New Envoy map tool to facilitate connections
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News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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Dear ,

The beginning of August started off with an inspiring interfaith conference in Washington, DC called Reimagining Interfaith. The conference brought together people of diverse faiths and beliefs from around the world (14 countries!) to talk about and consider what interfaith cooperation means in the current global political and cultural moment. Read about the public action in the Washington Informer and about the conference overall on our blog.

I hope you've all had a relaxing summer to recharge for the work ahead as we come to the start of a new church year! After a break for the summer months, our next conference call will be in mid-September. Please RSVP here - I'm really looking forward to reconnecting! On the call I'll be walking everyone through the new Envoy map tool that is described down below.

Shout out to Lynda Wilson, Envoy at the UU Church in Birmingham, AL who noticed that many of the links were broken in the UN Sunday packet! I have updated the files online so they should all work now. I also updated the section in the packet about the Global Compact for Migration - now that the final text of the compact has been approved! During our September Envoy conference call we'll take some time to talk about sermon-writing for UN Sunday. Both new and veteran UN Sunday sermon-writers won't want to miss it!

Beyond what's included here, you can find other announcements (e.g. Spring Seminar leadership opportunities!) in the most recent Act Globally newsletter which you should have received last week.

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate


Please complete the following tasks by the end of September.
  1. Create an Envoy profile on so your fellow Envoys can find you! (see Envoy Map instructions below)
  2. Let Allison know if you need her to send you donation envelopes (see Blue Ribbon announcement below) and how many you need.
July Review: (1) Share highlights of your past year as an Envoy with others on the Facebook or Google Groups (2) Start planning for the year ahead using the suggested Envoy Timeline.


The United Nations approved the final text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration on July 13, 2018. It articulates a set of ten guiding principles including establishing that the Global Compact is people-centered, rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, prioritizes human rights, is gender-responsive, and child-sensitive. The Unitarian Universalist UN Office worked alongside partners at the UN to ensure that the global compact addresses human rights for all, including those who are uprooted by the changing climate. Whether or not our government officially signs onto this Global Compact, UUs can use it to put pressure on elected representatives, local businesses, and other leaders to ensure that the guidelines are being followed that have been recognized by the United Nations for how migrants must be treated at every stage of their journeys, whether they have the legal protection of refugees or not.
A look behind, a look ahead

July 2: Day of Action in San Diego with Mijente to Free our Future & Abolish ICE.

July 9-18: High Level Political Forum at the United Nations to advance the SDGs.

July 29-August 1: Reimagining Interfaith Cooperation conference in DC. (Photo above!)

August 10-13: Youth Assembly at the United Nations.

August 22-23: "We the Peoples" United Nations DPI/NGO Conference in NYC.

August 27-September 7: Allison out of office (vacation).

September 11: Deadline for Spring Seminar Dean application submissions.

September 21: International Day of Peace.

September 25: Deadline for Spring Seminar Chaplain and Planning Committee application submissions.

September 26: International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, and commemorative event at the United Nations with UU-UNO, UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, and partners.


One of the things I've heard over and over again from Envoys is that you wish there were a way to see which congregations near them have Envoys, and have some way to get in touch. SO I've been working with the UUA's web team and we have come up with a plan... but I need your help!

I will need all Envoys to chip in in order for you to be find-able on this map! You'll create a profile on (just takes a couple seconds) and then log in and add yourself to the map at You can find instructions here.

Some people who shared their UN Sunday worship services will have already made a profile so it'll be a quicker process. Please let me know if you have any issues! If possible, please add yourself to the map before our Envoy conference call on Thursday, Sept. 13 so that it'll be easier to demonstrate how the map works! For those less comfortable with the web stuff, I'll record that section of the Envoy call to hopefully be able to provide a bit of a tutorial.


As Envoys gear up for the start of the new church year, here's your annual reminder about the requirements necessary to become a Blue Ribbon Congregation each year (before March 31st, 2019):
  1. Have an Envoy, Youth Envoy, or Envoy Team
  2. Hold an annual UN Sunday Service or event
  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.
To achieve the 3rd requirement and count as a "Supporter" each individual will need to give according to one of the following annual levels:
  • $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. In order to make this more clear with congregants, you may wish to pass out donation envelopes with the Supporter levels listed. Please contact Allison to request that these envelopes be mailed to you prior to your UN Sunday service.

Dear Envoys,

As many of you know, our theme for UN Sunday services follows the theme of our seminar, which was "When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration for All."  I delivered my first sermon this season after the memorial service for our late Board member, Kent Price in Castine, Maine.  Kent was a wonderful man of courage who helped make the UU-UNO what it is today. 

