UU-United Nations Office will rejoin the UUA

The report of the Unitarian Universalist-United Nations Office was presented to the General Assembly Saturday by Bruce F. Knotts, executive director. Knotts highlighted his organization’s role in bringing LGBT, peace, climate change, and womens’ and childrens’ rights issues to the attention of UN delegates.

LGBT issues, especially, have come “front and center” at the UN thanks in large part to the UU-UNO he said. “There was hardly anyone talking about LGBT rights until we did.” Now, he said, the UN has an office focused on those issues  and they come up in other ways, including action around the severe oppression of LGBT people in Uganda and other places. “Now everyone at the UN wants us on their team,” he said, adding “UN principles are UU principles. Our liberal free faith allows us to be leaders in places where others can only follow.

“This is the kind of thing that our office can do with your support,” Knotts said. The UU-UNO and the UUA will be working even closer together starting next week. As of July 1 the UU-UNO will become a part of the UUA’s Office of International Resources, headed by the Rev. Eric Cherry.

Knotts said the UU-UNO will continue to function much as it does now, including doing its own fundraising. The UU-UNO, founded in 1962, was a part of the UUA until 1971, when it left during a time of major financial cutbacks at the UUA. UU-UNO members voted unanimously in April to rejoin the UUA.  The vote Saturday by GA delegates was the final step needed to reconnect the UU-UNO to the UUA.

Earlier this year UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales noted that having the office under the UUA’s umbrella would prove advantageous. “The big moral issues of our time tend to cross national borders, whether it’s about climate change, LGBT rights, such as in Uganda, or immigration. To put these issues in an international perspective is appropriate and really the only reasonable way to approach it.”


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