News and updates from the UU-UNO to keep you informed.
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February 2018

Dear ,

I'm sure you join me in feeling inspired and energized by the activism coming out of Florida in the wake of the heart-breaking tragedy there. There's no time like the present to take action for disarmament. It may be too little, too late, but every change we can make is better than nothing, never.

As I spoke about on the February Envoy conference call last week, I had an incredible experience at the 2018 ICUU conference in Kathmandu, Nepal Feb. 12-15. (For evidence, see photo of me riding a rickshaw... Namaste!) You can read all about the conference in the Minutes from the Feb. Envoy Call and also in the blog post I wrote (see blog section down below!). Our next Envoy conference calls will be Tuesday March 20th - mark your calendar now and please RSVP here. The March calls will feature a special presentation about disarmament by UU-UNO Envoy Joanne Dufour from the North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, Louisiana!

Since you should have all received the most recent issue of Act Globally on Friday, I will keep this edition of the Envoy News brief - but be sure to take a look at the Winter 2018 Act Globally for announcements and information about opportunities to engage with global U/U faith in action!

And as a gentle reminder: the deadline to qualify as a Blue Ribbon Congregation is fast approaching: all requirements must be achieved by March 31st! Please contact me by email if you want to check in on how your congregation is doing towards achieving Blue Ribbon status this year.

In freedom, love, hope, and justice,

Allison Hess

International Engagement Associate


Please complete the following tasks by the end of March.

  1. Blue Ribbon: Don't forget to share about your UN Sunday service!      ...and if you haven't checked yet, make sure to be in touch if not sure of your status this year.
  2. Report back on the Quick Question below! (Look below!)
February Review: (1) Check in re: Blue Ribbon status (2) Let me know if you'll attend CUC National Conference or UUA Pacific Western Region's Regional Assembly.  
Do you have a skill, a story, or any particular experience that you'd be willing to share with your fellow Envoys? No need to be a certified expert, but we grow best when we can learn from one another. Would you be able to lead a presentation or training during one of our monthly Envoy Conference Calls? What would you talk about?
(I'm hoping everyone will respond. I am very happy to chat if you're not sure but have some ideas!)
March Events
A look behind, a look ahead

February 1: UNO Director Bruce Knotts speaks at UN Panel on poverty & incarceration.

February 9: Bruce speaks at Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University.

February 11-16: Allison in Nepal for 2018 ICUU Council Meeting and Conference.

February 13: "Forced Migration due to Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity" event co-hosted by UU-UNO and All Souls Church NYC.

March 7: Extended deadline for submissions to the Dana Greeley Sermon Competition.

March 8
: International Women's Day!

March 12-23: United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in NYC.

March 15: UNO Hosts CSW panel "Advancing Gender Equality through Community-based Organizing and Global Advocacy"

March 16: UNO hosts CSW panel "Female Genital Mutilation: Advancing Awareness and Advocating for Global Action"

March 20: March UU-UNO Envoy Conference Calls.

March 31: Deadline to meet all requirements to become a Blue Ribbon Congregation!

At the United Nations Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland in February, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the international community to join the world-wide effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons. "Countries persist in the mistaken idea that nuclear weapons make the world safer," he said. "My initiative will strive to offer a new perspective on traditional priorities, a clear vision for the future, and also practical and implementable actions." This new initiative is part of a global trend that brought to life last year's Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Follow the global disarmament conversation, and learn about the background and recent developments, via the Unitarian Universalist United Nations' new blog "Disarming Our Planet."
Intergenerational Spring Seminar 2018
When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration for All

For those attending the 2018 Intergenerational Spring Seminar in April, I hope you'll plan to attend the Envoy Luncheon on Saturday afternoon! Whilst other Seminar attendees get lunch on their own, Envoys both current and prospective will gather to learn more about what it means to be an Envoy and how to be effective in this role!
Be sure to buy a ticket ahead of time ($10) so we can order the right amount of food!

Reimagining Interfaith

A Gathering of Multifaith Leaders and Local Activists Working Together in the Face of Fear

July 29 - August 1, 2018
Washington, DC
George Washington University Marvin Center

This event focusing on skill-building, networking, and organizing for grassroots activists and interfaith peacebuilders from around the world, is co-sponsored by numerous organizations including Religions for Peace-USA, Shoulder-to-Shoulder, United Religions Initiative-North America, World Congress of Faith, the Interfaith Funders Group, the Internaitonal Association for Religious Freedom, and multiple faith communities including the UUA! Registration rates increase on April 1st. See you there?

From the International Blog

How the "Impossible" Became Possible

By Joanne Dufour, UU-UNO Disarmament Volunteer & Envoy from North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, LA

Recent reports about the use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2017 and the international responses help demonstrate the way that international law works. A treaty to ban the use of chemical weapons officially became international law in 1997 when the minimum number of countries.....

The Heart of Unitarian/Universalism - 2018 ICUU Conference

By Allison Hess, UUA International Office

What is the Heart of Unitarian/Universalism? What is at the core of our varied theologies and diverse cultural contexts that brings Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists together as a single faith? What does this faith call us to be and to do, today? These were the central...

Listening to Our Neighbors

By Joanne Dufour, UU-UNO Disarmament Volunteer & Envoy from North Shore UU Society in Lacombe, LA

Despite the commendable efforts by activists in past years to disarm our world, why then do we live in an armed world which could be utterly destroyed with the pressing of a few buttons? Perhaps the fear of nuclear war we are now experiencing will prompt a return to the sanity.......

The Plight of Immigrants, in our community and in the world

By Jerald Ross, UU-UNO Envoy from First Parish in Bedford, MA

I'm sitting in the waiting room at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Center. I am one of two white faces in the crowd of many brown faces. the other white face is the guard. The brown faces look despondent, overwhelmed, some are frightened. I.......

News: United Nations
Keep yourself and your congregation informed about important news coming from the UN
Syria - Airstrikes and shelling continue in Syria despite Security Council's call for a ceasefire. The continued violence means a worsening of the humanitarian situation there.

Ending FGM & Child Marriage - In a recent episode from the UN's "The Lid is On" podcast, the new UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for Africa Jaha Dukureh explains her optimism that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage are on the way out.

Break Up with Plastic - For Valentine's Day, the UN Environment Program called on people to end their "toxic relationship" with single-use plastic and find "new love" with more environmentally sustainable options.

Sexual Harassment - The United Nations has just launched a 24-hour hotline for staff to report sexual harassment.

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