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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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Posts with tag: united nations

October 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, United Nations

United Nations Day PosterUnited Nations Day - October 24 - marks the day the UN Charter entered into force in 1945.

How will you celebrate this day? Here are some ideas:

Pray for those who work in the United Nations system.

Pray for the United Nations.

Use a hymn written by the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey-Gillette. The hymn in bulletin format. The hymn with music. Check out a video of the hymn.

Participate in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF a program started by Presbyterians.

Learn more about the United Nations.

Organize a seminar through the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

Make a gift to the Presbyterian Ministry ...

Read more


August 24, 2014

Celebrate the International Day of Peace - 2014

2014 International Day of Peace posterThe United Nations has set September 21 as the International Day of Peace. This day provides an opportunity for  individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on  a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The focus for 2014 is The Right of Peoples to Peace

Here are some ways to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21 or Sunday, September 22 or at some other time:

Promote the Peacemaking Offering

Organize to address racism

Observe a Minute of Silence at ...

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July 30, 2014

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Today marks the first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the leader within the UN System on human trafficking issues is asking people around the world to join them by taking action.

Here’s how:UNODC Give Hope

You can also join efforts of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Human Trafficking Roundtable. The Human Trafficking Roundtable is made up from a variety of programs within the Church, all working to eliminate trafficking. You can learn more about the work that each office is doing by clicking here. From fair food, protecting children from commercial ...

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July 25, 2014

Orange Day!

By Max Hill

On July 24, 2014, the Permanent Mission of Grenada and the organization African Women for Good Governance held a conference at the UN titled “Women in Power Making a Global Difference”. The conference included statements from Ambassador Denis G. Antoine, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the UN, Ambassador Sire Conde, President of African Women for Good Governance as well as others from places of influence for women around the world.

In his opening statements, Ambassador Antoine told of the strides that women have made in Grenada, including that 33% of Grenada’s parliamentary elected officials are women ...

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June 3, 2014

I am a #HeForShe and it is #TimeToAct

UN Meeting Picutre

 

Ryan Smith, Max Hill and Catherine Warren

By Max Hill

Today I attended an event on ending sexual violence against women in conflict. The event was held at the United Nations and announced the launch of the #HeforShe video campaign. Speakers at the event included: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director for UN Women, Zainab Bangura, Special Representative on Sexual Violence, and Sir Mark Lyall Grant, UK Permanent Representative to the UN.

The United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations (in partnership with UN Women) organized the campaign. Speaking at the event, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it is “time ...

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April 21, 2014

Support the people of South Sudan

From our colleagues in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness

Support the people of South Sudan

Please contact your members of congress and urge them to support increased diplomatic initiatives and funding for humanitarian aid for South Sudan.  And, urge the Secretary of State and President to use all possible means to continue to press for humanitarian access.

The people of South Sudan are in desperate need of help.   On April 12, the United States along with the European Union and the United Nations out lined the problems and called for immediate action in a statement ...

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February 24, 2014

Red Hands continue to make a difference: two more member states ratify

On January 15, 2014, St. Lucia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Estonia ratified on February 12, 2014 It is a great start to 2014, as we move forward in raising awareness internationally to protect children from being exploited as soldiers.

This raises to 28 the number of United Nations member states that have ratified the Optional Protocol since Presbyterians became involved in the Red Hands Campaign. There are still 39 United Nations member states left to ratify.

Every effort counts. Keep your Red Hands ...

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January 28, 2014

World Interfaith Harmony Week 2014

Observe World Interfaith Harmony Week We live in an interfaith world. This brings challenges and opportunities. Respectful Presence: An Understanding of Interfaith Prayer and Celebration from a Reformed Christian Perspective, a document commended to congregations and governing bodies of the...

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December 9, 2013

Human Rights Day - December 10

Celebrate Human Rights Day Logo

About Human Rights Day

Liturgical and action resources

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December 5, 2013

Giving thanks for Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela at UN General AssemblyThe Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations joins the people of South Africa, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the international community in giving thanks for the life and witness of Nelson Mandela.

We express our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues, to the weavers of dreams, to the practitioners of compassion, the pursuers of peace, and the seekers of justice, to all who grieve at his death.

Nelson Mandela's steadfast pursuit of justice, his enduring commitment to South Africa and all its people, his understanding of the possibilities opened by forgiveness, and his willingness to look beyond ...

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November 20, 2013

The Growing Voice of the Red Hands

by Esther Lee

Red handsIt is our joy to announce that this year, Cameroon (4 Feb 2013) and Zimbabwe (22 May 2013) ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. The momentum continues to build. Thanks to all who participated.

The Red Hands made by Presbyterians all over the country are delivered to the permanent missions at the United Nations asking them to encourage their governments to sign and ratify the protocol. Though this treaty does not guarantee absence of children in the military forces ...

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November 8, 2013

Visiting partners in South Sudan

I’ve had the  privilege of visiting Presbyterian partners in South Sudan over the past week.  Presbyterians have been engaged with South Sudan for a long time and the strength of our partnerships was certainly evident this week. 

Photo of Ryan in South SudanFrom meeting with ACROSS and learning about the work they do with Ethiopian refugees in South Sudan and their role as a primary health service provider for UNHCR in South Sudan to the Presbyterian schools across the country, it is clear that Presbyterians are hard at work in South Sudan.

I had the opportunity to meet with leaders of the Presbyterian Church ...

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October 29, 2013

Religious Freedom

Yesterday, I joined ecumenical colleagues from the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches at a special event hosted by the government of Canada looking at ways the United Nations can encourage and protect religious freedom around the world. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt spoke of the importance of looking at the human right of freedom of religion or belief in concert with all other human rights.

Dr. Bielefeldt’s latest report examines religious freedom in 25 states.  The Special Rapportuer for freedom of religion or belief issues a report to the ...

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September 25, 2013

United States Signs Arms Trade Treaty

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry Signed the Arms Trade Treaty on behalf of the United States of America.  You can read his remarks below.


 

Secretary's Remarks: Remarks at the Arms Trade Treaty Signing Ceremony

Remarks

John Kerry
Secretary of State

United Nations

New York City

September 25, 2013

Good morning, everybody. Good morning, all – Mr. Under Secretary-General and Mr. Legal Counsel, I believe. And thank you very much for the privilege of being here.

On behalf of President Obama and the United States of America, I am very pleased to have signed this treaty here today. I signed ...

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September 13, 2013

Churches called to observe International Day of Prayer for Peace

From the World Council of Churches

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is calling its member churches to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace on Sept. 21.

This year congregations and individuals are invited to pray using the theme of the WCC Assembly, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace.” The assembly takes place in Busan, Republic of Korea Oct. 30-Nov. 8.

The International Day of Prayer for Peace is commemorated by the WCC in conjunction with the United Nations-sponsored International Day of Peace on Sept. 21.

“There’s fresh news each day of injustice, violence ...

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August 19, 2013

World Humanitarian Day

August 19 marks World Humanitarian Day.  Today the United Nations community joined together in celebrating and remembering the lives of those who lost theirs in humanitarian service and for those who continue to do humanitarian work.  To read a description of World Humanitarian Day, read the UN statement below.


In December 2008, the sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly decided to designate 19 August as World Humanitarian Day.

19 August is the date on which a brutal terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 killed 22 people, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

World Humanitarian Day ...

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August 12, 2013

International Youth Day

by Onaje Crawford

 

On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth suggesting that August 12th be declared International Youth Day.

Today, The United Nations’ celebrated the 14th Annual International Youth Day by hosting a series of presentations, video exhibitions, and panel discussions on youth migration entitled, “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward”.  Jean-Pierre Gonnot, Chief of the Social Integration Branch of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ Division for Social Poilcy and Development, opened the celebration by distributing a statement from the Secretary-General entitled “Message ...

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August 9, 2013

NGO Working Group on Food & Hunger releases inaugural newsletter

 

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations joins other nongovernmental organizations with UN accreditation in work for a just and reliable world food system.  The NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger at the United Nations “recognizes that nearly a billion people in the world are hungry and a billion more suffer from malnutrition.  Therefore, we seek to pursue urgent international action to end the world food crisis. We envision a global food system that ensures a secure and equitable supply of nutritious food, that are produced in environmentally, socially and economically sustainable ways.”

As part of that work, the ...

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August 9, 2013

Celebrate the 2013 International Day of Peace

2013 International Day of Peace LogoThe United Nations has set September 21 as the International Day of Peace. This day provides an opportunity for  individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on  a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The focus for 2013 is Education for Peace

Here are some ways to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21 or Sunday, September 22 or at some other time:

Promote the Peacemaking Offering

Observe a Minute of Silence at Noon in your time zone

Ring your ...

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August 6, 2013

New US Ambassador to the United Nations

Today, Ambassador Samantha Power presented her credentials to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. 

Below is a statement made by Ambassador Power prior to presenting her credentials:

Ambassador Power: Hello everybody. I'm Samantha Power. I'm totally delighted to be here-so honored, so thrilled to have started work as the U.S. Ambassador to United Nations. As many of you know, I'm going to meet with the Secretary-General so as to present my credentials. I've worked with the Secretary-General over the last few years at the White House-worked very effectively with him-and I'm looking very much forward to ...

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August 5, 2013

UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue

Today, Onaje Crawford, one of our Field Education students from Princeton Seminary attended "UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue" at UN headquarters in New York.  Below is his blog.


Today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Envoy on Youth held “UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue”, connecting youth leaders from around the world with the United Nations to create comprehensive solutions to the challenges faced by youth and people of all ages. After a brief introduction by the envoy, Ahmad Alhindawi of Jordan, the Secretary-General gave opening remarks. Highlighting that working with youth and women are a keep ...

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July 9, 2013

Addressing Inequality in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

By Brendan Welsh

The Post-2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities hosted a side event yesterday to brief various ambassadors and representatives of NGOs on the Consultation and High-level Meeting that took place in Copenhagen in February 2013. At the event, several panelists offered their answers to the question; how might inequalities be addressed in the Post-2015 Development Agenda?

Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, said, “It is inevitable that some of us here are focused on just one of the millennium development goals, but whether it’s economic development, environmental protection, or social development, all of the goals ...

