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UUA International Blog Archive
UUA International Blog Archive
International Engagement & Building Peace
  • 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: Answering Common Questions and Concerns

    By Samantha Hussey In October 2016, the United Nations General Assembly voted to begin negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This critically important treaty calls for a complete ban of the use, production, possession, testing, and transfer of...
    9/12/2017
  • Faith on the Fast Track to Stop AIDS

    On September 6th, 2017, I represented the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) at an interfaith conference to stop AIDS.  It was an inspiring meeting led by Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer (United Church of Christ) and Bishop Yvette Flunder (United Church of Christ and...
    By Bruce Knotts | 9/12/2017
  • Not Just A Statistic: 2017 DACA Repeal

    By Katia Altern On Tuesday, September 5th, 2017, President Donald Trump ordered an end to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—an Obama-era program that protects young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. DACA was introduced on June 15th, 2012 for the purpose...
    9/12/2017
  • Educating Refugee Girls: Finding Solutions When Two Problems Collide

    By Amy Perry Educating refugee girls presents a unique and complicated challenge in many places around the world.  This issue is pressing because it is the intersection of two issues that can severely harm a person’s life: the refugee crisis and the lack of opportunities...
    8/9/2017
  • A Big Leap: Highlights of the Intergenerational Dialogues on the Sustainable Development Goals

    On August 1st, a day-long event was held at United Nations Headquarters entitled “Intergenerational Dialogues on the Sustainable Development Goals.” The organizing body for this event was the NGO DPI Executive Committee*. The event opened with remarks by the organizers...
    By UUA International Resources: UU United Nations Office | 8/7/2017
  • Empower Women: Empower the World

    By Kate Mays Improving gender equality within a society creates a ripple effect, directly or indirectly improving the lives of everyone within that society in different ways. As we work towards achieving the fifth United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5), "achieve...
    8/3/2017
  • Youth and Adults Lead at the Intergenerational Spring Seminar

    The applications to join the Seminar Staff as a Youth Dean or Adult Dean for the 2018 Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office Intergenerational Spring Seminar are now open and are due August 2nd, 2017!  The 2018 Seminar, on the topic of refugees and...
    7/21/2017
  • Gender Equality and Violent Extremism Event at the United Nations

    By Andrea Floersheimer On Thursday, July 13th, the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) co-sponsored a 2017 High-Level Political Forum Side Event on gender equality and violent extremism. The event was co-sponsored by the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)...
    7/19/2017
  • Inclusivity in United Nations Nuclear Weapons Treaty: Diversity & Disarmament

    By Katia Altern On Friday, July 7th, 2017, 122 countries approved a new treaty to ban the use, testing, production, and possession of nuclear weapons. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is a legally-binding and long overdue treaty to promote nuclear...
    7/19/2017
  • Gender-Sensitive Urban Planning: The Future of Safe Cities

    By Amy Perry There is an important issue relating to structural gender inequality that is being neglected. Worldwide, women feel less safe than men in public spaces. Issues of safety and perceived safety for women are critical United Nations values, and also Unitarian...
    7/18/2017
  • The Chechen Genocide and Global Fight for LGBTQ Rights

    By Kate Mays In April of this year, reports surfaced that the Chechen government had begun to out, detain, torture, and kill any Chechen man who is perceived as gay or bisexual. According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the reports...
    7/11/2017
  • Why the 2017 Nuclear Ban Treaty Matters to Unitarian Universalists

    By Jerry Ross Negotiations are underway at the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons.  That is a remarkable statement. Last October, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to begin negotiations in 2017 on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit...
    6/30/2017
  • World Refugee Day and our Interdependent World Community

    By Kate Mays Every year, June 20 marks World Refugee Day, a time to honor the courage and strength of those who are forced to flee their homeland because of conflict, violence, or persecution. This year, bringing awareness and supporting refugees is more important than ever....
    6/20/2017
  • 2017 Religious Freedom Conference in India

    The India Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) conducted a national conference in Pondicherry, India from the 26th to 27th of May, 2017.  Representatives from many states attended - giving all participants a good opportunity to...
    6/2/2017
  • Climate-Induced Migration: United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues

    By Lyle Davison The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) is a two-week long conference that was established on July 28th, 2000 by the United Nations to address the unique issues indigenous comminutes face related to economic and social development, ecological and...
    By UUA International Resources: UU United Nations Office | 5/17/2017
  • First in Asia: Progress towards Marriage Equality in Taiwan

    For the past two years, it has been my honor to chair the NGO/DPI Executive Committee, which represents about 1,500 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) affiliated with the Department of Public Information (DPI) at the United Nations. For many years, the chair of the NGO/DPI...
    By Bruce Knotts | 5/8/2017
  • Seeking Reproductive Justice: Roadblocks to Women's Economic Empowerment Around the World

    By Emma Langsner The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a two week long conference where events are hosted in and around the United Nations Headquarters by member states, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and civil society. During the conference, which takes...
    4/19/2017
  • Intergenerational Seminar 2017: Interfaith Action to Disarm Our Planet

    Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith gathered in April 2017 for a whirlwind 3-day conference in New York City. The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office’s annual Intergenerational Spring Seminar this year was centered on the theme “Arm in Arm: Interfaith...
    4/14/2017
  • International Flower Communion

    This exciting invitation to Unitarian Universalists in the United States comes from the Unitarian community in Prague, on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the Flower Communion this June. Dear Friends, Unitarians in Prague are celebrating the 95th Anniversary of...
    3/27/2017
  • Defend Our United Nations from US Budget Cuts

    Donald Trump destroys what he doesn’t have the knowledge to understand nor appreciate. This has been clear since the 1980s, and on numerous occasions he has shown tragic disregard for historical and artistic treasures. Fast forward to 2017. The President’s proposed budgets...
    By Bruce Knotts | 3/21/2017
  • An Afternoon of Accepting Others and Breakings Stigmas

    By Emma Langsner The afternoon of Friday January 27, 2017 I experienced one of the most empowering events at the United Nations Headquarters. It was the 18th annual Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN) conference titled: Refugees the 21st Century Challenge....
    By UUA International Resources: UU United Nations Office | 3/2/2017
  • Thinking Equal in Vietnam

    Bruce Knotts is the Director of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office. In January, he travelled to Vietnam to endorse the Think Equal initiative and to China to encourage greater civil society participation at the United Nations. Here, he writes about his experience...
    By Bruce Knotts | 3/1/2017
  • Weaving Global Partnerships at the Third International Women's Convocation

    As the orange sun set over the Pacific Ocean on Thursday, February 16, 2017, women gathered from around the world in Pacific Grove, California to begin a three-day convocation exploring issues important to women’s rights and justice. It was the Third International Convocation of...
    By Allison Hess | 2/24/2017
  • Responding in the Wake of the Storm: Hurricane Matthew Relief and Environmental Racism

    By Kwanique Andrews Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 will be a day that will never be forgotten in South Haiti. About 90 percent of the area that Hurricane Matthew struck was completely destroyed, affecting residents in a variety of ways. Due to the destruction, the people living...
    2/20/2017
  • Asian LGBT Communities: Creating Safe and Tolerant Space

    By Mengxi Zhao Recently the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) held a discussion panel themed “Creating Safe and Tolerant Space for Asian LGBT Communities” in the UN Church Center. Four panelists: Robert Kaku Gunn, Lu Jun, Rashima Kwatra, and Omair Paul...
    2/14/2017
  • Religious Freedom ain't what it used to be

    Celebrate Religious Freedom Day this week, and keep in mind that "Religious Freedom" ain’t what it used to be.   Yes, the historic meaning it typically brings to mind for religious liberals continues to be relevant in present day struggles:  freedom of...
    By Rev. Eric Cherry | 1/11/2017
  • If we hate haters for hating...

    A refugee justice rally was held at South Australia's Parliament house on Saturday, December 3rd, organized by the University of Adelaide's Students Against Racism group. Rev. Rob MacPherson, Minister of the Unitarian Church of South Australia, was asked to speak at that rally...
    12/12/2016
  • Human Rights Day in an unjust world

    Every year on December 10th, the world celebrates Human Rights Day. It is the anniversary of the day the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This year marks 68 years since these rights were acknowledged to belong inherently to every human...
    By Allison Hess | 12/8/2016
  • Unitarians in Poland - Then and Now: A Historical Study Tour with the Rev. Dr. Jay Atkinson

    Unitarians in Poland - Then and Now: A Historical Study Tour with the Rev. Dr. Jay Atkinson  June 6-11, 2017 JOIN US on a visit to the 16th century’s Unitarian “heartland” where early religious dissenters —who called themselves the Polish Brethren—first...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 12/6/2016
  • Day of Religious Freedom - 13th January

    In 1568, on January the 13th, the Diet of Torda (Transylvania) proclaimed: “His majesty, our Lord, in what manner he—together with his realm—legislated in the matter of religion at the previous Diets, in the same matter now, in this Diet, reaffirms that in every place the...
    12/2/2016
  • The Future of Human Rights Protection at the United Nations

    A troubling new initiative has just been proposed at the United Nations which threatens all human rights protection, but focused on sexual orientation/gender identity human rights.  On Monday, the NGO Committee on Human Rights, of which I am a co-chair, met the newly...
    By Bruce Knotts | 11/14/2016
  • Refugee Crisis - Where is the world?

