News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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December 2016

Dear ,

I think most of us are very much looking forward to the year 2016 being over and done with. Even according to the Merriam-Webster Word of the Year, this year has been nothing if not surreal. But as the year comes to a close, let us look forward to being active and involved in responding to whatever the year 2017 brings.

Heads up! Right after the new year is an important time to get particularly active raising interest in the 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar. A few important dates to be aware of as far as the seminar goes: 
January 16, 2017 - Deadline to apply for scholarships
January 23, 2017 - Last day for early registration rates
February 27, 2017 - Last day to register for Spring Seminar!
There are more details about the seminar below - be sure to take a look!

Thanks for a very productive couple of calls last week -
Here are the minutes from the December Envoy conference calls. Our next call will be in January - please RSVP here! (I'll send another reminder the week before!)

Warm wishes for a peaceful and joyous holiday season, and all the best for 2017!

In faith, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

P.S. If you wish to give a year-end gift to the UU United Nations Office to support critical human rights work in the coming year, gifts for 2016 should be made online (or postmarked) by December 31st. Thank you for your support!


Sharing information and news is important, but you want to make change in your local and global community. Here's how.

Sustainable Development Goals

In light of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the following "Time to Act" suggestions for December 2016 will be related to the Fifteenth SDG: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

  • Plan a volunteer trip in the springtime with your congregation to plant trees (find organizations near you in the US and Canada) or to clean up a local wetland (find spots in the US and Canada).

  • Sign a petition urging Cadbury chocolate company to shift to a safe, certified style of palm oil to combat desertification.


Please complete the following tasks by the end of January.

  1. Your UUA District or Region is probably having an Assembly this spring - consider hosting a UU-UNO related workshop, event or exhibit table! I'd be happy to help with this and discuss ideas. Applications are probably coming up soon.

  2. Submit (or encourage whoever spoke at your UN Sunday this year to submit!) a sermon on the topic global economic inequality for the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition. Submission deadline is February 1st!

The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office's 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will take place in New York City April 5-8, 2017. This year's seminar, Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet, will equip participants with the skills necessary to be meaningful change-makers in their communities toward a more peaceful world. Learn about working together to reduce armed violence locally and on an international level. Open to youth and adults ages 14 and up – register by January 23rd for discounted rates. Scholarships are available – apply by January 16th, 2017.
A look behind, a look ahead

December 1: World AIDS Day

December 5: Registration opens for 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar.

December 10: Human Rights Day

December 15: UU-UNO event "Responding in the Wake of the Storm: Environmental Racism and Hurricane Matthew."

December 18: International Migrants Day

December 23-January 2: UN Office closed for winter holidays.

January 5-18: UNO Director Bruce travels with UN NGO DPI Exec. Cmte. to Vietnam, Japan, & China

January 9-12: Allison at UUA Headquarters in Boston.

January 13: Day of Religious Freedom and 449th anniversary of the establishment of the Hungarian Unitarian Church

January 16: Deadline to apply for scholarships for the Spring Seminar!

January 23: Last day for early registration rates for the Spring Seminar.

January 25
: Meeting of the UN NGO Subcommittee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Envoy Resources

Be sure to keep an eye on the Envoy Resources webpage where you can find helpful resources that Envoys have shared! I will do my best to keep it up-to-date with useful information and materials. Let me know if you have something you'd like me to share on that page - or you may of course share it yourself via the UU-UNO Envoys Facebook Group! In addition to sharing resources you already have, please tell me if there is anything you wish was available for Envoys to use and I will see if I can get it for you!

Third International Women's Convocation
Asilomar Conference Center - Monterey Peninsula, CA
February 16-19, 2017

Drawing from this year's theme, Weaving Global Partnerships - Forging a Just Future Together, this event will bring together UU women of diverse ages and cultures from around the world to connect, share, celebrate, and empower in the beautiful, inspirational setting of Asilomar, "a refuge by the sea." Participants will:

  • Network with committed UUs from around the world
  • Learn about groundbreaking initiatives transforming lives
  • Share and grow, making plans to inspire action and change
Keynote speakers include bell hooks, PhD (Writer, professor, feminist theorist, activist), Cecilia A. Conrad, PhD (Managing Director, MacArthur Fellows Program), and Rev. Florence Caplow (UU minister, Soto Zen priest, author). Meet the UUA presidential candidates at the Friday evening Candidate Forum.
Registration discounts are available for ministers, LREDA members, young adults., and groups of two or more.

As mentioned in my note at the beginning, now is the time to get active in promoting the 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar! We have some scholarships available, for which the deadline to apply is Monday, January 16, 2017. People of color and young adults are strongly encouraged to apply! Please share this scholarship opportunity with your congregation. 
Envoys will all receive a $50 discount at registration. 
You will have noticed that the "For your newsletter" section above has some text which you are encouraged to share in your congregation's newsletter or announcements page. Feel free to save and share the seminar logos from this email - and here is a flyer to help your promotions! The Spring Seminar webpage will be updated regularly as we have more information to share about the details of what to expect at the seminar - stay tuned!

UUA International Blog

All Envoys are encouraged to subscribe to our blog! As a blog subscriber, you get a brief notification via email each time a new blog post is published. That way you can stay tuned into all of the important work being done globally in the name of Unitarian Universalism.
Conversation with COP22 Observers

During the December call for UU-UNO Climate Action Team leaders, Commit2Respond facilitated a great discussion which allowed us to hear the UUA observers' experiences at COP 22 in Marrakesh. (That's the 22nd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which took place in Marrakesh, Morocco November 7th-18th, 2016.) Each of the observers felt connected to different points of advocacy which lead to many different discussions and activities. One way the observers were able to get more involved and show support was by taking part in a prayer circle to show solidarity with Stand Rock and all Indigenous communities. Another interest of the observers was connecting to the youth and other faith representatives at the conference. To watch and hear the discussion, check it out on YouTube below!  

News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
LGBTQ human rights victory - A United Nations General Assembly vote yesterday rejected an amendment that attempted to stop the work of the UN independent expert investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This is also an important victory for human rights more broadly, as it reinforces the autonomy of the Human Rights Council vis-a-vis the General Assembly.

Suppression in DR Congo - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed deep alarm at a planned government shutdown of social media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This follows months of arbitrary arrests and detentions of people trying to exercise their right to peaceful assembly - authorities have specifically targeted dissenting voices while allowing pro-government youths to express themselves freely.

Ocean conservation - Following the establishment of many protected areas in the ocean, the global percentage of protected seas is now 12.7 percent. At a UN conference on biodiversity, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) called this an enormous achievement, while also urging countries to focus their conservation efforts on the areas of greatest biodiversity. 

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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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States

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Central East Region of the UUA
100 W 10th Street Suite 1008
Wilmington, DE 19801
United States