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May 29, 2013

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Today is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.  We give thanks for the work all those who work for peace everywhere.  We pray for the day that peace does not need to be kept but rather prevails.

Below is a statement by US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice:


Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, On the International Day of UN Peacekeepers

U.S. Mission to the United Nations 

New York, NY

May 29, 2013

On International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the United States honors the brave men and women who serve ...

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May 16, 2013

US remarks at high-level talks on trafficking

Remarks by Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the high-level meeting on the Appraisal of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.


AS DELIVERED

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I’m pleased to join so many partners and stakeholders today to discuss progress and the path forward on our shared commitment to combat modern slavery, what we also call trafficking in persons. We’re here today because modern slavery is a crime that hurts our countries and communities. It rips families apart, undermines the rule of law, creates instability ...

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April 25, 2013

World Malaria Day

Below is a message from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on World Malaria Day.


THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

--

MESSAGE ON WORLD MALARIA DAY

25 April 2013

Since world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, a broad partnership of governments, United Nations entities, philanthropies and businesses has combined to protect hundreds of millions of people from malaria. Increased international funding, matched by growing political commitment in endemic countries, triggered a massive increase in preventive interventions and expanded access to diagnostic testing and life-saving medicines, averting more than a million deaths.

The MDG target of halting and reversing the incidence of malaria is ...

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April 2, 2013

UN Arms Trade Treaty passed

Today, the United Nations General Assembly passed the Arms Trade Treaty.  The final text of the treaty and a UN News articale can be read here

Below is a statement by US Secretary of State Kerry on today’s treaty.


STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY

Historic Outcome of the Arms Trade Treaty Conference 

The United States is pleased that the United Nations General Assembly has approved a strong, effective and implementable Arms Trade Treaty that can strengthen global security while protecting the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade.

The Treaty adopted today will establish a common international standard ...

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March 25, 2013

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Today, we honor the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  We remember this terrible history and are reminded today that slavery still exists in our world.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Human Trafficking Roundtable continues to work on ending modern slavery here in the United States and with our partners around the world.

Below is a statement from Ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations:


Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on International Day of Remembrance of the Victims ...

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January 15, 2013

Children are children, not soldiers - 11 years on

‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ – Matthew 19:14

February 12, 2013 marks the eleventh anniversary of the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

Find worship resources, ideas for participating in the Red Hand Campaign, and suggestions for further study for this occasion. Red hands being madeThey may be used at any time.

UNICEF estimates that more than 300,000 children – boys and girls under the ...

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December 2, 2012

Actions for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

 Blue Heart

UN Resources:

PC(USA) Resources:

Prayer:

Prayer (Jer. 31:15-17 adapted)

A voice is heard in Ramah,

     lamentation and bitter weeping.

Rachel is weeping for her children;

     she refuses to be comforted for her children,

     because they are no more.

But God, you say to us:

Keep your voice from weeping,

     and your eyes from tears;

     for there is a reward for your work.

God, as you have promised, so we pray,

     that exiles shall come ...

Read more


November 29, 2012

General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer State status at UN

Today, the United Nations General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer State status at UN.  The vote passed with 138 members voting in favor, 9 against, and the remaining abstaining. 

I had the unique opportunity to spend the day starting with the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and then with the UN General Assembly for the vote.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was recognized as a leader on Israel-Palestine peace and justice issues. 

Below is a story from UN News Service:


29 November 2012 – The General Assembly today voted to grant Palestine non-member observer State status ...

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September 21, 2012

The Culture of Peace

Below is a reflection on the International Day of Peace by Rochelle Rawls-Shaw, intern at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

I read on a card I picked up at the United Nations, “Everything that is needed to build a culture of peace already exists in each of us.” The UN defines a Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups, communities and nations.

The Presbyterian Book of Common worship ...

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September 13, 2012

UN visit from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria & Lebanon

Yesterday, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations welcomed our partners from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon to advocate with governments of the United Nations Security Council.  Each representative we met received a package including letters from the Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, stories of what is happening to Christians in Syria, the PC(USA)’s history in the region as well as a copy of the PC(USA)’s policy adopted by the 220th General Assembly (2012).  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance coordinates the PC(USA) response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

In each of ...

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September 6, 2012

International Day against Nuclear Tests Celebrated at the UN

Rochelle Rawls-Shaw, intern with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations attended a discussion today on the International Day against Nuclear Tests at the United Nations.  Below is her reflection on the event.

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August 30, 2012

The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded

Below is an op-ed from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.  Here, he states, "Massive military spending and new investments in modernizing nuclear weapons have left the world over-armed -- and peace under-funded."

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August 8, 2012

State Department Contributes Additional $41 Million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Below is an announcement from the U.S. Department of State announcing an increase in funding for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.


The United States is pleased to announce its third contribution this fiscal year toward the 2012 operations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  With this contribution of more than $41 million, the United States is providing to-date approximately $720 million to the organization, including more than $100 million toward emergency appeals for vulnerable populations from Syria, Sudan, and Mali.  These contributions are funded through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration ...

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July 25, 2012

Myths and Facts: United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Visitors Center has been receiving call about the United Nations Conference on the Arms TradeTreaty.  They worked with the Office for Disarmament Affairs to provide some myths and facts about the treaty negotiations.  Their post with myths and facts is below.


We have been receiving quite a number of angry phone calls from American citizens complaining about something they call the "Small Arms Treaty," and how such treaty is an attempt, by the United Nations, to override the second amendment of their constitution: "the right to bear arms."

Our colleagues of the Office for Disarmament Affairs put ...

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July 24, 2012

Outcomes from the 56th Commission on the Status of Women

The Commission on the Status of Women has recommended that the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations approve draft language on the following topics:

Detailed language on each of these areas are available in the full report ...

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June 25, 2012

Togo ratifies Convention on Cluster Munitions

On Friday, June 22, 2012, Togo became the 72nd State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.  The Convention bans all use, production, stockpile and transfer of deadly cluster munitions.  Togo was one of the first countries to sign the Convention and with Friday’s ratification, Togo has deepened that commitment.

Togo has said that it has never used, produced, transferred, or stockpiled cluster munitions

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June 25, 2012

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child examines the US

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child met last week with nongovernmental organizations that offered recommendations to the United States to improve its efforts to stop the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.  ECPAT-USA, a partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s human trafficking roundtable submitted an alternate report to the Committee. 

ECPAT-USA has posted a description of the process as well as the alternate report. 

To learn more about what Presbyterians are doing around the issue of human trafficking, visit the Human Trafficking Roundtable.

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June 22, 2012

General Assembly leaders offer a renewed call to prayer and action for the people of Syria

General Assembly Mission Council

by Emily Enders Odom,
Associate, Mission Communications

Communications and Funds Development

LOUISVILLE

June 20, 2012

Our Christian friends continue to endure great suffering — along with all the Syrian people — under the escalating violence between the Assad regime and armed opposition groups. The international community seems unable to agree on ways to bring the violence to a halt or to find a path of engagement that can lead to a peaceable resolution of the conflict. UN observers in Syria recently came under direct attack, resulting in the suspension of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria on ...

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June 22, 2012

Follow Rio+20

Rio+20 LogoThe Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development wraps up today. Here's what it has been about:

At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want.

And here are some sources of information:

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June 18, 2012

New U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa

Below is a press release from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations on the new U.S. strategy towards sub-Saharan Africa.  The release links to the new policy.

 


 

USUN PRESS RELEASE #146                                                                                June 15, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the New U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, June 15, 2012


The United States and Africa face enormous opportunities and challenges in the 21st century—and thanks to President Obama’s U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, we are in a stronger position to meet ...

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June 15, 2012

Seminar explores peace and justice in Israel and Palestine

by Elodie de Bethmann

Seminar groupOn 13 June, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations held a seminar about Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine for an intergenerational group from The First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell, New Jersey. The group members have recently been discussing the Kairos Palestine Document and have been particularly interested in the pursuit of peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.

The first speaker was from the UN Department of Political Affairs, Division of Palestinian Rights. He spoke about the conflict by setting it within its historical context and explained how the UN addresses issues related ...

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June 11, 2012

Covenant Presbyterian Church holds seminar on child soldiers

By Sophie Beal

Today the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations was pleased to host Covenant Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, California for a seminar that covered the current global situation concerning the use of child soldiers in armed conflict and efforts made by the United Nations and others to stop this practice.

Participants in the Covenant Presbyterian Church seminar make red hands

To begin the day, Elodie and I asked the group members to draw a picture of a world in which children do not serve as child soldiers. The responses were wonderfully diverse and provoked a thoughtful discussion about what the lives of child soldiers might be like ...

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June 7, 2012

Message from UN Secretary General on World Oceans Day

This year’s World Oceans Day falls as the international community marks an important milestone: the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

When the Convention opened for signature on 10 December 1982, it was rightly characterized as a “constitution for the oceans.”  Forged through a process of negotiation among more than 150 States, the treaty is a living monument to international cooperation.

When it was adopted, the Convention on the Law of the Sea made treaty history. With 320 articles and 9 Annexes covering every aspect of the oceans and marine environment, the Convention sets out a delicate balance of rights and duties.

The protection of the world’s oceans and coasts is among the key goals of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will open in Rio de Janeiro in just 12 days.  The Convention is contributing to this goal through its provisions, including on the preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and the transfer of marine technology.

We must do more for our world’s oceans, which are threatened by pollution, depleted fishery resources, the impacts of climate change and the deterioration of the marine environment.  Rio+20 must mobilize the United Nations, governments and other partners to improve the management and conservation of oceans through initiatives to curb overfishing, improve protection of the marine environment and reduce ocean pollution and the impact of climate change.

There could be no more fitting way to commemorate World Oceans Day than for all countries that have not yet done so to ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Let us make 2012 another milestone year for the world’s oceans, so that we can set sail toward the future we want.

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June 6, 2012

Cooperatives and the Role of Information and Communication Technologies

Here is a blog by Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations volunteer intern Sophie Beal on Cooperatives and the Role of Information and Communication Technologies from an event she attended at the UN.


Today, Elodie and I attended the panel discussion on Cooperatives and the Role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This event was held as a part of the United Nations 2012 International Year of Cooperatives.

