The United Nations and The Episcopal Church

On United Nations Day, Wednesday, October 24th, we celebrated the ways in which the UN helps us, as Episcopalians, uphold our Baptismal Covenant to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself,” and to “strive for justice and peace among all people.” Being involved with the work of the UN is one way in which we serve our neighbors – especially the poor, the oppressed, the sick, the stranger, and the displaced – and share the light of God’s presence in the world.


How does your ministry connect with the United Nations?

Do you have:

  • A concern to bring to the attention of the UN?
  • A ministry to celebrate?
  • A voice to uplift?
  • A need for information, connection and community on a global issue?

Let’s work together!

On October 24, 1945 the United Nations officially came into being when its founding Charter was rati­fied by the majority of its signatories. Established to foster peace and security in a world ravaged by two World Wars, it is unique in being the only forum at which representatives of the majority of the world’s governments – 193 to date – meet regularly to discuss and collaborate on global concerns. But the UN is not just talk. Member states work together and through UN agencies to maintain peace and stability, coordinate humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, alleviate poverty, fight disease, assist refugees, clear landmines, and protect the environment. The United Nations does vital work in promoting respect for human rights for women, refugees, children, indigenous peoples, and other populations. United Nations agencies define global standards and lead campaigns in such areas as the empowerment of women, and fighting drugs, human trafficking, and terrorism.

 Did you know?

~Collectively, all Episcopalians and Episcopal agencies are represented at the UN through The Episcopal Church in its official association with the UN, both on its own and as a member province of the Anglican Communion

~ Countless individuals, parishes, dioceses, provinces and church wide ministries and programs have supported the UN’s Millennium Devel­opment Goals (MDGs) since they became a church wide mission priority in 2006

~ A delegation of 14 Episcopalians, including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and led by our Office of Indigenous Ministries, attended the 11th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and collaborated in ecumenical written and oral statements  in repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery

~ Over 100 people from across the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church gathered at the Episcopal Church Center in February for the 56th UN Commission on the Status of Women, making their voices heard on the empowerment of rural women. They represented women’s groups, young adults, Native Americans and indigenous peoples

~ In 2012, Episcopalians and staff have collectively made visible the Church’s presence in the world by participating in tours, commemorations, side events, seminars and working group meetings at the UN. They have covered human trafficking, gender-based violence, ageing, ecumenical and interfaith collaboration, indigenous rights, youth empowerment, women’s empowerment, peace building, the environment, genocide and the transatlantic slave trade

~ Episcopal bodies such as Episcopal Migra­tion Ministries and Episcopal Relief & Development partner regularly with UN agencies such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and UNICEF

~ The Episcopal Church has applied for consultative status at the UN, which will give it greater voice and more advocacy opportunities in areas related to sustainable development, human rights, narcotic drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, forests, women’s empowerment, indigenous issues