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UUA International Blog Archive
UUA International Blog Archive
International Engagement & Building Peace
  • Working to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons - One UU's Experience

    The very first resolution passed by the United Nations, in January 1946, called for the elimination of atomic weapons.  The bedrock treaty for the control and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) entered into force in 1970 and...
    By Jerald Ross | 6/6/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • Refugees, Migrants, and Resettlement in the Trump Era: What's Next?

    On the warm May evening of May 3rd, concerned individuals gathered at the Community Church of New York to engage in the critically-needed discussion on the refugee and migration crisis. Moderated by the Unitarian Universalist U.N. Office’s Refugee Program Intern Rani Allan, the...
    By Rani Allan | 5/29/2018
  • Nuclear Weapons: Averting a global catastrophe

    This week's post in Disarming Our Planet is a statement by Mr Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, reposted here from the ICRC's website as an appeal to States, global leaders, and citizens. The International Committee...
    By International Committee of the Red Cross | 5/23/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • Brutal Attacks on Gaza Protesters

    The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO), together with the United Nations community, condemns the lethal use of violence by the Israeli Defense Forces against Palestinian protesters who were protesting the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the U....
    By UUA International Resources: UU United Nations Office | 5/15/2018
  • Rev. Homer Alexander Jack: A Model for Unitarian Universalist Disarmament Action

    How do you ever get the membership of the United Nations to sit down and talk about disarmament and even set off a large enough public response to have a significant downsizing of nuclear arsenals as a result? All we need is another Homer Jack. “And who is he?” you ask....
    By Joanne Dufour | 5/9/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • From UU Intern to Panelist - Advancing Women's Rights Locally and at the United Nations

    Along with the panel on Female Genital Mutilation, the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) hosted another parallel event at the Commission on the Status of Women, working closely with Dr. Bobbi Nassar who is the co-chair of NGO committee on human rights (UU-UNO...
    By JoAnne McClure | 5/3/2018
  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals Panel Discussion at the United Nations

    Climate justice is a social justice issue. It is working at the intersection of environmental degradation and the racial, social, and economic inequities it perpetuates. Every living person depends on the environment. Here at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-...
    By Mengluo Ren | 5/2/2018
  • Female Genital Mutilation: Advancing Awareness and Advocating for Global Action

    It’s been a month since The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was held at the New York United Nations Headquarters from March 11-23th. Commission on the Status of Women was founded in June 1946 and “The principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the...
    By JoAnne McClure | 4/27/2018
  • Chemical Weapons and the Efforts to Control and Destroy Them

    Toxic weapons made of chemicals are nothing new. They’ve been around for thousands of years as poisoned arrows, lethal smoke, or noxious fumes, but -- following their use-- they were eventually considered too cruel and unfair for ”civilized battle,” and efforts were made to ban...
    By Joanne Dufour | 4/25/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • Sowing Seeds of Change at the United Nations

    The speech text below was presented as an introduction to a panel event sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office and the NGO Committee on Human Rights as part of the 62nd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women NGO forum. The event, entitled "...
    By JoAnne McClure | 4/20/2018
  • The Intergenerational Spring Seminar on Migration "When Crisis Calls" - What We Learned

    There are more people displaced from their homes due to war, violence, and natural disasters today than at any other time in history, even more than at the end of World War II. That was the first of many shocking things we learned when members of First Parish Bedford (MA) UU...
    By Jerald Ross | 4/17/2018
  • New Technology and Nuclear Weapon Risks

    The following is a summary of a paper delivered by a UN staff member to a meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations at the United Nations. The portions in italics were added by this blogger. One of the most important norms related to international peace and security created...
    By Joanne Dufour | 4/11/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • International U/U Council Calls, ANSWER Responds

    One of the best things about the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU) global conferences is the opportunity to connect with other Unitarians & Unitarian Universalists from around the world. To be able to hear and even sometimes see how they live our...
    By Sara Ascher | 3/30/2018
  • I Join with the Youth to Appeal for Abolition

    Content warning: this post includes graphic descriptions of the effects of the nuclear bomb dropped in Hiroshima that may be traumatic for some readers. We feel it is important to read these stories in order to capture the real human impact of nuclear weapons. ...
    By Joanne Dufour | 3/28/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • Amazing Grace: The Role of the Holy See in the Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons

    On July 7, 2017 a United Nations Conference approved a new treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Adopted by a vote of 122 for, 1 against, 1 abstention, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons requires that parties to the treaty “undertake never under any circumstances to...
    By Joanne Dufour | 3/14/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • Forced Migration due to Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

    A panel discussion on forced migration due to oppression based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) was organized on February 13, 2018 at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City. This program was organized to bring awareness amongst the general public...
    By Longjam Singh | 3/7/2018
  • How the "Impossible" Became Possible

    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 (...
    By Joanne Dufour | 2/28/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • The Heart of Unitarian/Universalism - 2018 ICUU Conference

    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...
    By Allison Hess | 2/27/2018
  • Listening to Our Neighbors

    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...
    By Joanne Dufour | 2/14/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • The Plight of Immigrants, in our community and in the world

    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...
    By Jerald Ross | 2/7/2018
  • Disarming Our Planet - An Introduction to Global Disarmament