There were three speakers who presented on the panel about the role that ICTs play in globalized cooperative business today. The first speaker was Lila Hanitra Ratsifandrihamanana of the Food and Agriculture ...

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June 6, 2012

Summer volunteers work on Red Hands

 

Sophie Beal and Elodie de Bethmann are summer volunteer interns at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.  This is their first week with us, their first blog with us, and their first time getting involved with Red Hands.  Below is the blog from Sophie and Elodie.

More photos are available on our Facebook Page.


The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations has taken on two new volunteer interns for the summer. We are both excited to have this incredible opportunity to experience the ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Mission Council at the United Nations ...

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May 7, 2012

Passport to Zero: U.S. Fund for UNICEF 2012 Annual Meeting

Last week, I joined our partners from the US Fund for UNICEF for the 2012 Annual Meeting.  Partners from across the UNICEF spectrum including UNICEF field personnel, corporate donors, individual donors, and other NGOs met together in New York City because we believe in zero. 

Zero is UNICEF’s goal.  Five years ago, 25,500 children died from preventable diseases each day, today that number is 21,000.  UNICEF’s goal is to bring that number to zero.

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April 11, 2012

A prayer for peace as the Quartet meets

From Churches for a Middle East Peace:

In late April the United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold its quarterly open debate on the Middle East. The focus of discussion will likely be whether the Quartet—comprised of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States—has been able to achieve sufficient impetus to have the Israeli-Palestinian peace process move in a positive direction. In preparation for that discussion the Quartet meets today in Washington, DC.  

As people of faith, on this occasion we ask you to pray for peace and for God to make a ...

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April 6, 2012

Call for UN help for Madagascar election

Madagascar's new electoral commission on Monday asked UN experts to come  help organize polls for an election by the end of the year that may help lead the nation out of a three-year-old crisis.

Learn more about the situation in Madagascar.

Presbyterians have a long history of partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (FJKM). Read about the ministries of our partners in Madagascar.


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April 4, 2012

Lend Your Leg - and more about landmines

Lend Your Leg - pant leg rolled upLandmines kill and maim long after wars have ended.
These weapons of no discrimination remain in the ground for years, maybe even decades, before someone or some animal comes along to detonate them. Then they maim and kill children, farmers and everyday citizens just as readily as they do people serving in the military.

The United Nations reports that landmines claimed 4,200 victims in 2010.

Today is desgnated the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

What can we do on this day?

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March 29, 2012

Landmines: a continuing threat

On April 4 the United Nations will observe the 7th annual International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a commendable record in the campaign against landmines, but the crisis is not certainly over.

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February 23, 2012

We work in partnership

Meeting wih Michel Roy - Mark Koenig Joe Donnelly Ryan SmithThe Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis, Michel Roy, provided a briefing today for the NGO community at the United Nations. Caritas Internationalis is one of our strongest partners. In recognition of the partnership, we gave Mr. Roy a cross made in Liberia from a spent shell casing. The Presbyerian Peacemaking Program, one of our denominational partners, has been the leader in promoting the Liberian crosses. Beslinda Pazaj, advocacy assistant for Caritas, took the picture.

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February 22, 2012

Responding to child labor trafficking

What can we do to address human trafficking – particularly child labor trafficking?

The participants in the Central New York Presbytery Partnership Group seminar at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations identified the following ideas to use in their congregations, schools, and communities:

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February 22, 2012

A visit from Central New York

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations is hosting a seminar from the Central New York Presbytery Partnership Group.

Twenty-one students and four adults have gathered to explore issues related to child labor and the trafficking of children in labor.

Opening worship celebrated what children should be able to do. Allie Naskret, field education student with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, led the service.

A visit to the United Nations followed.

After lunch, the group discussed labor and work - and the work they do. A speaker from the International Labor Organization spoke on child labor and trafficking. The ...

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February 15, 2012

Security Council issues statement on Sudan

The President of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Kodjo Menan of Togo released the following statement from the Security Council yesterday:


The members of the Security Council expressed their deep and growing alarm with the rising levels of malnutrition and food insecurity in some areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan, which could reach emergency levels if not immediately addressed, and with the lack of access for international humanitarian personnel to conduct an assessment of the situation and deliver urgently needed assistance.

The members of the Security Council called upon the Government of Sudan to allow ...

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February 9, 2012

World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN

by Andrew David Turner

On February 7, the 66th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations celebrated the second annual World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) with a full program of speakers and performances that underscored the significance of this year’s theme: “Common Ground for the Common Good.”

The President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, began the proceedings with a keynote address that highlighted the “social and moral significance” of religion in the global society and reminded the Assembly that the United Nations itself was founded on “the quest for the common values ...

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January 31, 2012

World Interfaith Harmony Week Begins

World Interfaith Harmony Week begins tomorrow - February 1.

The United Nations General Assembly designated the first week in February as World Interfaith Harmony Week. H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan proposed the creation of the week. The week provides an opportunity for people of different faiths to seek fellowship, work together, and celebrate common concerns and values.

Different communities will observe World Interfaith Harmony Week in ways that are appropriate to their situation and relationships.

Ideas to observe the week could include (but not be limited to) praying with people of all faiths for peace in the Middle East ...

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January 24, 2012

International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust – 27 January

One and a half million Jewish children perished in the Holocaust – victims of persecution by the Nazis and their supporters.

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January 20, 2012

NUMBER OF PEOPLE AFFECTED BY JONGLEI VIOLENCE HAS DOUBLED: HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR SOUTH SUDAN


Below is a statement that comes from the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.


 

(Juba, 20 January 2012): United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande, confirmed today that more than 120,000 people affected by the recent violence in Jonglei State may need emergency assistance.

“The violence in Jonglei hasn’t stopped,” Ms. Grande said. “Only two weeks ago we launched a massive emergency operation to help 60,000 people. As a result of recent attacks, we now estimate that double that number will need help.”

Fighting between Lou Nuer and Murle communities escalated sharply in ...

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January 9, 2012

Humanitarian emergency in Jonglei

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations in partnership with Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission partners have been following the violence in South Sudan.  We encourage prayer for a peace resolution to this situation.

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande issued the following statement:

(Juba, 7 January 2012): Humanitarian agencies are mounting a major emergency operation in Jonglei State in South Sudan to help people affected by the recent wave of inter-communal violence. “The Government of South Sudan has declared Jonglei a disaster zone and asked humanitarian agencies to accelerate life-saving assistance. We’re ...

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January 1, 2012

Violence continues in South Sudan

Our brothers and sisters in South Sudan continue to stand in need of prayer.

Here are some updates on the violence in Jonglei State:

Report: Fighters attack South Sudan town despite presence of U.N. peacekeepers (CNN)

South Sudan 'sends more troops' to strife-torn town Pibor (BBC)

South Sudan Lou Nuer fighters attack town of Pibor (BBC)

UN sends troops to South Sudan town (Al-Jazeera video - a day or two old at this point)

The Presbyterian Church of Sudan has issued a statement calling all to pursue peace.

May God guide those who work for peace.

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December 29, 2011

The last seminar of 2011

Conversation around tables at Missouri Union Presbytery seminarThirteen individuals came from Missouri Union Presbytery for the final seminar of the year at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. Meeting on December 12 and 13, the group explored issues related to the changes in the Arab world referred to as the Arab Spring or Arab Awakening.

Speakers (many present through the technology of Skype) included:

Amgad Beblawi, PC(USA) area coordinator for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia, addressed impacts of the Arab Awakening on churches.

Roger Powers, pastor of Light Street Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, MD, spoke about the role of nonviolence in the Arab ...

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December 20, 2011

Prayers for the Philippines

Tropical Storm Washi struck the Philippines on December 16 and 17. The storm, the most- devastating cyclone to hit the Philippines this year, has killed hundreds. Many others remain missing.

Presbyterians have a long history of ministry with the people of the Philippines. Currently, we join the world in prayer. Information on relief efforts will follow.

Presbyterians in ministry with the people of the Philippines

UN and its partners appeal for additional $28 million to help storm victims

Philippine floods: President declares national calamity

UN steps up relief efforts in the Philippines

UN officials mourn victims of storm tragedy

In ...

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December 10, 2011

Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations Year in Review ~ 2011

Presbyterian Ministry at the UN logo - gun sculpture and flagsIn 2011, your gifts to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations helped Presbyterians advocate for peace and justice in the name of Jesus Christ, based on policies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assemblies, to the United Nations.

The ministry participated in working groups on the following issues:

Public presentations were arranged for PC(USA) partners from:

Introductions to UN programs ...

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December 10, 2011

Human Rights Day

As we celebrate Human Rights Day today, I reflect on the words of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said a few days earlier on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, “To eradicate contemporary forms of slavery, we need new strategies and measures that can unite all actors. While Governments bear the primary responsibility, the private sector has an integral role to play.”  Couldn’t this same argument be made in regards to human rights?

Governments certainly play a large role creating, implementing and changing strategies to protect human rights.  With that said, we as global citizens, the ...

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December 8, 2011

How to make Red Hands

Red hand being made with paintThe Red Hand Campaign asks nation states to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict and make clear their commitment to ending the use of child soldiers.  The goal is for every country in the world to ratify the optional protocol by 2012, the tenth anniversary of when it took effect.

To take part in the Red Hand Campaign:

  1. Create red hand prints on paper (using finger paint, drawing an outline, using red paper, or in some other way) and then add their names, hometowns, and ...

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December 7, 2011

Indigenous Voices at the United Nations

How does the United Nations work with the Indigenous Peoples of the World? Most of that work takes place within a human rights framework.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights notes that:

Indigenous peoples across the world experience the consequences of historical colonization and invasion of their territories, and face discrimination because of their distinct cultures, identities and ways of life. In recent decades, the international community has given special attention to the human rights situations of indigenous peoples, as shown by the adoption of international standards and guidelines, as well as by the establishment of institutions ...

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November 29, 2011

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is celebrated

Today, the United Nations celebrated the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  I was struck with the importance of this day, having returned just last week from meetings with our church partners in Israel and Palestine. 

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1977.  Today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "Let us, on this International Day, reaffirm our commitment to translating ‎solidarity into positive action. The international community must help steer the situation ‎towards a historic peace agreement."

