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The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

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UUSC Statement on the UU@UN Office

UUSC is proud to be part of the UU@UN Office, which helps advance human rights at the United Nations.
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May 4, 2023

The United Nations (UN) plays a vital role in international politics and the promotion and preservation of human rights. Through the UU@UN Office—a joint effort between UUSC and the UUA—we strive to:

  1. Connect with civil society and movement organizing aligned with our justice priorities
  2. Advance a clear advocacy agenda with specific goals on behalf of UU values
  3. Hone the ethical framing for the work of Unitarian Universalism at the UN

UUSC is in the process of expanding our staff to grow the advocacy we’ve been doing in response to our partners’ needs and look forward to holding more of the UU presence at the UN and deepening our partnership with the UUA. In particular, UUSC plans to leverage our existing skillset, which is comprised of staff with several years of global human rights advocacy in the areas of international human rights law, policy analysis, and governance, along with our existing capabilities in international movement building, faith-based organizing and participatory research to support and grow our impact at the UN. UUSC’s Director of Advocacy, Salote Soqo, is currently leading this work and we’re anticipating hiring a UN legal expert on our team. In the coming years, UUSC plans to continue to build our team with the appropriate skills we need to respond to our growing presence at the UN.

Our team will be:

  • Redistributing power and using our status at the UN to create space for our directly impacted community partners;
  • Building progressive faith power within civil society coalitions to center the experiences of those most impacted;
  • Mobilizing congregations and progressive religious people to engage in support at international forums;
  • Creating opportunities for advocacy grounded in the deep experience of global intersectional human rights action;
  • Contributing to the review and development of global and international protocols and norms related to human rights, displacement, and complex humanitarian crises;
  • Influencing diplomatic negotiations on human rights issues, including climate change and migration; and
  • Using human rights mechanisms to support UUSC’s advocacy goals, hold governments and corporations accountable, and advance justice.

As this work unfolds and we continue to leverage the many resources of the UN, we will be sure to communicate with congregations and people of faith about our work with the institution and how that work advances the principles of Unitarian Universalism. We look forward to continuing this journey together and realizing concrete wins for the communities who are most impacted by injustice.

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The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights and solidarity organization founded as a rescue mission in 1940 during the Holocaust. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and with a membership of more than 35,000 supporters across the United States, UUSC’s programs focus on the issues of climate and disaster justice, migration justice, and international justice and accountability.

Image Credit: UUSC

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