When I think of the great issues that will shape our collective future, I realize that virtually all of these issues are international in scope. The overwhelming issue of sustainability—an issue which includes global warming, environmental justice and global inequality—is obviously an international issue. While we often think of America’s controversy over immigration as a domestic issue, we cannot begin to understand immigration unless we see its international dimension.
We Unitarian Universalists have a long history of speaking out on the vital moral issues of our day. Our core principles that affirm human dignity, peace, democracy, peace and the interconnection of all life call us into the public arena.
One of the places where we UUs have long had a voice is at the United Nations. This week I will attend a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO).
We will also be celebrating the re-integration of the UU-UNO into the UUA. For a number of years our office at the United Nations existed as a separate nonprofit organization. Both organizations saw the benefit of integrating our international voice at the UN with our overall public witness efforts. Last fall we completed the legal and organizational merger.
Our office at the UN has been a leader in advocating for the rights of LGBT people in the world. We are also a religious voice for the equal treatment of women and the rights of children.
The coming years are going to bring many opportunities for our religious voice to be heard. We can, I believe, play an important role in bringing together the voices of other religious traditions. I am proud and grateful that we have a voice at the UN.
We can do so much together that we cannot do alone. Giving our values a voice in the international arena is one way our UUA speaks for us all.