On this day of solidarity, we remember the ...

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November 27, 2011

Elections in the DRC

Hold the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in prayer as they go to the polls tomorrow to participate in presidential and parliamentary elections.

The political landscape in Congo is complex and unsettling.  Please pray with us for the November 28th elections.  Pray that God would appoint righteous leaders who will honor God and truly care for the needs of the people. 

So writes Bob Rice, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker in the DRC. His article also contains a review of the DRC's history.

The UN News Centre reports that UN Secretary General Ban ...

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November 22, 2011

Jerusalem, Settlements and the Two-State Solution

Danny Seidemann, Israeli attorney and founder and director of the Israeli NGO Terrestrial Jerusalem puts a two to three year expiration date on a two-state solution for peace in Jerusalem and thus in Israel and Palestine. In a presentation organized by the NGO Israel-Palestine Working Group at the United Nations, Seidemann focused on the question of the two-state solution, the settlements and Jerusalem. Check out the video of his presentation.

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October 31, 2011

Launch of the International Year of Cooperatives

Today, the United Nations General Assembly will launch the International Year of the Cooperatives.  Mongolia has sponsored the resolution to designate 2012 as the International Year. 

Today, I join colleagues from the world governments and non-governmental organizations at this launch.  This afternoon, the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP will join H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General , Dame Pauline Green, Cooperative Representative and member states will join for the launch.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will celebrate this year with the Presbyterian Ministry at the ...

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October 26, 2011

Christian leaders say yes to Palestine U.N. membership

From the Presbyterian News Service:

 

Leaders of four denominations, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, have issued a statement backing the Palestinian Authority’s bid for membership in the United Nations.

 

U.N. membership for the Palestinians is deserved, the four leaders say, “not only on the basis of international law and basic fairness … but to preserve a multi-religious holy land that includes Christian Palestinians.

 

In addition to Parsons, the statement was signed by the Rev. Geoffrey Black of the United Church of Christ, the Rev. Sharon Watkins of the Christian Church ...

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October 24, 2011

Peter Tibi visits New York

Commissioning by laying on of handsOn Saturday afternoon (October 22), after a walk through Central Park, the Rev. Peter Tibi took a nap. He was entitled.

Peter, from the world's newest country - South Sudan, participated in the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program's International Peacemakers Program. He made visits to South Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, Colorado, and Tennessee before coming to New York. In each location, he shared about the work of RECONCILE to heal trauma, reconcile conflict, build community, and enhance governance in South Sudan.

On his way home, he stopped in New York to make some visits within the UN Community. He arrived on Wednesday ...

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October 20, 2011

Build bridges, not walls

Peter Tibi preaching"God makes us new so we can build bridges, not walls."

As a citizen of South Sudan, the newest member of the United Nations, the Rev. Peter Tibi has reflected a great deal on what "new" means.

Peter has also pondered newness as a follower of Jesus Christ.

Drawing on 2 Corinthians 5:16-20, Peter noted that God in Christ makes us new to live in new ways, as ambassadors for Christ. Part of that newness involves building bridges in a world filled with walls. Peter described how RECONCILE engages in such ministry in South Sudan.

Peter preached this morning ...

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October 9, 2011

A prayer for the United Nations

God of compassion, walk alongside all of your global stewards who work to create a more just and peaceful world. Equip the United Nations community with a sense of urgency and humility that lets your will be done. Each day you give bread enough for all, grant us also the wisdom to ensure that everyone has enough. Teach the world’s leaders to forgive, to extend welcome across borders. Show the world a new path beyond greed, oppression, and division. We pray for a world united. We pray for the power to save succeeding generations from war. We pray for ...

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September 30, 2011

A prayer for those who serve in the United Nations system

Redeemer and Reconciler,

We give thanks for the work of the United Nations and for our sisters and brothers whom you have called to serve within that system. We are thankful that you call women and men from every land. We honor their work, their gifts, and their sacrifice. We pray for those who have given their lives in service; for their families and communities who grieve such loss.

 We ask for your strength to be with each individual:  

who cares for brothers and sisters who are made vulnerable and are oppressed;

who bears witness to evil and seeks healing ...

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September 29, 2011

United Nations Day - October 24

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has long supported the United Nations and its work.

The anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter on October 24, 1945 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. It has traditionally been marked throughout the world by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization.

Ideas for observing the day include:

Lift up the work of the United Nations in prayer.

Pray for those who work in the United Nations system.

Pray for the United Nations.

Use a hymn written by Carolyn Winfrey-Gillette. The ...

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September 29, 2011

A Prayer for Peace in Our Time

Here is a prayer for United Nations Day, October 24, from one of the resources of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. O God, Our Father, O God, Our Mother: we pray for all your children on earth, of every nation and...

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September 29, 2011

How Faith-Based Organizations Change the World at the UN

Panel

Panel- Photo by Carlos Yordan

Yesterday,  I had the opportunity to sit on a panel hosted by Drew University title “How Faith-Based Organizations Change the World at the UN.”  On the panel with me were Liberato Bautista, from the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, Bruce Knotts from the Unitarian Universalist Association at the United Nations and Andrew Tomlinson from the Quaker United Nations Office.

This event, a first for Drew University included an audience from the Drew University semester at the United Nations as well as United Nations Church Center and Ecumenical colleagues.  In ...

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September 23, 2011

Palestine applies for UN membership

On September 23, 2011, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon conveyed the application of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations to the Security Council. Find out more about the Palestinian bid for membership. Most recent stories are placed first:

October 3:

Statement on membership for Palestine in the UN by the World Council of Churches
The Palestinian Authority's Application for United Nations Membership and Its Implications for the International Criminal Court by the American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court

 

September 28:

UN News Centre article: Security Council refers Palestinian application to UN membership committee

Video ...

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September 22, 2011

Red Hands make a difference

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” (Matthew 19:14)

Red Hands being madeWe moved another step closer a world where children are children and not soldiers today. Presbyterian Red Hands helped make it happen!

Saint Lucia signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Children and Armed Conflict.

Saint Lucia received Red Hands from Presbyterians asking them to sign and ratify the Prototocol. Signing takes the crucial first step; Saint Lucia still needs to ratify the ...

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September 20, 2011

United Nations General Assembly is underway

The United Nations General Assembly continued today.  United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook met with religious leaders to dialouge about her work within the Obama administration.  I had the pleasure to meet with Ambassador Johnson Cook today.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations looks forward to working closely with Ambassador Johnson Cook's office to support religious freedom around the world.

President Obama made two statements today, one on partnerships and the other on the situation in Libya.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a statement on the role of women in ...

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September 19, 2011

UN General Assembly Begins

The 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is underway.  Today, delegates focused their attention on non-communicable diseases.  The President of Kenya explained to the General Assembly actions being taken to address these diseases in his country.  Over the next days, other heads of state including U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive in New York to address the General Assembly. 

For more information, visit:

United Nations News Service

CNN: UN General Assembly: A Viewers Guide

UN Webcast

Stay tuned to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations Facebook and Twitter accounts for up-to-date information.

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September 14, 2011

Jerusalem Christian Churches issue communique

Looking ahead to the upcoming General Assembly of the United Nations this September 2011 and the bid for Palestinian statehood, the Heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem feel the need to intensify our prayers and diplomatic efforts for peace between Palestinians and Israelis, to consider this as the most appropriate time for such an opportunity, and thus wish to reiterate the following principles upon which we agree:

  1. A two-state solution serves the cause of peace and justice.
  2. Israelis and Palestinians must live each in their own independent states with peace and justice, respecting human rights according to international law.
  3. Negotiations ...

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September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11

 

UN Sep. 11

Ryan Smith- Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Christine Mangale- Lutheran World Federation, Joseph Donnelly- Caritas Internationalis. Photo By Alisha Rodriguez

On Friday, the President of the United Nations General Assembly welcomed distinguished guests from around the world to commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Joining the President of the General Assembly were the Deputy Secretary General as well as the US Ambassador to the United Nations.  I joined ecumenical colleagues in prayer and remembrance that day at the United Nations. 

Today,  I had the opportunity to worship with First Presbyterian Church of  Brooklyn.  Moderator of the General Assembly of ...

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September 9, 2011

Statement by High Commissioner for Human Rights

Today, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement the United Nations Human Rights Committee.  The statement, as distributed by the Office of the High Commissioner is available here.

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September 6, 2011

Prayers of hope and remembrance

What do people write on Ribbons of Hope for the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001?

During the Thursday, August 25, 2011 worship service at the Church Center for the United Nations, participants wrote the following prayers:

All of God’s people to rise up heal, help, hope and care.

May this time of remembering be a “Grand Happening.”

Oh God. Make us an instrument of thy peace! Shalom. Amen.

Hope for the World, for all nations, for my kids, for all children. Hope for peace for all.

That we should claim righteousness.  Give us a humble, kind and lovely ...

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August 30, 2011

Cities Are Not Targets

 

Woman signs the petition.

D.J. Tephabock of the Presbytery of West Virginia signs the Cities Are Not Targets petition during a tour of the United Nations.

The United Nations has worked to eliminate nuclear weapons since it came into existence. One of the exhibits on the tour of the UN building focuses on this aspect of the UN's work. The exhibit includes an opportunity to sign the Cities Are Not Targets petition. This petition, sponsored by Mayors for Peace, calls for the total abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020. Not able to come to New York? Sign the petition online.

Since 1946 ...

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August 30, 2011

International Day of the Disappeared

Jeremy Sarkin, Chairman of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, reflects on disappeared people around the world on the International Day of the Disappeared.

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August 24, 2011

The United Nations, Israel and Palestine - Palestine at the United Nations, September 2011

Presbyterian Policy

Since 1948 General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations have repeatedly addressed the Middle East and particularly Israel and Palestine. The Presbyterian position has consistently been to affirm the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state within secure, internationally recognized borders and the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, including the right to the establishment of a neighboring independent, sovereign state toward the end of establishing a just and durable peace. Read actions of Assemblies from 1997 to 2010. The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy provides a summary of ...

