Monthly Newsletter for UU-UNO Envoys
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News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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Dear ,

This summer has been flying by at top speed. Soon our summer interns will be done with their internships and the Planning Committee for the 2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will convene! But for now, we continue enjoying the remaining summer weeks with outdoor movies and fruit salad and large hats.

During the summer months we are in the beginning stages of planning for our Intergenerational Spring Seminar which will take place April 15-18, 2020 focusing on climate justice. This means the UU-UNO is looking for volunteers to join the planning team! If you're interested in helping to make this Seminar the most meaningful and inspiring one yet, please consider applying In addition to Youth and Adult Chaplains and Planning Committee members, we are also accepting applications for Youth Dean and Adult Dean. These leaders will work closely alongside last year's Junior Youth Dean (now Senior Youth Dean), Taz Trefzger from Kingston Unitarian Fellowship in Ontario! Please share this opportunity with your congregation.

Here are the minutes from our July Envoy calls. It was great to speak together. For those who weren't on the call, have someone quiz you on the trivia questions, or share them with friends at church. (See Envoy Tasks below!) Our next call will be August 20th - please RSVP here.

And finally, it's July 31st, which some know as the birthday of Harry Potter! Happy birthday, Harry :)

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

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

The beginning of July at the United Nations Headquarters comprised the annual High Level Political Forum for reviewing successes, challenges, and lessons learned on the road towards reaching the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. A key element lifted up during the forum was the inherent interdependence of each of the 17 Goals. President of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa opened a day of discussions on removing barriers to women's full participation and leadership by observing that we have no hope of realizing the 2020 Agenda for Sustainable Development without the full participation and leadership of women. She noted that "just 42 percent of countries give women the same rights to land ownership; just 60 percent give women equal access to financial services, and the gap is even greater for women in rural areas, women with disabilities, indigenous women, and older women." Although SDG 5 is specifically aimed at "achieving gender equality" as Ms. Espinosa noted, none of the other goals can be achieved without also achieving goal 5. This is key to this year's Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office theme for UN Sunday on intersectional gender equity. Achieving peace and prosperity must go hand-in-hand with the achievement of equal rights and opportunities for people of all genders. More at


Please complete the following tasks by the end of August.

  1. Share UN Trivia with your congregation! During coffee hour, ask people if they know the answers to the following trivia questions shared during the July Envoy Zoom meeting (answers are in the minutes):
    1. The UN has its headquarters in New York City, but it also has three main offices in other cities in the world. Can you name all three?
    2. What are the six languages of the United Nations?
    3. What five countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council?
    4. Which of the following countries was NOT a founding member of the United Nations? Brazil, Switzerland, Nicaragua, or Syria
    5. Which UN organization has a flag that contains a variation of the Athens Parthanon above and below the initials of the organization on a blue background?
  2. Start planning for UN Sunday service and action to engage congregation in change-making. See UN Sunday packet for guidance
July Review: (1) Share highlights of the past year on the Envoys Facebook Group. (2) Check out Envoy Timeline and start planning for the year ahead.  
UU-UNO Summer Interns: Hana Mangat, Malama Toure, Danieh Foltz, & Anthony Torres
A look behind, a look ahead

July 4-5: UUA offices closed for Independence Day.
July 9-18: United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York City.
July 23: Bruce's birthday!
July 25: National Intern Day (photo above!)
July 29-August 2: Allison out of office (vacation).
August 6: UU-UNO panel discussion in NYC on LGBTQ+ global treatment
August 12: International Youth Day.
August 12: Deadline to apply for Youth & Adult Dean positions for 2020 Intergenerational Spring Seminar.
August 19: World Humanitarian Day.
August 21-29: Allison in Rwanda with Communauté sans frontières francophone U/U ministry retreat.
August 26-28: United Nations Civil Society Conference in Salt Lake City.


The following "Time to Act" suggestions for June 2019 will be related to the Sixth Sustainable Development Goal: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all - focusing on target 6.B (Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.) SDG 6? WHY IT MATTERS!

Lack of access to safe drinking water may seem like a problem that doesn't affect wealthy, developed countries, but the issue is in fact very present in both the United States and Canada.
Civil society organizations such as UU congregations should keep governments accountable and promote the inclusion of women, youth, and indigenous communities in water resource governance. Envoys can activate their communities to make some noise in protest of mismanagement and keep these issues on the front of people's minds. Get involved to ensure that all people have access to safe water sources!
In Canada, get involved with the Canadian Unitarian Council's Ripple Effect campaign*


The United Nations Sunday packet is online! Following this year's theme Equity in Action: Gender in an Intersecting World, congregations are invited to address UN and UU engagement with gender equity and intersectionality. The packet includes information on the theme, suggested religious education activities, a sample order of service, and much more! Make sure that your engagement with this theme does not end with the worship service but extends to true change-making. Suggestions are given in the packet for how to engage as a congregation in culture change within the church and beyond. The recommended date for UN Sunday is October 27, 2019.

Intergenerational Spring Seminar
Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities

The UU-UNO is very involved with planning this year's annual UN Civil Society Conference (formerly DPI/NGO Conference):

August 26-28, 2019
Salt Lake City, Utah

Participants from non-governmental organizations, academia, business, local governments, and the UN will share experiences and techniques for building inclusive and sustainable cities and communities. Registration is free and will be open until August 1st. Envoys are welcome to register in affiliation with the UU-UNO! On the registration form: select Representation Type "NGO" and Organization Name "Unitarian Universalist Association". Here's a direct registration link; click below for more conference details. Youth involvement is key to the success of the conference! For the purposes of this conference, the UN defines "youth" as between the ages of 18-34.
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Progress in West Africa & Sahel - A report to the Security Council by the head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel highlighted advances made in the region towards democracy, including successful elections and progress shown through political dialogues.

Youth "Reboot The Earth" - The UN's Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake has launched a global competition called "Reboot The Earth" where teams of young computer programmers and scientists design solutions to local climate crises. The winners from each country will have the opportunity to present their ideas at the UN Climate Summit in September.

Migrants & Refugees in Libya - The heads of the Int'l Organization for Migration and the UN Refugee Agency have called for an end to the "arbitrary detention" of refugees and migrants across Libya. European Union countries reached a tentative agreement to implement a new distribution mechanism that would offer a safe berth to those fleeing across the Mediterranean.

Ebola in DR Congo - The problems of eradicating Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are not only medical, but also linked to "a variety of political and social factors" according to the head of the UN mission to the country in a briefing to the Security Council. Key issues include distrust within the community around the response to the epidemic and militant groups that specifically threaten the people working to counter the virus.

This work is made possible by the generosity of member congregations and individual donors.

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