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 ,

2019 greetings to all! For those in record-breaking cold zones: please stay warm! It has been a rough start to the year, with government shutdown chaos in the United States disrupting lives, and government infringement on tribal lands in Canada (read CUC statement of solidarity)... We pray for more compassion from our leaders and society in the coming months.

Quick reminder to anyone planning to submit a sermon for the Dana Greeley Award: Those submissions are due tomorrow, February 1st!

Here are the minutes from our January Envoy conference calls earlier this month, when we had some really great discussions of how congregations can be involved in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and the Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees. You can RSVP here for the upcoming February calls now.

As mentioned in the last Envoy call, I have been looking into each congregation's progress towards achieving Blue Ribbon status. 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. As a reminder, all Blue Ribbon requirements must be met by March 31st, 2019.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

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

[Your congregation's name] members and friends are invited to register for the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office's 2019 Intergenerational Spring Seminar! This global justice event is open to UUs age 14+ and will include workshops, panels, worship, and more to engage in dialogue and action around this year's theme, Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World. It'll take place at the United Nations Headquarters and Community Church UU in Manhattan April 11-13, 2019. Registration is open through February 25, and applications for reduced registration are being accepted through February 11. Find details and register at

Dear Envoys,

We need your help.

For many years, we have had more than enough funds designated to ensure that 120 orphan and vulnerable children in Ghana get access to education and health care. However, for the last three years, we have not had sufficient designated funds to support this program.  We have had to use our general operating funds to support the Every Child is Our Child Program.  This year, because an expected donation of $50,000 was not made, we don’t have sufficient funds to support both the office and the Every Child is Our Child Program. 

I know that when you have asked, donors have contributed generously to ensure that we never have to tell an orphan child, "You can’t attend school this year, because we don’t have the funds."  We need your help once again to ensure this program can be sustained.  Please inform your congregation that this program which ensures that 120 orphan children get to attend school and obtain health care needs to be supported this fiscal year before the end of June.  By making sure we have the $24,000 in designated funds needed to fully support this program, we will not need to use scarce general operating funds to support this project.

Please let us know if you need more information or help in asking your congregation to support this program.  We will be happy to give you the information you need about the program and how to support it.  The funds are sent to the Manye Krobo Queen Mothers’ Association in eastern Ghana. Over the years since 2005, when this project began, the Queen Mothers have reported that they are treated with more respect as equals to the indigenous chiefs of the community.  We also admit two girls for every boy enrolled in our program.  Thus, the Every Child is Our Child program empowers both women and girls, making this community more just, fair and equal. It also ensures that deserving children get the chance at a better life.  Please support this program and ask others in your congregation to do so as well.

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


Please complete the following tasks by the end of February.

  1. Check in with Allison via email regarding your Blue Ribbon status! I can tell you your congregation's progress towards accomplishing the four requirements prior to the March 31st deadline.

  2. Send Allison a note if you're planning to attend the upcoming Youth Ministry Revival in Bethesda March 1-3, MidAmerica Regional Conference in St Louis April 3-5, or the CUC Annual General Meeting in Toronto May 11.
January Review: (1) Submit an entry to the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition (2) Register early for Spring Seminar with a group from your congregation
Peaceful wintry scene
A look behind, a look ahead

January 21: Final day for early registration for 2019 Spring Seminar.
February 10: Nuclear disarmament event at All Souls NYC.
February 11: Applications due for reduced registration for 2019 Spring Seminar.
February 20: World Day of Social Justice.

February 25: Final day to register for 2019 Intergenerational Spring Seminar.
March 1-3: UU Youth Ministry Revival in Bethesda, MD.
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 misogyny.


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for January 2019 will be related to the Seventeenth Sustainable Development Goal: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development - focusing on target 17.17 (Encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.) SDG 17? WHY IT MATTERS!
  • Join or create a group in your local community that seeks to mobilize action on the implementation of the SDGs.
  • Encourage your governments (local, state, etc) to partner with businesses for the implementation of the SDGs.
  • Register your initiatives on the SDGs Partnerships Platform to inform, educate, network, and be inspired!


April 11-13, 2019
New York City
Registration is open through February 25th.
Our 2019 Intergenerational Spring Seminar is coming up soon! Just as a reminder, registration ends on Monday, February 25th. We'll have 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 also have some funds available to cover reduced registration costs for some participants. Please apply for reduced registration by February 11th.
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.

INVEST YOURSELF: A Guide to Action

One of the UU-UNO's partners, Commission on Voluntary Service & Action (CVSA) publishes an authoritative reference guide to independent volunteer opportunities called INVEST YOURSELF.

CVSA will be publishing the new edition soon and they're looking for organizations to be included in or to sponsor the catalogue! INVEST YOURSELF is the most comprehensive catalogue of opportunities for engagement in grass-roots efforts throughout North America and the world striving for people to have access to health care, legal justice, decent work, affordable housing, quality education, recovery from disasters, access to clean affordable water and energy, and the ability to engage in action to reverse the causes of climate change and environmental destruction.

Got a project you want to raise awareness about? Sponsor an ad! Work with an organization that offers regular volunteer opportunities? Submit a listing! The guide is distributed to colleges, high schools, faith-based organizations, public libraries, and civic organizations across the U.S. and internationally.

This issue of INVEST YOURSELF: A Guide to Action is dedicated to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals - each organizational listing will be annotated by the SDG icons that reflect which of the 17 Goals their work directly advances!

Envoys, congregations, and their partners are invited to submit a listing or to sponsor an ad in the new edition of INVEST YOURSELF!

Find more at

Renew Nuclear Arms Control, Don't Destroy It

By John Burroughs from LCNP

The Intermediate-range Nuclear Treaty and the enterprise of nuclear arms control are at risk as John Burroughs of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy & Andrew Lichterman of Western States Legal Foundation explain. Congress has the power to save the treaty!......

Building a Just World Through Climate Action

By Roy Meredith, Climate Justice Intern

Inaction has consequences. And inaction in the face of humanity's ultimate challenge - climate change - will leave us and future generations with a planet that is hotter, poorer, and more violent. Time is running out. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate.......

A Personal View on Disarmament

By Georgina Long from Brahma Kumaris UK

An elderly, charming lady approached me on the Brahma Kumaris stand at the World Parliament of Religions in Toronto, Canada and said she was looking for persons from different religions to contribute to a blog. I believe the word used is to "post" a blog. The subject was Disarmament. .......

A New Year's Resolution Proposal: Put Disarmament on the Agenda for Immediate Attention

By Joanne Dufour, Disarmament Volunteer

This blog is taken from a talk given by Guy Quinlan to the Harvard Club of New York City on the book by Daniel Ellsberg, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner......

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Mediterranean Sea crossing - In a call for more regional cooperation, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said that six people died every day last year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing to Europe.

Human Trafficking - The latest Global Report on Trafficking in Persons by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime shows a record-high number of human trafficking cases detected during 2016, but also the largest recorded conviction rate of traffickers.

Bigotry "at lighting speed" - UN Secretary-General António Guterres remarked during a commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day that, along with other forms of bigotry, anti-Semitism is "not only still strong - it is getting worse," with hate groups on the rise around the world, stoked by the internet where intolerance has been allowed to enter mainstream politics.

Venezuela - UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy, who reports to the Human Rights Council, warned that the crisis in Venezuela will not be solved by sanctions that "can lead to starvation."

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