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August 24, 2011

The United Nations, Israel and Palestine - Points of Engagement

The United Nations has been working on the question of Palestine and Israel since the first special session of the UN General Assembly on 28 April 1947, which established a body to investigate the issue and return with its recommendations. Over 60 years later, the range of the UN's work on the issues has continued to adapt to meet new challenges and address changing realities on the ground.

Points of Engagement

The UN General Assembly, comprised of all the Member States of the United Nations, has been involved in the quest for a peaceful settlement of the question of ...

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August 24, 2011

The United Nations, Israel and Palestine - A Brief History

The United Nations has been working on the question of Palestine and Israel since the first special session of the General Assembly on 28 April 1947, which established a body to investigate the issue and return with its recommendations. Over 60 years later, the range of the UN's work on the issues has continued to adapt to meet new challenges and address changing realities on the ground.

A brief history

Following the end of World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine was placed under the administration of Great Britain through the Mandates System of the ...

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August 24, 2011

UN statement on Jonglei violence

Below is taken directly from Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan from the Sudan Tribune.  

 


(Juba, 24 August 2011): The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande, has expressed her concern about the impact of renewed inter-communal violence on the civilian population in Jonglei State. Clashes have left villages burned, humanitarian assets looted and hundreds injured or killed.

Following reports of violence in Pieri and surrounding areas in Uror County, a humanitarian assessment team was dispatched to the area on 22 August. The team, which was made up of UN agencies as well ...

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August 19, 2011

People helping people- a celebration of World Humanitarian Day

 

Smith- World Humanitarian Day

Photo: Joseph Donnelly, Caritas Internationalis

Today, I had the opportunity to join with UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon, Undersecretary General Valerie Amos, Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake as well as other senior United Nations officials in celebrating World Humanitarian Day at UN Headquarters in New York City.

This is the third year that the United Nations has celebrated this day, marked from the bombing of a UN building in Iraq in 2003, the annual day reminds us to be thankful for work of humanitarian workers today and those who have lost their lives serving others.

The theme for ...

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August 18, 2011

Human rights and ageing

A reflection on the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing for the purpose of strengthening the protection of Human Rights of older persons  
August 1-4, 2011

Peng Leong
First Chinese Presbyterian Church of New York City
Volunteer Intern, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Picture of open forum eventI have been working with older persons for many years in my church as a member of the Board of Community Affairs Corporation running social and educational programs in my own corner of the world—New York’s Lower East Side. Our mission is to provide home care services to older persons so that they can remain ...

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August 17, 2011

Situation in Southern Kordofan

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Southern Kordofan, August 16, 2011

The United States welcomes the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the increasingly dire situation in Southern Kordofan.  We are deeply disturbed by the reports of extrajudicial killings, attacks on civilians, mass graves, arbitrary detentions, abductions, house to house searches, forced displacements, and other clear violations of humanitarian law.  We strongly support Commissioner Pillay’s recommendations, including immediate, unhindered access for humanitarian assistance and ...

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August 15, 2011

Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

Today, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt issued his interim report to the United Nations General Assembly.  

The report includes the activities of the Special Rapporteur, the role of the State in promoting interreligious communication and conclusions and recommendations from the Special Rapporteur.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations has been engaged in protecting religious freedoms within the United Nations community.

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August 12, 2011

Raising the Flag of South Sudan

History was made as the flag of South Sudan became the 193rd flag flying outside the United Nations in New York.

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August 8, 2011

Situation in Syria

Presbyterians, with people around the world, hold the country and people of Syria in prayer during these challenging days. Presbyterians have been involved in Syria from the early 1800s, when early American Presbyterian missionaries came to the Near East. American Presbyterians took the lead in Syria, as they had in Lebanon, in education, health care and church development. However, most mission work has been united in Syria (and Lebanon) under one mission society, which includes Presbyterians from Scotland and Ireland and Lutherans from Denmark. In 1956 the Mission Society of Syria and Lebanon encouraged and helped develop national leadership in ...

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August 6, 2011

Celebrate the International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace LogoThe United Nations has set September 21 as the International Day of Peace. This day provides an opportunity for  individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on  a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. During the recent Youth Making a Difference seminar at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, young people identified a number of ways to celebrate the International Day of Peace. Here are some additional ideas:

 

Observe a Minute of Silence at Noon

Ring your church bells

Light candles ...

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August 6, 2011

Prayers for the International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace logoThe United Nations has set September 21 as the International Day of Peace. This day provides an opportunity for  individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on  a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. Here are two prayers for the International Day of Peace:

O God,
Guide the peoples and nations
to make today a day of peace,
a day when wars are suspended,
and weapons laid aside.
May the spirit of this day of peace
guide us to the time
when ...

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August 6, 2011

A prayer for the International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace logoThe United Nations has set September 21 as the International Day of Peace. This day provides an opportunity for  individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on  a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. Here is a prayer for the International Day of Peace:

Loving God, we, your children, long for the day when your shalom is the dominant culture. We long for the day
   when we would turn swords into plowshares;
   when our governments would grow more food than build weapons ...

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August 1, 2011

Protecting human rights of older persons

The following is taken from Newsletter of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations is following the developments of these talks.  Look for more information soon.

 

The world’s population aged 60 or older is expected to double by 2050, to a record of 21 per cent – representing two billion people. Member States are expressing concerns about the status of older persons revolving around their social and economic situation, their participation in development and their relationship to human rights.

There is a call for increasing the visibility on the ...

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August 1, 2011

Palestine and the United Nations

Indications are that the Palestinians plan to apply for membership in the United Nations for the State of Palestine.

The UN Security Council held its regular quarterly open debate on the Middle East on July 26, 2011. This discussion included a focus on the Israel and Palestine.

Security Council Report is an independent not-for-profit organisation that works to provide consistent, balanced, high-quality information about the activities of the United Nations Security Council and its subordinate bodies to a wide group of stakeholders and the general public. They issued a report that contains information about the July 26 Security Council meeting ...

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July 27, 2011

Official summary of UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East and Palestine

Below is the official summary from the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine held yesterday.

---

6590th meeting of the Security Council

The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

The agenda was adopted without objection.

The President, with the consent of the Council, invited the representatives of Bangladesh, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at their request, to participate in ...

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July 26, 2011

UN Security Council holds open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

The United Nations Security Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine today.  Below are links to background information and statements made in the Council:

Security Council Report: Israel-Palestine

Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry

Uganda 

Israel

Press Question and Answer- Palestine

United States

Links to additional statements will be posted when they become available.

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July 26, 2011

Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church

cover of resolutionThe 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted the resolution, “Becoming an HIV and AIDS Competent Church: Prophetic Witness and Compassionate Action” in exercise of its responsibility to help the whole church address matters of “social righteousness.” The resolution identifies issues impacting people living with HIV and AIDS such as poverty, gender inequality and cultural and traditional practices, both in the United States and globally. It recommends to the PC(USA) a response of compassionate action and prophetic witness. In 2008, the World Council of Churches started promoting HIV-competent churches, which called for churches to ...

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July 25, 2011

Concern continues for Southern Kordofan

Southern Kordofan - on the border between Sudan and South Sudan - remains an area of concern. A statement issued last Friday by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, reflects on the situation in Southern Kordofan

The United States is deeply concerned about alarming and credible allegations of violence committed by Sudan Armed Forces and aligned groups in Southern Kordofan. These include acts of extreme cruelty and abuse against civilians that, if true, may constitute crimes against humanity – extra-judicial killings, house-to-house searches, abductions, arbitrary arrests, and violence motivated by differences of religion or ethnicity.

The United ...

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July 22, 2011

Red Hands at work

What difference do Presbyterian Red Hands make?

A display of Red Hands with the message that children are children, not soldiersThis year three states: Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Chad recently signed an action plan to end the use of children by the country’s security forces.

Clearly the international consensus that "Children are children, not soldiers" is building.

Presbyterians are playing a part. The Red Hands made by Presbyterians are delivered to permanent missions at the United Nations asking them to encourage their ...

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July 22, 2011

PC(USA) responds to crisis in Horn of Africa

From Presbyterian Disaster Assistance:

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has provided $100,000 from One Great Hour of Sharing funds to help meet the immediate and basic humanitarian needs of people affected by the drought in the Horn of Africa.  PDA is responding to this crisis as a member of ACT Alliance.  Fellow ACT Alliance members with programs in Somalia are planning to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to newly displaced people in Mogadishu, drought affected people in Gedo region, refugees in Dadaab camp in Kenya and host communities in both countries.

ACT members are already in the process of distributing 262 ...

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July 21, 2011

Red Hands say no child soldiers

Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.
Matthew 19:14

Peng Leong stuffing envelopes with Red HandsRed Hands, made by Presbyterians across the church, were sent to the permanent missions of 26 member states of the United Nations today. The Red Hands, in a variety of styles, all bear the same message: "Children are children, not soldiers."

With the Red Hands went a request that the state sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in ...

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July 21, 2011

Crisis in the Horn of Africa

Some 10 million people in the Horn of Africa face a severe food crisis and could starve following a prolonged drought. "In some areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda, drought conditions are the worst in 60 years, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in an update."

On July 20, the United Nations "declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia owing to the worst drought in decades, and appealed for urgent resources to assist millions of people in desperate need of help."

The crisis has resulted in a significant increase in the number ...

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July 13, 2011

History in the making

 

SC Gathering

Photo: Ryan Smith

There are few times in one’s life where you can really say that you have witnessed history.  I believe today to be one such occasion for me.  

On Saturday, July 9, the world watched as South Sudan became fully independent from Sudan.  This occurred just six months after the historic referendum where over 98 percent of the population in South Sudan voted for independence.  The opportunity for the referendum was granted to the people by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, just years earlier.

Today, sitting in the chamber of the Security Council, I couldn’t help but ...

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July 13, 2011

US statement on children in armed conflict

Below are remarks from U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice on the open debate on children in armed conflict held yesterday in the United Nations Security Council:

Thank you, Mr. President. We’re grateful to you, Mr. Minister, as well as to Ambassador Wittig and the German Mission for hosting this important debate and for your leadership as Chair of the Security Council Working Group. We also very much appreciate the important statements by the Secretary General, Special Representative Coomaraswamy and UNICEF Executive Director Tony Lake.

