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ENVOY NEWS
March/April 2017

Dear ,


Happy Spring! For those paying close attention on Facebook, you got a warning ahead of time that I'd be combining the March and April Envoy News. But to all of you warned or not, many apologies for any inconvenience caused or for throwing off your planning process. Now that the Intergenerational Spring Seminar is wrapped up successfully, I look forward to focusing more on creating and sharing new and valuable resources for you to use in your congregations. This Envoy News includes a number of resources particularly relating to sanctuary and resistance... take a look below!


Here are the minutes from the April Envoy Check-in conference call. You can RSVP for the next call here, which will be in mid-May (and includes a Youth-only call!).


Blue Ribbon Congregations will be announced in May. Please email me if you think your congregation will qualify but you haven't heard from me yet. 


In faith, love, hope, and justice,


Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate

TIME TO ACT

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


Sustainable Development Goals 
The following "Time to Act" suggestions for April 2017 will be related to the Sixteenth SDG:
 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.


  • The first Target of SDG 16 is: "Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere." Accordingly, Envoys should take a look at the "We therefore resolve to..." section of the 2017 Spring Seminar Statement and decide which of these you can implement in the next month or two with your home community or congregation. 
  • In the spirit of our Intergenerational Spring Seminar: Utilize the e-book Action for Disarmament  which has practical ideas for young people to engage in an active and thoughtful way in this important issue for all of humankind.
  • Join the Peace Action Alert Network for weekly opportunities make a difference towards creating a more peaceful world.

ENVOY TASKS

Please complete the following tasks by the end of May.

  1. Are you planning to attend UUA General Assembly in New Orleans? If so, please fill out this quick form to let me know!

  2. Please help me help you by giving me feedback on which parts of the Envoy News are helpful - fill out this survey to tell me your thoughts!

FOR YOUR NEWSLETTER


The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office is taking a bold stance in support of human rights around the world as part of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights in early May. Through a collaboration with other organizations at the UN, the UU-UNO will be hosting an event exploring climate-induced migration and the effects this has on indigenous communities. They are also planning another event in early May about how mass incarceration is used to perpetuate slavery in modern times for people of color. These events are a critical part of UU-UNO advocacy at the UN, promoting Unitarian Universalist principles on the world stage that honor the inherent value of all life on earth.
Events
A look behind, a look ahead


March 13-24: UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

March 13: UU-UNO panel "Reproductive Justice & Economic Empowerment" during CSW at UN Church Center

April 5-8: 2017 Intergenerational Spring Seminar Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet

April 13-21: UNO Director Bruce Knotts travels in Taiwan with the UN NGO DPI Executive Committee

April 28-29: Allison in Chicago for the UUA MidAmerica Regional Assembly

April 30 & May 7: Black Lives of UU White Supremacy Teach-In

May 2: UU-UNO hosts Climate Induced Displacement panel discussion as part of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights

May 9: UUA staff participate in BLUU White Supremacy Teach-in

May 9: UU-UNO hosts panel discussion on the Evolution of Slavery Through Mass Incarceration at UN Church Center

May 11-12
: UU-UNO Staff in Boston for International Office staff retreat


June 21-25: UUA General Assembly in New Orleans, LA - International Events at GA
Global
Flower Communion
In celebration of the 95th Anniversary of the Flower Communion, Unitarians in Prague are inviting Unitarian and Unitarian Universalist congregations worldwide to join them in celebrating the Flower Communion on Sunday, June 4th, 2017.
Resources & Tools for Envoys

Sanctuary Toolkit
I'm very pleased to be able to share with you a
Sanctuary Toolkit for congregations considering offering physical sanctuary. This toolkit was developed for UU congregations through a collaboration between Unitarian Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education (UURISE), the Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice (UUCSJ), the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).

Love Resists
UUA and UUSC are also collaborating further to provide additional resources to congregations and individuals who are engaged deeply in resisting locally and nationally in this current political moment. The Love Resists campaign website has a wealth of information and resources to support and sustain the resistance, including expanding sanctuary, growing solidarity, spiritual centering, and much more.
From the UUA International Blog
Defend our United Nations from US Budget Cuts
The President's proposed budgets last week have aimed this threat of destruction toward the United Nations. The purposed budget cuts the Department of State funding by a third, mostly impacting foreign assistance projects, United Nations projects, and specifically targeting U.N. peacekeeping missions. 

Seeking Reproductive Justice: Roadblocks to Women's Economic Empowerment Around the World
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is an annual two-week-long conference of events hosted in and around the United Nations Headquarters. The UU-UNO's panel focused on the intersection of reproductive justice and economic empowerment.

Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2017
Arm in Arm: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet

Whether or not you were able to make it to the Seminar, I want to share a few resources that participants were sent earlier this week - resources for continued engagement & activism (scroll down on that page to see the resources section). You are welcome to share them with your friends, congregation, and community. Perhaps plan a disarmament-related event and let your discussions spark some action.
Spring Seminar Statement - Throughout the seminar, participants got together in Collaboration Groups to discuss what they learned so far. Each Collaboration Group came up with a statement, and these were all combined to form the Spring Seminar Statement which calls the UU and UN communities to commit to creating a more peaceful and compassionate world.
Coming soon on the seminar webpage.... Watch the global disarmament panel from the Spring Seminar, featuring high-profile speakers including:

  • Ambassador Caleb Otto, former UN Ambassador from Palau
  • Ray Acheson, Director of Reaching Critical Will 
  • Hiro Sakurai, Director of Soka Gakkai International
  • Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Director of Music & Worship at First UU in Ann Arbor, MI
  • Chris King, Head of Strategic Planning Unit at UN Office of Disarmament Affairs

UUA General Assembly
June 21-25, 2017 - New Orleans, LA

This year's General Assembly promises to be particularly historic. The assembly is focused largely around justice, and attendees are strongly encouraged to register ahead of time to participate in one of a number of service projects relating to the theme of racial justice. You can access the options for 2017 GA Service Projects here. In terms of other GA programming, here's a list of the International programs to look for at UUA General Assembly which we'll be involved with:

  • Workshop: "Advocating Equity & Human Rights for Climate Justice" Thursday, June 22nd 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM  with UU-UNO and UUSC
  • Workshop: "Voices of Unitarian Universalist Refugees" Thursday, June 22nd 3:15 PM - 4:30 PM  with UUA International Resources Office and ICUU
  • Worship Service: "Walk Justly and Humbly" Thursday, June 22nd 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM with UU Partner Church Council, ICUU, and UUA International Office
  • International Reception Thursday, June 22nd 6:15 PM - 7:45 PM with UU Partner Church Council, ICUU, and UUA International Office
  • Envoy Meeting Friday, June 23rd 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM with UU-UNO and current and prospective Envoys!
RSVP here to let me know if you're going to make it to GA this year. You can also find us at the UUA International Office booth within the UUA Expressway in the Exhibit Hall!

News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
UN and AU relations - The United Nations and the African Union have just signed a historic new framework that will strengthen partnership between the two entities and improve peace and security operations.

Amb. Haley and human rights - In a bid to show that the Trump administration cares about human rights around the world, its envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley presided over what the administration called the first "thematic debate" on human rights in the Security Council.

Agriculture and technology -  The United Nations agricultural agency created an online database that uses satellite data and Google Earth images to help farmers in Africa and the Middle East that are facing water scarcity.

Chemical weapons disarmament - On the 20th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the UN's Secretary-General has warned that progress made towards eliminating the world's declared stockpiles of chemical weapons is threatened by belligerents in the Middle East.


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