Influence of the UU-UNO at the United Nations
Unitarian Universalists are bold leaders in action for social justice, both around the country and the world. In our daily lives, we strive to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Each day at the United Nations, the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) strives to affirm and promote every person’s human rights on the international stage.
The UU-UNO participates in meetings, conferences, and committees at the United Nations with key UN bodies such as Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Department of Public Information (DPI), the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the World Bank to discuss with them how they can act in the interest of creating a world community that is accepting, just, and compassionate.
United Nations Consultative Status
For a non-profit organization to have any influence at the UN it needs to have UN “consultative status,” of which there are two types:
- Department of Public Information (DPI): The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) has DPI consultative status. DPI non-profits work to extend the UN's Department of Public Information's mission to explain and gain support for the UN's mission in the world. Our educational programs (Spring Seminar, UN Sunday, etc.) fit well into this mandate. Non-Profit organizations are referred to as “NGOs” or “Non-Governmental Organizations”)
- Economic Social and Cultural Committee (ECOSOC): The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has ECOSOC consultative status and the UU-UNO exercises this status on behalf of the UUA. NGOs with ECOSOC status are those that are interested in policy issues within the UN system.
The Conference of NGO's in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO) facilitates the participation of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the UN system. CoNGO works to ensure that NGOs have adequate access to UN meetings, conferences, special events, and documentation. The UU-UNO serves on the following CoNGO committees:
- UN NGO Committee on Human Rights, Bruce Knotts is the chair
- UN Faith the Ethics Network for the International Criminal Court, Bruce Knotts is the chair
- UN NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security, Bruce Knotts is the chair
- UN NGO Committee on Sustainable Development, Bruce Knotts is on the governing board
- UN NGO Committee on Migration
- UN Commission on the Status of Women
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