WCC UN liaison office, New York
The WCC's UN Liaison Office (UNLO) at UN Headquarters in New York works to make the voices of the churches and ecumenical organizations heard in order to influence the policy decisions made at the United Nations. The UNLO places special attention on ensuring that a common ecumenical perspective is developed and communicated and that the voices of the ecumenical community of the Global South and most specifically the voices of victims are heard.
The work of the WCC-UNLO can be understood as the arms to a triangle: Global Ecumenical, Advocacy and the UN in NY. Global Ecumenical defines who we are as churches working from an ecumenical commitment – witnesses to the unity of the churches and united in action and purpose. Advocacy highlights the priority to amplify the voices of the poor and marginalized through public witness, common advocacy and speaking truth to power directly in order to influence the policy decisions made at the United Nations. The UN in NY provides the parameters where the issues addressed at the UN in NY become the specific strategic focus of our advocacy.
The office helps develop and communicate a common ecumenical perspective and attempts to deepen inter-religious cooperation for peace and justice.
Advocacy and public witness activities focus on the urgent and priority issues that include but is not limited to Climate Change, Commission on the Status of Women, Economic Justice and Poverty Reduction, Food and Hunger, Global Emerging Issues, Human Rights, Interfaith Dialogue, Millennium Development Goals, Middle East, Peace and Disarmament, Peace and Security, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and UN Reform.
Support is provided for ecumenical participation in the UN Commission on the Status of Women in direct partnership with the WCC staff working on Women in Church and Society. Special attention is given to priority country situations such as Sudan/Darfur, Somalia, North Korea, the Middle East and Colombia.
The UNLO, in close association with WCC staff working on Indigenous Peoples, enables the participation of churches and Indigenous Peoples in promoting the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
United Nations Advocacy Week
One of the flagships of the UNLO is the annual United Nations Advocacy Week. The United Nations Advocacy Week (UNAW) is an evolving model of ecumenical collaboration; it is a particularly significant moment to express concerns and address questions of power and structural injustice through a concerted and coordinated ecumenical approach to international advocacy. Organized by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, the week includes capacity building and formation on advocacy within the UN system, theological reflection and analysis, panels and discussions on advocacy focus areas. The thematic priorities for UNAW 2009 were Climate Displaced Peoples, Indigenous Peoples Rights and Colombia. The UNAW 2009 Final Report and more information about previous UNAWs are available at unaw.oikoumene.org.
WCC UNLO Internships
The WCC-UNLO offers limited internships for those interested in ecumenical formation and advocacy. For more internship information, please contact unlo1 (at) wcc-coe.org