Guided by our principles, Unitarian Universalists are called to advocate for international human rights, promoting the inherent worth and dignity of all. The Unitarian Universalist Association Office at the United Nations gives UUs a voice on the global stage. We carry out our global social justice work through two specific strategic priorities.
The UUA Office at the UN (UU@UN) has an overarching goal of protecting the human rights of marginalized people. To support this goal, our efforts are focused in the following areas:
Our aim is to protect the lives and rights of those most at risk from the environmental hazards that have caused and are caused by climate change. We strongly advocate against government subsidies for the production of fossil fuels and in favor of swift support for sustainable forms of energy, as well as supporting other initiatives that further climate change mitigation and adaptation.
As a member of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UU@UN is proud to send delegate observers to UN climate conferences to advocate on behalf of Unitarian Universalists for global climate policies that affirm indigenous sovereignty and that hold polluters accountable for the destruction they cause to people and planet.
The UU@UN’s climate justice initiative is in close partnership with the UU Ministry for Earth and the UUA Green Sanctuary program—including the joint campaign Create Climate Justice, a hub for Unitarian Universalist climate activism.
- Learn more about specific Climate Justice action through resources from the 2020 and 2021 Intergenerational Spring Seminars
- Learn more about the climate justice issues addressed here:
- Information about the 2020 United Nations Sunday theme "All In for Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet"
- Information about the 2021 United Nations Sunday theme, "All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability"
Our aim is to protect the human rights of those whose lives and rights are most at risk from police violence and other state-sponsored violence. This goal includes addressing the criminalization of people and activities that the state violently suppresses. These areas can include race, substance use/abuse, sexual orientation, gender identity, protest activity, voting, immigration, ethnicity, religion, etc. All these can and should be addressed by means other than criminalization and state-sponsored violence.
- Learn more about these issues on our blog:
- "Why Are U.S. Police More Deadly than Police in Peer Nations?" - August 5, 2020 by Julia Nichols, UU@UN Program Intern
- "Police: A Legacy of Racism and Violence" - July 22, 2020 by Julia Nichols, UU@UN Program Intern
- "When Did the Looting Start?" - June 11, 2020 by UUA International Staff Group
- "National Profiles of Global Police Militarization and Violence: Part 1" - April 29, 2021 by Noorjahan Aktar and Ashley Emuka, UU@UN Program Interns
- "National Profiles of Global Police Militarization and Violence: Part 2" - July 15, 2021 by Andrew Mickle, UU@UN Program Intern
- "Faced With a False Dilemma" - July 27, 2021 by Bruce Knotts, UU@UN Director
UU Voice at the United Nations
Staff and interns at the UU@UN participate actively and visibly in UN forums related to our strategic objectives, in partnership with allied organizations. We also work to communicate with Unitarian Universalists in the U.S. and Canada about global justice issues and action opportunities.
- Learn more about how we work at the UN.
- Learn more about the Envoy Program that serves as our link with UU congregations.
Current Initiatives and Events
RSVP below to upcoming events, or click the links to watch recordings and access materials from past events.
- December 8, 2020: "The Right to Joy: Women of African Descent Ascending"
- January 14, 2021: "Upholding and Undermining White Supremacy – How Contemporary Religious Identity Does Both"
- February 24, 2021: "Sustainable Fashion for All: Examining the Industry Through the Lens of Social Justice"
- March 15-26, 2021: United Nations Commission on the Status of Women NGO Forum Parallel Events
- April 9-11, 2021: "All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability" – the UU@UN’s all-virtual Intergenerational Spring Seminar
- June 26, 2021: Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly Workshop
- July 20, 2021: "Right to a Fair Trial: International Human Rights, Extrajudicial Killings, and Demilitarizing the Police"
- April 22-24, 2022: The UU@UN's annual Intergenerational Spring Seminar with the 2022 Theme: "All In for Climate Justice," focusing on climate-forced displacement