Mr. President, abuses against children in armed conflicts do not just tear at our hearts ...

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July 11, 2011

A visit to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Rev. Balázs ÓDOR, Ecumenical Officer for the Reformed Church in Hungary visited the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations on Friday.  We had the opportunity to share how the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Reformed Church in Hungary are engaging in faith and public policy advocacy. 

The Reformed Church in Hungary engages the European Union on advocacy issues driven by their faith and policy.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with the World Communion of Reformed Churches advocates at the United Nations in New York and in Washington, DC.

Presbyterians can trace the joining of public policy ...

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July 8, 2011

NGO WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY: STATEMENT ON THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Below is a release from the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security:

 

The NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security is alarmed at the latest reports by its member organizations and the United Nations of mass rape and other crimes against civilians perpetrated in the Fizi area of South Kivu by troops of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  The NGO Working Group urges the Government of the DRC, the United Nations and Member States to heed the voices of Congolese women, who have repeatedly stressed that such attacks stem from the persistent ...

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July 7, 2011

Independence Eve for South Sudan

As these words are posted, it is early evening on 8 July 2011 in Sudan. Tomorrow brings independence for South Sudan - and significant changes for the peoples of what is now Sudan and what tomorrow will be two countries - South Sudan and Sudan.

Reports of violence continue. Plans for celebrations are in place. Fears choke at the people. Hope looms. Prayers continue:

God in your mercy, pour your grace upon all the peoples in what is now Sudan and what tomorrow will be South Sudan and Sudan. Lead them away from violence. Guide them in paths of peace. Strengthen them ...

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June 27, 2011

UN Security Council acts on Abyei, Sudan

Deeply concerned by the violence, escalating tensions and population displacement in Sudan’s Abyei region and recognizing that the situation demanded an urgent response, the Security Council today authorized the deployment of a peacekeeping force to the disputed area, which straddles Northern and Southern Sudan and is claimed by both.

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, issued the following statement on the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1990:

This morning, the United States voted in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1990, establishing the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). We are pleased ...

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June 23, 2011

Secretary General elected to new term

 

Ban Ki-MoonUN Photo/Mark Garten

On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to give Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and second five year term.  The Secretary General is chosen in a two-step process. 

 

Article 97 of the UN Charter states that, “The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”  Therefore, a Secretary General needs both the recommendation from the 15 member Security Council as well as a majority vote in the 192 member General Assembly.

This year, current Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was the only candidate under consideration, almost ensuring him ...

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June 20, 2011

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Briefing on Sudan, June 20, 201

Below is a release from the United States Mission to the United Nations, a statement by Ambassador Rice to the Security Council on the ongoing situation in Sudan.  

 

USUN PRESS RELEASE #123

June 20, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Mr. President, we welcome the news that the parties have just signed an agreement on temporary administrative and security arrangements for Abyei and the withdrawal of Sudanese Armed Forces. We are encouraged by this news. We greatly appreciate the intensive efforts of former President Thabo Mbeki and the African Union High-level Implementation Panel over the past two weeks to assist the parties ...

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June 17, 2011

Update report on Sudan

Security Council Report has published an Update Report on Sudan.

Council members have been individually assessing events in Sudan—the military takeover of Abyei and the deteriorating situation in Southern Kordofan—almost on a day-to-day basis, but Council members have not formally met on Sudan since 3 June and most of the scheduled informal discussions have been repeatedly postponed.  The Council next meets on Monday 20 June, where it is expected they will receive a briefing on the outcome of the Addis Ababa talks.  It is possible that Council members will then negotiate a mandate and authorise a force to ...

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June 15, 2011

The writing was on the wall

Writing on white boardActually it was on the white board.

And it was pretty cool.

Love God
Love yourself
Love others

It has been a while since the board in our conference room has seen such creativity.

A group of six high school students (one of whom has actually graduated is "still a high schooler at heart") from Medina Presbyterian Church arrived on Monday for a seminar. Immigration in the United States was the topic they selected.

We adapted the order of the seminar a bit as thye arrived. We began by talking about the situation in South Kordofan, Sudan. Ryan Smith, Presbyterian ...

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June 9, 2011

UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS: Day 1

More than 3000 people have come together at the United Nations in New York for the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS. The meeting, which runs from 8-10 June, provides an opportunity to take stock of the progress and challenges of the last 30 years and shape the future AIDS response.

Photographers Bo Li and Hygeia Rubio from the UN Department of Public Information have created a gallery of images from Day 1 of the event.

Here are two other ways to follow the meeting:

View portions of the meeting on the United Nations Webcast.

Use the hashtag ...

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June 7, 2011

High-Level Talks on HIV/AIDS at the UN

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice gave a statement about HIV/AIDS to the Security Council this afternoon.  She said, "Two decades of often heroic international efforts to extend the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS have significantly alleviated the health effects of the disease, but most people living with HIV still lack access to treatment. For every person who starts treatment, two more become infected."

Ambassador Rice's statement to the Security Council came as the High-Level Talks on HIV/AIDS are occurring at the United Nations. 

The 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level ...

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June 6, 2011

High level meeting on AIDS happening this week

AIDS ribbonThe 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS is taking place in New York starting on June 8 and ending on June 10.

Thirty years into the AIDS epidemic, and 10 years since the landmark UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, the world will come together to review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response.

View portions of the meeting on the United Nations Webcast.

Use the hashtag #AIDS2011 to follow the meeting on Twitter.

Learn about the work of Presbyterian International AIDS Ministries.

Join the Presbyterian AIDS Network.

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June 3, 2011

UN Security Council Presidential Statement on Sudan

New York, NY June 3, 2011

The Security Council expresses grave concern about the ongoing violence and rapidly deteriorating situation in Abyei since the Council addressed the issue in its May 22 Press Statement, in which the Council condemned the attack by Southern forces against a United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) convoy escorting Sudanese Armed Forces elements of Joint Integrated Units on May 19 in Abyei, and also condemned the escalatory military operations being undertaken by the Sudanese Armed Forces, which have taken control of the area in and around Abyei town.

The Security Council strongly condemns the Government ...

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June 1, 2011

A note of thanks for prayer from South Sudan

In response to prayers for the people of Pibor and Akobo counties of southern Sudan, we have received the following note from our partners in Eastern Jonglei Presbyery:

Brothers and sisters in the Lord

On behalf of Eastern Jonglei Presbytery, SALT (Serving and Learning Together) Leadership and the entire Murle Community, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude for moral support and tireless prayers for Murle Community in their time of distress and tribulation caused by their Nuer brothers. God heard your prayers.  The Nuer youth were planning to come back again for a third time but through your prayers ...

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May 31, 2011

UN seeks to aid civilians displaced from Abyei

As the days tick down until July 9, 2011 when South Sudan is scheduled to become independent, a variety of concerns appear. One focuses on Abyei - a region and a town on the border.

The United Nations News Centre notes that:

The disputed town of Abyei, which is contested by both north and south Sudan, was the scene of renewed violence last week, including looting and burning, following the takeover of the area by Sudanese Government forces.

Deadly clashes have claimed dozens of lives since the start of the year, when a referendum on Abyei’s status that was supposed ...

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May 31, 2011

Concerns for Christians in Egypt

We are again saddened to hear of religious discrimination in Egypt.  Today, we read of the burning of Coptic Churches.  We read: "I am feeling threatened, as does my community. I don't feel safe as a Christian at home,” from a 25 year old pharmacist.

Since the riots in Egypt have started, we continue to see an increase in violence against the Christian minorities throughout the country.  To read about the most recent struggles, please click here.

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations continues to work with the United Nations community to promote religious freedoms around the world ...

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May 27, 2011

International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

The details are still coming in, but the UN reports an attack on peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. This comes as the UN community celebrates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. The day has two purposes: to honour the memory...

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May 26, 2011

Update report on Syria

Security Council Report has published an Update Report on Syria. They note: On 25 May France, Germany, Portugal and the UK circulated to Security Council members a draft resolution condemning the government crackdown in Syria. At press time it was...

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May 16, 2011

Ban urges restraint after day of deadly clashes across the Middle East

From the United Nations News Centre: 15 May 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has led a chorus of United Nations calls for all sides in the Middle East to exercise maximum restraint after a day of clashes around the region...

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May 15, 2011

Protecting religious freedom

Ask your representative to co-sponsor H.R.440. This bill would provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. It has been introduced in the House and...

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May 8, 2011

Pray for an end to violence in Pibor and Akobo counties, southern Sudan

Pray for the people of Pibor and Akobo counties in southern Sudan. Violence has been reported between the Nuer and Murle peoples. An atmosphere of fear and deep uncertainty pervades the people. Pray for peace to prevail, for a turn...

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April 22, 2011

A trip down memory lane

There were gulls in the background - or so they told me. I could only see a building. This evening brought my second Skype presentation on behalf of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. The Agape House Campus Ministry...

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April 18, 2011

Blessed are the peacemakers

How does the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations equip and inspire Presbyterians to make peace following Jesus? The Presbyterian Women of Monmouth Presbytery explored that question when then met on April 16 at the Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury for...

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April 4, 2011

The Principles and Practices of Forgiveness

How does repentance lead to forgiveness and reconciliation and the future in public life? How do we learn to love a country enough that we remember its misdeeds? What can other countries learn from the South African experience of the...

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March 18, 2011

Libya, Madagascar, Colombia, Japan

The UN Security Council has acted on Libya: Security Council authorizes ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians in Libya Madagascar remains plagued by political uncertainty: Madagascar still mired in crisis 2 years after coup Violence continues to displace people in...

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March 12, 2011

Advocacy resources on Libya and Côte d'Ivoire

Reports from Libya and Côte d'Ivoire tell of violence and displacement. Ecumenical Women at the United Nations — an international coalition of church denominations and ecumenical organizations, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — has developed tools to encourage women and...

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March 11, 2011

From the UN News Centre - 10 March 2011

Here are some of the top stories on the United Nations News Centre on 10 March 2011: Somalia: Security Council calls on world to step up supplies for African peace force UN rights chief denounces violence against journalists by Libyan...