The UN hosted a conference August 22-23 and the NGO/DPI Executive Committee (which I chair) added a third day of networking at Long Island University, Brooklyn on the topic of Finding Global Solutions for Global Problems.  There is a great deal of concern at the United Nations about the rise of nationalism and populism around the world.  Here in the USA, we focus a great deal on the Trump administration. However, when one looks around the world, we can see similar trends on every continent.  Former Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeline Albright in her book, Fascism: A Warning, mentioned Viktor Mihály Orbán in Hungary, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, Vladimir Putin in Russia, and others in addition to Donald Trump in the USA.  With Climate Change underway and massive unprecedented Global Migration and the risk of trade and economic instability and the possibility of war, the nations of the world must work together, not separately.  We need courage and kindness to take care of each other and all those who will need our help.  We must face adversity with hope for the better future which we expect to come.

This is the mood at the UN. Serious apprehension over what we see in the world.  We work hard to face global problems with ways to solve them in the hope that we can make a better world for ourselves and those who come after us. 

I hope that you will consider inviting Allison Hess or me to come to your congregation and discuss the important measures the United Nations is taking to protect future generations from the scourge of war and to ensure sustainable development for everyone in the years to come. 
Bruce Knotts
Director, UU United Nations Office


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for January 2018 will be related to the Twelfth Sustainable Development Goal: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns - focusing on target 12.3 (By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.)

  • Track the food used during coffee hour at your congregation. Is all of it being eaten? Make a plan for how much food should be there each week and what to do with leftovers (e.g. bring to a nearby shelter) Don't forget to track the milks and other ingredients in the fridge that may be nearing their expiration dates. Many foods are actually safe to consume after their expiration dates, but look and smell closely to be sure it's okay! Share with congregants 20 easy ways to reduce food waste.

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 21st (closest Sunday to UN Day on October 24th). If your UN Sunday service isn't on my list yet, please email me and I'll add it. (You'll notice Bruce & I both have some open dates - invite one of us to speak!)
August 19: UU Congregation of Castine, ME (Bruce speaking)
October 14: Beacon UU Church in Summit, NJ (Bruce speaking)

UU Congregation of the Catskills in Kingston, NY (Allison speaking)

October 22: First Parish UU in Bedford, MA (Allison speaking)
UU Congregation of Petoskey, MI (Bruce speaking)
October 28: UU Society of Bangor, ME (Bruce speaking)
First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR
November 18: UU Church of the Lehigh Valley in Bethlehem, PA (Bruce speaking)
November 25: Neighborhood UU Congregation in Toronto, ON (Bruce speaking)
December 2: UU Congregation of Central Nassau, NY (Bruce speaking)
March 10: Glacier UU Fellowship in Kalispell, MT (Allison speaking)

Find more at

The Plan We Need: United Nations Global Compact for Migration

By Bruce Knotts, UU-UNO Director

With migration becoming an increasingly critical issue across the globe, the new United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration is more needed.......

Embracing a More Courageous Identity

By Jenny Ye, Racial Justice Program Intern

By taking a historical approach to exploring the origins of racism in the United States, this blog explores the legacy of slavery and white supremacy in contemporary society.......

Family Separation: An Uncertain Future for Central American Women

By Jessica Sirico, Women's Program Intern

Central American women fleeing violence are doubly victimized by the "zero-tolerance" policy that the Trump administration has unleashed upon refugees seeking asylum.......

Celebration and Resistance During Pride Month Around the World

By Louise Bednarik, SOGI Program Intern

On Sunday June 24th, New York City’s 5th Avenue was full of rainbow flags, music, and hundreds of thousands of people celebrating a diverse spectrum of sexual orientations.......

Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Women in Somalia - On a recent visit to Somalia, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka the Executive Director of UN Women spoke in the South West State. That state's parliament has 31 female legislators, more than any of Somalia's other states. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka congratulated the South West State's acting president and urged him to go further.

Kofi Annan - A gallery on the UN News website illustrates some of the highlights of the career of Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997-2006, who passed away on August 18, 2018.

Syria health crisis
- The UN health agency WHO has appealed for $11 million to provide life-saving care to the parts of Syria where conflict is raging and where a decline in vaccination coverage rates threaten renewed outbreaks of preventable diseases such as polio which is otherwise very close to global eradication.

Reuniting Korean families - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the decision to allow scores of people from South Korea to briefly reunite with their relatives north of the border.

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
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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