    Welcome to Disarming Our Planet. This new addition to the UUA International Blog is devoted to building our knowledge of disarmament efforts then and now, with the goal of helping to create a more peaceful world with much fewer weapons. As the UN Charter indicates, there is...
    By Joanne Dufour | 1/30/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • A Call to Action for the Australia & New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association

    At the 2017 conference for the Australia and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association (ANZUUA), the new ANZUUA president Rev. Rob MacPherson issued a challenge to member organizations in the region. His keynote address challenges member organizations to grow.
    By UUA International Resources Staff Group | 1/24/2018
  • Every Child is Our Child, giving orphan children the chance at a bright future

    I visited the Every Child is Our Child program in Eastern Ghana from December 2-7, 2017.  The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) began its collaboration with the Manye Krobo Queen Mothers in 2005, launching this program which would go on to change so many...
    By Bruce Knotts | 12/19/2017
  • Libya Alarms World in Footage of African Migrants Being Auctioned Off

    The fight to end slavery worldwide has a long way to go. Recent footage released in November by CNN has shown black people being auctioned off as slaves in Libya. Reports reveal that these people being abused were migrants seeking to escape to Europe through the North...
    By Rani Allan | 12/18/2017
  • The Call from Pacific Islanders - Human Rights and Climate Change

    The 2017 United Nations Climate Conference, COP23, took place in Bonn, Germany from November 6 to November 18. However, the real host of this conference was actually Fiji, a small island nation in South Pacific. Because Fiji is constrained by its domestic capacity, Bonn, the...
    By Mengluo Ren | 12/8/2017
  • International Apathy Towards Rohingya Human Rights

    With the onset of the most recent blatant disregard for human rights in Burma, it has become apparent that Rohingya Muslims are some of the most persecuted people in the world. The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic-minority group that is currently facing an ethnic cleansing. They...
    By Katia Altern | 12/6/2017
  • Women's Rights and Freedom of Religion

    After the initial passing of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) at the United Nations in 1981, many states declared ‘reservations.’ These reservations related to implementing the document's provisions in their respective...
    By Sajeela Munir | 11/30/2017
  • United Nations Marks Thirtieth Anniversary of Call to End Poverty

    A large group of concerned and socially-conscious people gathered at the United Nations Headquarters building to remind the world of the fundamental and critical call to end poverty. Titled Answering the Call of October 17 to End Poverty: A Path Toward Peaceful and Inclusive...
    By Rani Allan | 11/17/2017
  • New York City Symposium Recognizes Need for Refugee Action

    An annual academic and policy symposium titled Whither Migration? New Directions in Research and Policy in an Era of Nationalism was held in early October at the Center for Migration Studies of New York City. The day-long event covered a number of topics related to the worldwide...
    By Rani Allan | 11/3/2017
  • Gun Control or Self Control? A Comparison of Countries’ Gun Control Laws

    On Sunday October 1st, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place in Las Vegas where 59 people were killed and over 500 people were injured. This was the 273rd mass shooting to take place in 2017. The question that everyone seems to ask after a horrific...
    By Samantha Hussey, Katia Altern | 10/30/2017
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • A Statement to the Global Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist (U/U) community

    The Hungarian Unitarian Church (HUC) – a leader in global U/Uism and a partner with whom we have a long history and a committed relationship – is currently struggling with its institutional position on marriage equality. Earlier today, October 28, 2017, the HUC Synod issued a...
    10/27/2017
  • The United Nations - It's Your World

    Over the last few years, I have felt myself going back and forth between waves of fear, anger, sadness, shame, and mourning when I read the news. With each breaking news alert, I brace myself for another wave. When was the last time I got a breaking news alert that contained...
    By Allison Hess | 10/19/2017
  • Almost No One Here Is Armed

    Current Australian gun laws, introduced in 1996, as well as their clear effects on suppressing gun-related violence, are frequently cited by gun control advocates in the USA. These laws and their effects were achieved in the wake of the Port Arthur shooting, when a lone, white,...
    By Rob MacPherson | 10/5/2017
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • Denouncing United States Vote Against Death Penalty Ban at the United Nations

    On Friday, September 29, the Human Rights Council voted in favor of a resolution which condemned the “imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations.”  The Independent...
    By Bruce Knotts | 10/4/2017
  • 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: Answering Common Questions and Concerns

    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 nuclear weapons. The...
    By Samantha Hussey | 9/12/2017
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • 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

    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 of protecting...
    By Katia Altern | 9/12/2017
  • Educating Refugee Girls: Finding Solutions When Two Problems Collide

    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 to educate all...
    By Amy Perry | 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

    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 gender equality...
    By Kate Mays | 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

    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) Committee on Human Rights...
    By Andrea Floersheimer | 7/19/2017
  • Inclusivity in United Nations Nuclear Weapons Treaty: Diversity & Disarmament

    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 disarmament around the world....
    By Katia Altern | 7/19/2017
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • Gender-Sensitive Urban Planning: The Future of Safe Cities

    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 Universalist values....
    By Amy Perry | 7/18/2017
  • The Chechen Genocide and Global Fight for LGBTQ Rights

    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 state that Chechen...
    By Kate Mays | 7/11/2017
  • Why the 2017 Nuclear Ban Treaty Matters to Unitarian Universalists

    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 nuclear weapons,...
    By Jerald Ross | 6/30/2017
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • World Refugee Day and our Interdependent World Community

    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. The United...
    By Kate Mays | 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

    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 cultural preservation,...
    By Lyle Davison | 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

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