    This guest post is from the Unitarian Universalist Peace Ministry Network (UUPMN). It was written by Ann Lundberg, a member of UUPMN and of The Unitarian Church in Westport, CT. Whether the global refugee crisis is the worst humanitarian crisis of our time-- or just the most...
    11/8/2016
  • Hurricane Matthew - Why we care

    This blog post is written by Rebecca Bowe, an intern at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office working on the Racial Justice Initiative. This summer she spent 9 days in Haiti with a mental health team, aiming to implement a mental health component to a medical...
    By UUA International Resources: UU United Nations Office | 10/20/2016
  • UN Report Shows Burundi Regime's True Colors: Brutal, Cruel, and Defiant

    The Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, minister of the Unitarian Church of Burundi, provides a reaction to the recent UN Human Rights report following their investigation into events in Burundi.  Since April 2015, when people massively took to the streets to oppose a...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 10/17/2016
  • 17 Goals for a World Community - with peace, liberty, and justice for all

    Goals work.  Lose weight, save money, set up a study schedule to improve grades.  Set some goals and work towards achieving them and whether or not you achieve your goals, you’ll have improved performance over what would have been the case without goals. You’ve...
    By Bruce Knotts | 9/15/2016
  • Update from Burundi Unitarians (at home and in exile)

    Rev. Fulgence Ndagijamana, Minister of the Unitarian Church of Burundi, has distributed this important update via the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU).  Dear friends, colleagues, partners and global UU family, It has been a while...
    By Rev. Eric Cherry | 9/15/2016
  • Indian Independence Day for Khasi Unitarians

    This guest post on our blog is by Dranwell Barishisha "Barri" Mukhim. Barri is a member of the Unitarian Union of North East India; here, she writes about what Indian Independence Day (August 15) means to her as a Khasi Unitarian. India was freed from about 300 years of...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 8/15/2016
  • Burundi Resolution at the United Nations

    The violent atrocities and political impasse in Burundi that have threatened our Unitarian siblings there continue to be of great concern to the international community. On July 29, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution, UN Security Council Resolution 2303,...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 8/11/2016
  • Climate Call to Action: Lessons from Bhutan

    When it comes to addressing climate change, we must draw from as many sources as possible to seek creative solutions. On July 13, I attended a side event at the United Nations Headquarters titled “Getting to Zero: A Poverty, Environment, and Climate Call to Action for the...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 8/10/2016
  • Joint Activism: Working Together for Human Rights and Dignity

    At the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO), we work to ensure that all people’s human rights are upheld and respected, no matter who they are or what their circumstances. Although advocacy areas are often separated, with some organizations and people working to...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 8/8/2016
  • What Americans Owe the Hibakusha

    This guest post on our blog is from the Rev. Chris J. Antal, the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern, New York. He had been a military chaplain for five years until he resigned in April as an act of protest to U.S. policies regarding armed drones...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 8/5/2016
  • Global Unitarian and Universalist community gathers in the Netherlands

    From July 17-23, 2016 the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists held its biennial Council Meeting and Conference in the Netherlands.  Nearly 150 people, including a large delegation of Young Adults U/Us from around the world, gathered for planning...
    By Rev. Eric Cherry | 8/5/2016
  • Sports and Development: A Promising Pair

    With the summer Olympics coming up this month, sports are at the front of people's minds worldwide. Every couple of years we are reminded of the power of sports to bring the international community together in constructive, friendly competition. They serve as a symbol of our...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 8/4/2016
  • Financing for Women, Peace, and Security

    Sixteen years ago, a landmark resolution on Women, Peace, and Security passed in the Security Council of the United Nations. That resolution, UNSCR 1325, laid the foundation for a new approach to global security, and alongside the Beijing Declaration, the global community...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 7/26/2016
  • Interfaith and International Engagement at UUA General Assembly

    At the end of June, Unitarian Universalists gathered in Columbus, OH for a week of learning, worship, and activism. The Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly this year brought a special perspective to UU social justice work. The theme for GA 2016 was “Heartland:...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 7/14/2016
  • Tracing the origins of Racism

    Unitarian Universalists have a long history of engaging in racial justice advocacy individually and as congregations. As people of faith who believe in the inherent worth of every person, UUs strive for justice, equity and compassion in relationships and work for systemic change...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 6/27/2016
  • World Refugee Day, 2016

    As we celebrate World Refugee Day, let us remember that all of our peoples migrated from somewhere else.  Even indigenous peoples have migrated.  Migration is always difficult, but perhaps it is harder now than it’s been for a long time.  There are some 65 million people who...
    By Bruce Knotts | 6/20/2016
  • Bolder Ways of Being a Unitarian Universalist Activist

    On May 20th - 22nd, 2016, the Canadian Unitarian Council invited Unitarian Universalists across Canada to explore  Bolder Ways of Being in Vancouver. For their now bi-annual national conference, participants were invited to learn and discuss ways to step out of their comfort...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 6/16/2016
  • Inclusive Education for Global Citizenship: UN Conference in Gyeongju, Korea

    The 66th Annual United Nations (UN) Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organization (DPI/NGO) Conference was held in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea from May 30 through June 1, 2016. This year’s conference was on Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the...
    By Bruce Knotts | 6/15/2016
  • Ethical Eating: A Solution to Climate Change

    As climate change continues on its current course, it becomes an increasing existential threat to human civilization. The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office’s (UU-UNO's) Climate Justice Initiative is compelled to acknowledge this threat, and try to find solutions...
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 5/31/2016

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