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March 3, 2011

Inspiring and hopeful with more work to come

by Ryan Smith On March 2, 2011, representatives from the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and Presbyterian Women joined Milcah Lalam, a peace building development specialist with RECONCILE in Sudan with expertise in trauma healing, drama as therapy and...

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March 2, 2011

From the Midwest to the UN: One Woman's Story

By Cindy Eschliman It is not often that I am put in a position of being in the minority. I am a young, white woman, who grew up in Hutchinson, KS – the center of the Midwest and I now...

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February 25, 2011

What did I learn?

Several times the question "What did I learn?" was posed to participants (young people and adults alike) in the Fab Five Seminar on climate change and its impacts at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. At the closing of...

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February 23, 2011

CSW Webcast

Follow the meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women on the United Nations Webcast. Presbyterians (and others) are gathering in the conference room of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations to view the Webcast.

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February 22, 2011

Toward agreed conclusions at CSW55

An outcome of the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be the agreed conclusions. Through the agreed conclusions, the Commission will urge "Governments, the relevant entities of the United Nations system, international and regional organizations,...

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February 15, 2011

Where did the Red Hands go?

Red Hands were recently sent to a number of missions of member states at the United Nations asking them to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed...

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February 11, 2011

Mailing Red Hands

Here's a photo album on the Presbyterians Say No Child Soldiers Facebook page taken as packets of Red Hands were assembled to send to missions at the United Nations urging them to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on...

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February 3, 2011

World Interfaith Harmony Week video clips

Odyssey Networks is posting video clips that feature reflections by faith leaders for World Interfaith Harmony Week. Leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have urged Presbyterians to participate in this week which was designated by the United Nations General Assembly.

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February 2, 2011

Secretary-General on World Interfaith Harmony Week

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON THE OBSERVANCE OF WORLD INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK New York, 1-7 February 2011 The first World Interfaith Harmony Week is an opportunity to focus global attention on the efforts of religious leaders, interfaith movements and individuals around...

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January 27, 2011

International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust

The United Nations has designated 27 January -– the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp -- as an annual International Day of Commemoration to honour the victims of the Holocaust, and urged Member States to develop educational...

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January 12, 2011

Cooper House 2011 Winter Break Alternate Mission Trip

A group from the Cooper House Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Virginia Tech visited the offices of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations on January 11. The visit was part of their 2011 Winter Break Alternate Mission Trip. Six students...

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January 12, 2011

Eckerd College - the first visit of the year

On January 5, a class from Eckerd College visited the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. They were the first group to visit this year. The class, taught by Dr. Tony Brunello, is exploring The United Nations: Terrorism, Peacekeeping and...

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January 5, 2011

UN Women Begins Its Work

From the UN Women Web page: The United Nations made history today as UN Women, the UN agency dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, has officially begun its work. This ambitious new organization consolidates and scales up...

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December 23, 2010

Voices of a new generation - young people speak to UN Security Council

On December 21, 2010, US Ambassador Susan E. Rice hosted an interactive special session of the United Nations Security Council titled, "Voices of a New Generation," seeking to give young people (ages 13-21) an opportunity to address the world's most...

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December 23, 2010

START approved by Senate

By a 71-26 vote, the Senate ratified the START treaty today. This treaty will lead to a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons held by Russia and the United States. Thanks to all who engaged in advocacy on this...

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December 16, 2010

Open statement on the Lord's Resistance Army

Open Statement on the Lord’s Resistance Army by the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect One year ago today, over the course of four days, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) slaughtered 300 people in Haute Uele province in the...

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December 13, 2010

International Migrants Day - December 18

December 18th has been designated International Migrants Day by the United Nations. Download A Liturgy for International Migrants Day and other resources created for this day by the Rev. Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes, professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, at the...

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December 10, 2010

Registration for referendum

he registration of voters for next month’s referendum on the self-determination of Southern Sudan has been concluded, the United Nations panel monitoring the process said today, welcoming the peaceful and orderly conduct of the exercise. Posted by the Presbyterian Ministry...

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December 8, 2010

Security Council on Côte d’Ivoire

Security Council Report has published an Update Report on Côte d'Ivoire. The Security Council has been holding extended informal consultations on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire. The head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, Choi Young-jin, briefed the...

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December 5, 2010

Two presidents in Côte d'Ivoire?

Hold the people of Côte d'Ivoire in prayer as their country faces a time of deep uncertainty. Presidential elections were recently held in Côte d'Ivoire. A political standoff has followed. Alassane Ouattara was originally certified as the winner of the...

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December 2, 2010

Troika Statement on the Southern Sudan Referendum

Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC December 1, 2010 The following is the text of a joint statement by the Sudan Troika (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) on the Southern Sudan Referendum. Begin text: We congratulate the Southern Sudan...

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November 29, 2010

UN treaties and child soldiers

"UN Treaties alone obviously won’t demobilize all the world’s child soldiers, but their main role is to put down a legal placeholder." - Michelle Chen in White House Says Child Soldiers Are Ok, If They Fight Terrorists

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November 9, 2010

Peace Starts Here

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, has launched Peace Starts Here, a Web site that will provide glimpses into the lives of Palestinian refugees. Fifteen short video clips will look at...

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November 8, 2010

United Nations Webcast

Want to know what is happening at the United Nations? Check out the United Nations Webcast. Streaming video is available as are previous Webcasts. Posted by the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

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November 7, 2010

Pray for the people of Pakistan

Posted by the Presbyterian United Nations Ministry In the wake of attacks on mosques in Darra Adam Khel and in the Badhber area outside Peshawar, pray for those who were killed and injured in the attacks -- for their families...

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November 7, 2010

Protect civilians in southern Sudan

Valerie Amos, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, today called for better protection of civilians in southern Sudan when visiting thousands of people who have fled their homes over the past three years because of persistent...

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November 4, 2010

UN investigator: Migrants suffer worst racism

Here's a Washington Post article about an interview on the impact of racism on migrants with Githu Muigai, a Kenyan lawyer and the U.N. Human Rights Council's special investigator on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. UN investigator: Migrants suffer...

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October 27, 2010

Security Council calls for ensuring women’s participation in building, sustaining peace

From the United Nations News Centre: United Nations Security Council calls for ensuring women’s participation in building, sustaining peace. The Security Council today marked the tenth anniversary of the landmark resolution on women and peace and security by calling for...

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October 22, 2010

The Prospect for Peace in Sudan: A View from Religious Leaders on the Ground - Council on Foreign Relations

Presbyterian United Nations Ministry The delegation of Sudanese church leaders who visited the United Nations community last week made a panel presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations. Find the audio here: The Prospect for Peace in Sudan: A View...

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October 18, 2010

A Prayer for the United Nations

United Nations Day is October 24. Here is a prayer from one of the resources of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program: Great God, supreme ruler of all the earth, give vision to those who serve the United Nations. With justice and...

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October 15, 2010

Looking forward to the return!

Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations There are two broad foci to the mission of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations: Inspiring and equipping Presbyterians to live as disciples of Jesus in the global neighborhood Bearing witness for peace...

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October 14, 2010

Trick or Treat for UNICEF

Presbyterian United Nations Ministry It has been a long time since I have attended a Halloween party. I did so tonight, joining nearly 200 adults and children to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. This program began in...

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October 13, 2010

Praying for peace in Sudan

Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations From Episcopal Life Online - NEWS. Standing beneath the words of Isaiah 2:4 – "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against...

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October 13, 2010

Sudan church leaders 'raise alarm'

Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations From the Episcopal Life Online - NEWS. An ecumenical delegation of Sudanese religious leaders met with U.N. officials and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Oct. 11 to express its fear of what might happen if...

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September 28, 2010

New director of Presbyterian ministry at the UN

From the Presbyterian News Service: Executive Office and Policy Communications CONTACT: Barry Creech General Assembly Mission Council LOUISVILLE, Ky. The Rev. Mark Koenig has been selected as the new director of Presbyterian ministry at the United Nations. Koenig brings 30...

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September 7, 2010

Observe International Day of Peace

There are a number of ways to observe the International Day of Peace on September 21. One of them is the initiative A Million Minutes for Peace that invites us to pray for one minute at noon. Other ideas include...

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August 26, 2010

A Million Minutes for Peace

September 21 is the International Day of Peace. There are a variety of ways to observe this day. Here's one:

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August 20, 2010

Red Hands at work

Georgia agrees to protocol on child soldiers In late July 2010, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mailed drawings of red hands and messages to the Mission of Georgia to the United Nations as part of its Red Hand Campaign to end...

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August 19, 2010

Presbyterian students join interfaith seminar

Givat Haviva and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations recently hosted a seminar, “Through Others' Eyes.” The Jewish Week covered the seminar. Caroline, one of two Presbyterian students from Wallingford Presbyterian Church who participated, reflects: On August 3rd, we...

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August 16, 2010

Pakistan floods

Floods have devastated Pakistan. As of August 15, some 1,500 people have been killed. Up to 20 million have lost their homes. Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance's disaster relief fundUse a bulletin insert from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Pray: Gracious God,...

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August 11, 2010

Celebrate the International Day of Peace

How will you celebrate the International Day of Peace? September 21 is set by the United Nations General assembly as the International Day of Peace - a day when the world is called to observe a ceasefire, practice nonviolence, and...

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August 6, 2010

Convention on cluster munitions becomes international law

The Convention on Cluster Munitions went into effect on Sunday, 1 August 2010. Due to the number of countries that have signed and ratified the Convention, it becomes binding international law in countries around the world. This is a cause...

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August 6, 2010

What happened to all those red hands?

The first batch of red hands and letters has been delivered. Over 800 red hands were created by participants in the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, They had the simple message: children should be children, not soldiers. Participants wrote some 200 letters...

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June 20, 2010

Countdown to the International Day of Peace

On June 13, 2010, the United Nations Secretary-General issue a message about the International Day of Peace which will take place on September 21, 2010. The message follows: "One hundred days from today, the world will mark the International Day...

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June 20, 2010

Sudan Advocacy Action Forum update

Our friends at the Sudan Advocacy Action Forum have posted an update on the situation in Sudan. Topics covered include: Sudan has world’s largest population of Internally Displaced People Truly a critical moment for Sudan - U.S. Senator John Kerry...

