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UUA International Blog Archive
UUA International Blog Archive
International Engagement & Building Peace
  • 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 | 2/6/2018
    Filed in: Disarmament
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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

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