Envoy News November 2019
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News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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Dear ,

Happy global climate strike day! Youth and young adult leaders are encouraging people to strike today for climate justice (and/or December 6). You may have seen the most recent UN Environment Programme's Emissions Gap Report released on Tuesday that projected a "bleak" outlook for our planet if we do not take unprecedented action to curb carbon emissions starting now. The report brings increased urgency to next week's COP25 UN Climate Change Conference. An earlier global climate strike mobilized millions around the world in September ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit. I hope we can keep the energy going to put pressure on world leaders as they gather in Madrid, Spain for COP25. As Rev. Alicia Forde said in the Fall 2019 Act Globally newsletter last week, if climate change reaches a point where ours no longer is liveable, "there is no hope of sustainable living on other planets within our lifetime. What we have is this Earth and each other."

A resource mentioned in the Act Globally newsletter that may be of particular interest to Envoys is the UUA International Office's Human Rights Day discussion guide. I encourage you to talk to RE or social justice leaders in your congregation about hosting an Adult Religious Education discussion after service sometime soon. The recommendation is to hold conversations December 8th, which is the Sunday closest to HR Day, but if that doesn't work you can just find another day that does.

Here are the minutes from the November Envoy conference calls with UNO Director Bruce Knotts. Our December meeting will be held as always on the third Tuesday of the month: please RSVP here.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

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

Officials are gathering this month in Madrid, Spain for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25. Originally scheduled to be held in Santiago, Chile before being relocated due to political unrest, this conference comes at a critical time for our planet.  A recent UN report noted that our planet is on track to warm far beyond the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. As country representatives meet in Madrid to make decisions about our planet's future, representatives from local governments, businesses, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations will also be present, including Unitarian Universalists. UUs at COP25 will be urging concrete, enforceable commitments that recognize and follow indigenous leadership. It's essential that as Unitarian Universalists we be all in for climate justice. What are you personally doing to lessen the impacts of climate change for those who are most affected? What's your congregation doing? Join the UU United Nations Office in New York City in April 2020 for All In For Climate Justice: People Power Planet, an Intergenerational Seminar. You'll learn information and techniques to be an effective climate activist and organize locally for global change. Registration is open from December 2 through March 2.


Please complete the following tasks by the end of December.

  1. Does your Envoy Team have a plan yet to mark the UN's 75th birthday in 2020? Start planning now for the many anniversaries happening next year, plus national and local elections if you're in the U.S.

  2. Encourage congregants to make a year-end donation to support the UU-UNO or our Every Child is Our Child program!

November Review: (1) Share details about your UN Sunday event online. (2) Consider if your church will send a group to attend the Spring Seminar and start raising funds.

World Toilet Day installation at UN Headquarters in NYC.
A look behind, a look ahead

November 19: World Toilet Day.
November 28-29: UUA Offices closed for Thanksgiving holiday.

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: The Fight for Justice in a Warming World" event at Salvation Army in NYC and live-streamed.
December 9-13: Allison & UUA Int'l Office 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.


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for November 2019 will be related to the Tenth Sustainable Development Goal: Reduce Inequality Within and Among Countries - focusing on target 10.2 (By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status) SDG 10? WHY IT MATTERS!

Even focusing on this single target, it's still a huge goal. Let's focus on
political inclusion:
  • In the U.S.? Get involved with the UU The Vote campaign! In this critical election season, it couldn't be more important to empower and promote the political inclusion of all. (For the record, when the UN says "or other status", that includes sexual orientation & gender identity/expression.) There are abundant resources to find or add a #UUtheVote event, form a team, or otherwise get involved with the campaign.
  • In Canada? This summer's report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls includes a number of concrete action steps that must be taken for empowering and promoting inclusion. As the report notes, "Each person has a role to play in order to combat violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people. Beyond those calls aimed at governments or at specific industries or service providers, we encourage every Canadian to consider how they can give life to these Calls for Justice." Read the Calls for Justice and consider incorporating into congregational actions. Of particular note:
    • 1.3 Pursue the measures required to eliminate the ...political marginalization of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people when developing budgets and determining priorities.
    • 1.4 Ensure that Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people are represented in governance.

April 16-18, 2020 - New York City

I look forward to seeing lots of Envoys next spring at the UU-UNO's 2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar, All In For Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet! As before, Envoys get a $50 discount on registration with the discount code "ENVOY". If you plan to attend, be sure to register before January 20, as rates increase after that. We've got some exciting programs in the words looking at how we as individuals and congregations can be "all in" the struggle for climate justice. Programming will equip participants with the skills and information to get involved with local organizing and change-making for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. We'll look at the power dynamics within the global climate crisis which impacts different people (with different levels of responsibility) in different ways. A tentative schedule is available now with more details about programming coming soon. Remember: Registration opens Monday, December 2, 2019!

Find more at

Social Unrest in Chile Persists: Behind COP25's Relocation

By TingXuan Su, UU-UNO Program Intern
COP25 UN Climate Conference was canceled in Chile amidst large scale protests. Ever increasing economic inequality sparked outcries of grievances that have been piling up for decades. The protests show no signs of stopping anytime soon.......

In Opposition to "Low-Yield" Nuclear Weapons

By Joanne Dufour, Disarmament Volunteer

In the centennial year, while the world was getting used to writing or typing the year beginning with a "2" instead of a "1," countries of the world were introduced to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals encouraging the 193 member states to.......

Ancient Diverse Wonders

By Rev. Tet Gallardo, UU Church Philippines

The First UU Asia Pacific Regional Conference has just finished. It ran from October 23-27, 2019 in Dumaguete City, Negros Island, Philippines, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines (UUCP) and attended by about 75 participants, with the theme "Ancient.......

2020 Generation Equality Forum: 25 Years After the Beijing Declaration

By Lindsey Mayer, Climate Justice Intern

Women's rights groups at the United Nations are gearing up for the landmark year of 2020. 2020 marks a special year for the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). In May, the Generation Equality Forum will start in Mexico City.......

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
UN emissions report - Even if countries meet commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world is heading for a 3.2 degrees Celsius global temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, leading to even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts, warns a report from the UN Environment Programme, released on Tuesday.

ISIS investigation
The leader of the special UN Investigation Team probing crimes committed by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq, said on Tuesday that the courage being demonstrated by survivors coming forward "serves to underline the urgency" they need to carry on with their work.

Addressing AIDS - When people living with HIV actively participate in their own care, new infections decline and more affected people access treatment, according to a new report launched on Tuesday by UNAIDS, the United Nations agency leading the fight against the disease.

Internet security - Unless countries work together to address gaps in digital access, as well as related social and political divisions, this generation will be remembered as the one that "ruined the early promise of the Internet", the UN Secretary-General has warned.
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