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May 9, 2010

A Gift to Mothers around the World: the CEDAW Treaty

From the Presbyterian Washington Office: Women and girls around the world face violence and discrimination daily. We also know that CEDAW, the Women's Treaty, helps women and girls to go to school, to own and inherit property, to take part...

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April 29, 2010

Learn about UN peacekeeping operations

Learn about United Nations peacekeeping operations around the globe. UN peacekeeping is the second largest deployment of troops around the world, with 17 peacekeeping operations from Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq to Timor-Leste. This new site is designed to show how...

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April 22, 2010

No child soldiers!

During a retreat, staff members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Compassion, Peace and Justice ministry took time to create red hands to say that children should not be used as soldiers. Human Rights Watch reports that children are fighting as...

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April 19, 2010

Dry Land, Living Stones: Peacemaking in Israel and Palestine

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 8:00am - 8:00pm Presbyterian United Nations Office 777 United Nations Plaza, 7th Floor New York, NY Human beings face increasingly complex challenges as the world confronts issues like climate change, hunger and poverty, and conflict. This...

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April 13, 2010

Reviewing the NPT

From the United Nations: The 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will be held in May 2010 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The NPT is a landmark international...

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February 3, 2010

Red hands say no child soldiers

Human Rights Watch reports that children currently are used as soldiers fighting in at least 14 countries around the world. They note that “Boys and girls alike are forced into combat, exploited for their labor, and subjected to unspeakable violence.”...

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January 18, 2010

National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Insisting that fighting modern-day slavery is a shared responsibility President Barack Obama urged all Americans to educate themselves on the signs and consequences of human trafficking, declaring January to be National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Work on human trafficking is...

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December 14, 2009

Not finished with your shopping?

Still looking for a gift for that someone special? Consider a gift that works for peace. Support the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. There are several options. Give to: Peacemaking Offering - provide basic support for the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program's ministry Conference...

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December 11, 2009

Report 1 from our folk in Copenhagen

Check out the first report on the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen written by Bill and Carol Somplatsky-Jarman, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) staff members who are attending the event. Thanks to the Environmental Ministries Office for posting their reports. They...

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November 26, 2009

Protecting civilians in South Sudan

Presbyterians recently initiated, signed and sent an interfaith letter calling for the deployment of United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) peacekeeping forces to protect civilians in South Sudan. The letter went to Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,...

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November 16, 2009

Emrace diversity, End discrimination,

December 10 is designated as Human Rights Day - a day to mark the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Presbyterian United Nations Office and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program offer a variety of materials to...

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October 31, 2009

30 years working for rights for women

December 18, 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). A working group of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality...

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October 18, 2009

A prayer for United Nations Day

Here is a prayer for the United Nations for use in relation to United Nations Day (October 24) or any appropriate time: God of compassion, walk alongside all of your global stewards who work to create a more just and...

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October 15, 2009

Worship resources for United Nations Day

October 24 is United Nations Day. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian United Nations Office offer worship materials for use on Sunday, October 25 or another time. Download O God Who Formed Creation [PDF], a hymn by the Rev....

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October 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, United Nations!

October 24 marks the birthday of the United Nations. On 24 October 1945, the United Nations was formally established after a majority of its founding members ratified a treaty setting up the world body. In 1971, the United Nations General...

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October 12, 2009

Isaiah and the work of the United Nations

Check out the new study on the United Nations from The Thoughtful Christian. In three sessions, this group Bible study for adults discusses the biblical hope for peace among the nations in Isaiah and the work of the United Nations....

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September 26, 2009

A World Free from Nuclear Weapons

On September 24, the U.N. Security Council, in a meeting chaired by by President Obama, took a huge step towards realizing the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons. The most powerful countries in the U.N. reaffirmed their commitment...

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September 20, 2009

Report on Gaza conflict

The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Conflict in Gaza has released its report. [PDF] The mission was appointed on April 3 "to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been...

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September 14, 2009

Observe the International Day of Peace

Here are some ways to observe the International Day of Peace: Pray Meditate Practice other spiritual disciplines Participate in the A Million Minutes for Peace campaign Participate in the WMD - We Must Disarm Initiative Light a candle Send the...

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August 25, 2009

Tell your Senators to act on CEDAW

Celebrate Women's Equality Day (Wednesday, August 26) by urging your senators to take action on CEDAW (United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). Call both your Senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support...

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August 13, 2009

Unlock the camps in Sri Lanka

Amnesty International provides an opportunity to call on the Sri Lankan government to allow displaced civilians freedom of movement. 300,000 people displaced by the fighting in Sri Lanka are held by the government in camps that they cannot leave. The...

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August 8, 2009

Pray for Sudan, August 28-30

The people of Sudan have experienced conflict for years. Across the country, lives have been lost, communities scattered, people displaced. Steps toward peace have been made. The situation remains fragile. Our sisters and brothers in Sudan need our prayer at...

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August 8, 2009

Presbyterian General Assembly on Sudan

The 217th General Assembly (2006) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved the following: The Presbyteries of Trinity and Shenango overture[d] the 217th General Assembly (2006) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to reaffirm our denomination's close connections to Sudan for more...

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July 17, 2009

Pray for Iraqi Christians

Please pray for the Christians of Iraq. This past weekend attacks in the capital, Baghdad, and the northern city of Mosul reportedly killed at least four people, and injured dozens more, including children. The top United Nations envoy to Iraq...

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June 20, 2009

UN and Peru

From the BBC: "The UN's envoy for indigenous peoples has urged Peru to launch an independent investigation into recent deadly clashes between police and protesters." The UN adopted a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. The BBC...

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June 18, 2009

Hoping, praying and working in Peru

Clashes between indigenous protesters and security forces in northern Peru on Friday, June 5 resulted in a number of deaths both among the indigenous people and among the police. The number of reported deaths vary. Since April, indigenous peoples have...

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May 29, 2009

Care for God's Creation

Find resources to observe World Environment Day. This day, intended to raise understanding of environmental issues and to empower people to act on behalf of a sustainable future, is June 5. Congregations can celebrate World Environment Day on June 7...

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May 28, 2009

New resource for Torture Awareness Month

June 26 is United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. A few years ago, religious and human rights organizations in the United States declared June to be Torture Awareness Month as a way to provide both a...

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May 14, 2009

Pakistan in turmoil

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is among the humanitarian groups responding to the current crisis in Pakistan. The BBC describes Pakistan as a country in turmoil. Pakistan's military has launched a military campaign against the Taleban. Reports indicate that hundreds of thousands...

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April 25, 2009

Pray for the People of Sri Lanka

The civil war that has wracked Sri Lanka for 25 years may be drawing to an end. Learn more about the crisis in Sri Lanka from the United Nations News Centre, the New York Times, and Human Rights Watch. Here...

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April 17, 2009

Pray for U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Presbyterians have long supported the work of the United Nations. During World War II, the Presbyterian Church was active in the movement that worked to lay the foundation for the creation of a “United Nations” organization. In the aftermath of...

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March 31, 2009

April 2009 Security Council Report

Security Council Report has issued its Monthly Forecast Report (PDF) for April 2009 that previews issues likely to be considered in the UN Security Council during the month. These include: Sudan - The mandate for the United Nations Mission in...

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March 13, 2009

World Water Day

March 22 is World Water Day. Water is a basic requirement for all life, yet water resources are facing increasing demands from, and competition among, users. In 1992, the UN General Assembly designated 22 March of each year as the...

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March 12, 2009

Advocates for women the world over

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) has been meeting in New York from March 2. The meeting ends on March 13. And Presbyterians are there. Again. For the fourth year, Presbyterian Women of the Presbyterian Church...

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March 7, 2009

Red hands in San Antonio

As part of the Red Hand Campaign to end the use of children as soldiers, participants in the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators conference in San Antonio had the opportunity to make red hands. These were among the 250,000 red...

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February 17, 2009

UN Security Council on Democratic Republic of the Congo

The United Nations Security Council has issued an update report on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.The Security Council will hear a report tomorrow (February 17) although it is unclear whether the councilwill act. The United Nations...

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February 12, 2009

Red Hand Day - The Effort Continues

We rejoice in the witness of 250,000 red hands being delivered to the United Nations Secretary-General. Among those were red hands created by Presbyterians at the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators' Annual Conference. During 2009, the 20th anniversary of the...

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December 18, 2008

Raise a Red Hand; Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

February 12, 2009 is Red Hand Day - the international child soldier’s commemoration day, a day to work to end the use of child soldiers. According to an optional protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,...

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December 6, 2008

How Can I Work for Human Rights?

December 10 marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Conventions implementing the Declaration have been written, ratified, and entered into force, yet human rights violations remain still widespread. How can the average person...

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November 6, 2008

Support Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Presbyterian Washington Office encourages us to contact our Senators and Representatives urging them to support peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo and throughout Africa's Great Lakes region. A rebel offensive in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has...

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October 29, 2008

Freed Pastor

"My day of freedom is very important for me and my family because there is one less spouse torn away from his or her partner in life and love by the government's counterinsurgency operation." So begins a letter to the...

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October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday United Nations

Today, October 24 is United Nations Day. The Better World Campaign reminds us that, despite its challenges, flaw, and shortcomings, the United Nations plays a significant role in the lives of people around the world. Often the shortcomings are highlighted...

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September 19, 2008

The Momentum Builds - International Day of Peace

My colleagues at the Presbyterian United Nations Office forwarded me a letter from the folks at the United Nations who are working on the International Day of Peace - Sunday, 21 September! A couple interesting things: CNN’s iReport, a news-oriented...

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September 11, 2008

Quiz on the United Nations

I just took a quiz on the United Nations. I'm not saying how I did, but I definitely know more than I did before! It's from the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Check it out.

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September 1, 2008

Sand and Sorrow

I watched the video Sand and Sorrow yesterday. This powerful, touching, and disturbing video looks at the situation in Sudan and Darfur. It explores the rise of the current government and that government’s relations with (neglect of) Darfur. Those relations...

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March 13, 2008

Fifth Anniversary of War in Iraq

Five years. It has been five years. Whatever one thinks about the war and the ongoing aftermath in Iraq, the fifth anniversary on March 19, brings a moment for reflecting, remembering, and thinking for the future. We mark such an...

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