grow best when we can learn from one another. Would you be able to lead a presentation or training during one of our monthly Envoy Conference Calls? What would you talk about?
(I'm hoping everyone will respond. I am very happy to chat if you're not sure but have some ideas!)
Memorial mural in Selma, AL honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (center) and civil rights martyrs killed in or near Selma: Jonathan Daniels, Viola Liuzzo, Rev. James Reeb, and Jimmie Lee Jackson.
EVENTS
A look behind, a look ahead


February 10: Nuclear disarmament event at All Souls NYC.
February 20: World Day of Social Justice.
March 1-3: UU Youth Ministry Revival in Bethesda, MD.
March 4:
Extended deadline to register for 2019 Intergenerational Spring Seminar.
March 8: International Women's Day.
March 11-22: Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at UN Headquarters.
March 11: UU-UNO hosts CSW Parallel Event on toxic structural misogyny.
March 25: UU-UNO hosts event on violence against indigenous women at UN Church Center in NYC.
April 10-13: UU-UNO hosts Intergenerational Spring Seminar "Equity in Action" in NYC.

TIME TO ACT

The following "Time to Act" suggestions for February 2019 will be related to the First Sustainable Development Goal: End poverty in all its forms everywhere - focusing on target 1.2 (By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.) SDG 1? WHY IT MATTERS!
  • Join or create a group in your local community that seeks to mobilize action increasing the minimum wage. Check out these sites for organizations working on these initiatives in the United States or in Canada.
  • Have conversations (start in your congregation, then take it to your town hall) about how to address poverty locally by bringing in the voices of those who are most impacted. (indigenous peoples? people with disabilities? people recently released from prison? what communities are affected in your area?) What would it mean to reduce at least by half the proportion of people living in poverty in your town, by 2030?
A NOTE FROM UU-UNO DIRECTOR BRUCE KNOTTS

Dear Envoys,

I want to tell you about a number of news items from the United Nations that you won’t see in your regular news sources. I have included my own comments below each in italics.

Migration and sustainable development are "deeply interconnected" and the 2030 Agenda, the UN’s blueprint for a sustainable future for all, will not be achieved if we do not "comprehensively include migrants," the President of the General Assembly said on Wednesday.
  
  • With Global migration at over 70 million that will increase over time, we cannot achieve our goals without including migrants in our plans for sustainable development.

Arms control, the illegal exploitation of natural resources, and the United Nations’ role in "silencing the guns in Africa" were the focus of a Security Council’s debate on Wednesday, aimed at conflict prevention across the continent.
  
  • The experience in Africa is that if a nation discovers diamonds, oil, or other natural resources, they become a curse which fuel the arms trade and foster war. There must be strict controls on the trade in conventional arms just as we must work to abolish nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction altogether.

The "protracted crisis" in Venezuela has led to an "alarming escalation of tensions", Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN’s political and peacebuilding chief, told the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
  
  • Rosemary is a good friend.  She was the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations with the rank of Ambassador during the Obama administration.  We are glad to see her continue her good work as the UN’s political and peacebuilding chief.

Four years of "mind-boggling violence" in Yemen "has not spared a single child", a top UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) official said on Monday, on the eve of a pledging conference in Geneva to help alleviate the suffering of millions across the country.
"In Yemen today, nearly 1.2 million children continue to live in 31 active conflict zones including Hudaydah, Taizz, Hajjah and Sa’da – in areas witnessing heavy, war-related violence", said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Since the Stockholm Agreement was reached following UN-brokered consultations last December between the Yemeni Government and Houthi rebel leaders, not enough has changed for the children there, the senior agency official declared.  
  • Famine in Yemen is a constant preoccupation of all agencies of the United Nations.  The UN has succeeded in getting some relief supplies and food into the country for the first time since the fighting flared in September.  However, if we are to avoid massive starvation in Yemen, supplies of food and medicines will need to be sustained over the coming months.  The international community has responded positively to UN appeals with pledges of $2.6 billion in funding.

Thanks again for all you do.
Bruce Knotts
Director, UU United Nations Office

UU-UNO INTERGENERATIONAL SPRING SEMINAR


April 11-13, 2019
New York City
Registration is still open - extended through March 4.
Our 2019 Intergenerational Spring Seminar is coming up soon! As announced yesterday in the Winter Act Globally newsletter, our Keynote Speaker will be Ericka Hart - we're extremely excited. There will be an Envoy dinner on Thursday evening of the Seminar and, again, Envoys get a $50 discount when you register!
If you're attending, consider applying to serve as a Collaboration Group Leader or Identity Group Facilitator (applications due March 6).
We are proudly partnering with the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice on this event! This project is funded in part by the Fund for Unitarian Universalism.

FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BLOG
Find more at www.UUA.org/international/blog
 

Racist Incident at NYU Silver School of Social Work


By Chris Longo, Gender Equity Intern

Unitarian Universalists at the UN respond to a racist incident among students at NYU's Silver School of Social Work, urging UU action to dismantle structural racism and cultures of oppression......

Reviving a Sound Approach for Central America


By Joanne Dufour, Disarmament Volunteer

If you are old enough to have lived through it or have studied it, do you remember the Marshall Plan? Officially known as the European Recovery Program, the Marshall Plan was a 1948 American initiative to aid......

The Wasteful and Dangerous Worldwide Nuclear Modernization Craze


By John Mecklin, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

This article originally appeared as the Introduction to a Special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Spotlight on nuclear modernization on January 7, 2019.......

 
NEWS: UNITED NATIONS
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Getting over land mines - March 1st will be the 20th anniversary of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention's entry into force. On the eve of that anniversary, Secretary-General Guterres stated that while "countless lives" and limbs have been saved by the convention, "accelerated efforts are needed" to remove them completely. More on our blog.

Ghanaian Peacekeepers - For Ghana, UN peacekeeping is a "noble opportunity to serve humanity." Ghanaians have served as peacekeepers since the early 1970s and Ghana is now among the top 10 contributors to UN peacekeeping.

Gaza Probe - An independent United Nations report into last year's protests along Gaza's border fence involving Israeli security forces, that resulted in the shooting deaths of more than 180 Palestinians, concluded on Thursday that there are "reasonable grounds" to believe Israel violated international humanitarian law.

Gender Equity - The Executive Director of the UN Global Compact stated that without "transformative shifts," women will wait two centuries for gender equality - despite evidence that empowering women is economically advantageous in the range of $28 trillion.


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