The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO)
World problems transcend national borders. The UN and its agencies can count among their successes worldwide improvements in literacy, health, housing and nutrition as well as unique communication facilitation. But much remains to be done.
Critical issues remaining on the UN agenda include environmental degradation; AIDS; the rights of women, children, and minorities; the production and transfer of arms; and, as always, peace-making, peace-keeping and peace-building. Since the end of the Cold War, hundreds of thousands have suffered torture, displacement and death in local border disputes; yet without the constant efforts of the UNs mediators, those terrible tolls would have been much higher.
The United Nations provides
a public forum and support system for non-governmental organizations,
empowering small grassroots groups to find allies and become catalysts
for effective international action. Slavery, colonialism and apartheid
have all but ended in the 20th century, due largely to the orchestrated
actions of civil movements. Modeled by the tremendously successful international
Committee to Ban Landmines, civil society organizations could very well
put an end to war in the 21st century.
In July 1997, through the initiative of the UU-UNO, the UUA was granted special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This resulted in a significant increase in potential influence beyond that of our previous status as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) accredited to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).
As a DPI-NGO, our two delegates could attend informational briefings of the DPI, receive regular mailings on UN issues, and use the NGO Resource Centre at the UN. We could attend the annual DPI/NGO Conference in New York, but were limited to the role of educating our members and others about the UN.
Now as an ECOSOC-NGO, we retain the
above privileges, but also have gained the right to state our views at
the UN, not merely to listen. We can send six more delegates to attend
public meetings of ECOSOC bodies, and can submit position papers on relevant
issues. In this way, we can express the power of our ethical beliefs at
the world forum.
The UU-UNO is an Associate Member
of the UUA that acts as the denominations agent and voice at the United
Nations. The UU-UNO has its own Board, runs its own programs, and raises
its own budget. The UU-UNO recommends names to the UUA Board of Directors
for appointment as delegates to the UN. The UUA relies on the UU-UNO for
knowledgeable recommendations on delegates and key issues.
What does the UU-UNO do?
WE FACILITATE WORSHIP
WE EMPOWER YOUTH
WE ADVOCATE AT THE UN
page last updated 21 October 2000