What Happens at CCUN?
A Door to the U.N.
CCUN is home to many denominational offices to the U.N. as well as to other religious and secular nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative relationship with the U.N. The staff of these offices serve as communication links between their constituencies, U.N. officials and government representatives by exchanging information, providing resources and working to achieve shared goals. CCUN’s prime location puts resident NGOs, whether church-based or secular, in a key position to advance our common values of peace and justice. Key successes in the ecumenical advocacy agenda at the U.N. have included:
- Decolonization efforts and welcoming of new nations to the U.N.
- Adoption of the Law of the Sea Treaty.
- Adoption of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Migrants.
- Creation of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples.
- Advocacy regarding women’s role in peacemaking through Security Council Resolution 1325.
- Adoption of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
These and other ongoing efforts include advocacy for:
- An equitable global economy.
- Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
- Peace in the Middle East and Palestinian sovereignty.
- Nuclear nonproliferation and peacemaking.
- Sustainable development and climate justice.
- Human rights.
- Women’s human rights and gender equality.
- Racial justice through the World Conference Against Racism.
- Migration and development policy and migrant human rights.
A Ministry of Hospitality
Beginning in the years of decolonization, CCUN began making space available to individuals and groups who came to petition the U.N. for human rights and self-determination on behalf of their communities. These petitioners have included Nobel Peace Prize recipients Rigoberta Menchu Tum of Guatemala and Jose Ramos Horta of East Timor as well as representatives from liberation movements in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Amplifying Marginalized Voices
During U.N. conferences such as the Commission on the Status of Women and the Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, CCUN plays host to visitors from around the world from many religions, languages and ethnicities. It is here that scores of women, representatives from indigenous movements and others are able to gather and have their voices heard and amplified through the collaborative efforts of this community and the numerous side events, briefings and strategic conversations with governmental officials, U.N. personnel and NGOs
Ecumenical and Multifaith Collaboration
The organizations that have offices in CCUN and others who have a presence heighten their effectiveness by regular interactions with one another. Often coming together in working groups by issue, they monitor the work of U.N. agencies and member states and also seek to strengthen the commitments of governments during the drafting process of U.N. resolutions, outcome documents and conventions as well as the reviews of those documents and nations’ progress.
A Place to Learn and Become Engaged
Since its inception, CCUN has been a center of learning. For groups from across the country and around the world, CCUN has served as an entry point to learn more about international conflicts, globalization, poverty and other pressing issues through educational seminars. Today this focus continues through the United Methodist Seminar Program, which offers custom-designed, interactive seminars on complex social issues from a perspective of faith.
A Place for Research and Study
On the concourse level is the Ecumenical Women’s Resource Center. Along with the collected material of longtime friend and volunteer Kay Fraleigh, a leader in women’s global advocacy, CCUN is home to the Esther W. Hymer Collection. The donation of Ms. Hymer’s lifetime collection at the age of 96 to the resource center filled in some missing foundational documents of the women’s movement and helped make the Ecumenical Women’s Resource Center a treasure trove of documents detailing NGO work alongside the U.N. work for the advancement of women since the U.N.’s inception.