UN Programs

Fifty-four years of service to the global community through our work at the United Nations.

Representatives to the UN follow meetings and commissions through the year. They attend DPI Weekly Briefings, Planning Committee for DPI Conferences, World Interfaith Harmony Week, as well as the Commissions sponsored by UN Agencies, e.g. the Status of Women, Sustainable Development, Population and Development, Human Rights, and the Indigenous Peoples Forum, among many other meetings. Representatives organize Side Events during major conferences and submit consultative papers as required by their ECOSOC status.


CSW Event… March 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm

March 12th at 12:30pm in V-Hall of the Armenian Convention Center (630 2nd Ave, NY, NY)
The Essentials: Food, Water, Women and Justice

This solution-oriented session will cover transformed paradigms as well as pragmatic solutions and applications, including local growing, permaculture, safe seeds and closing the circle. This program addresses work towards MDGs #1 and #7, ending hunger and protecting the environment. We can reframe agriculture as ecosystem, as is recommended in the recent UNCTAD report, Wake Up Before It’s Too Late. This includes full cycle thinking, including focus on safe seeds and reframing waste as nutrient for the next cycle. The session will focus on international perspectives, particularly from El Salvador, as well as US based efforts. Scale and distribution issues are prevalent, and solutions include diverse local and international initiatives.

Grove Harris, convener, Temple of Understanding’s Food Initiative
Grove Harris is the Temple of Understanding’s main Representative to the United Nations.

Marta Benavides -Food Sovereignty: Insights on Global Food Justice, Case Study El Salvador
Marta Benavides of El Salvador is one of the surviving activists from the original group of human rights and peace advocates who began their work during the 1970s and the rising climate of repression. A leader of an ecumenical revolution focused on bringing peace to her country, the ordained pastor who chose “to live and not die for the revolution” has been bringing people at all levels – politics, the arts, law enforcement, agriculture and food security, environment, religion and labor – together to defend human rights and develop a culture of peace. Benavides has dedicated her life to rebuilding communities devastated by war and has brought renewal, both figurative and literal, to formerly scorched earth.

Nina Simons – The Nexus: Food, Water, Seed Control and Gender Justice:
Nina Simons is the co-founder of Bioneers, a gathering of social and scientific innovators that focuses on furthering a cooperative global culture while fostering sustainability and collaboration. With a background that spans seeds, food security, water issues, justice, sustainability and gender, Nina brings a whole-system lens that illuminates the interdependence of seemingly disparate challenges, and the optimal approach of recognizing their interconnectedness.

Jim Sniffen – UNEP’s ThinkEatSave Initiative to End Food Waste
Mr. James Sniffen is a Programme Officer in the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) He has served as a spokesman for several major international environmental conferences on subjects ranging from marine pollution to biodiversity conservation to ozone depletion.

Event Sponsors
Temple of Understanding
United Nations Environment Programme
Mining Working Group
Loretto Community
Medical Mission Sisters
Won Buddhism International
United Religions Initiative

Interfaith Consortium for Ecological Civilization (ICEC)

As a consortium of religious and secular organizations dedicated to ecological civilization, ICEC’s organizing partners are the Temple of Understanding, GreenFaith, the Forum of Religion and Ecology at Yale University, and the International Communities for the Renewal of the Earth, in consultation with the New York office of the United Nations Environmental Program. The mission of ICEC is to facilitate a dialogue among the various sectors of society on ecological civilization, gather wisdom from this dialogue that will inspire and guide individuals and social transformations, and lead in the transition to an ecological civilization.

Science, Ecology and Faith Series

Hosted by ICEC, a series of speaker or panel events has been held monthly in partnership with other NGO’s and UN Agencies focusing on climate change and sustainable development and the important role of the interfaith community as a catalyst for change.

UN Summer Intensive Internship Program

This intensive six week summer immersion program at the UN is facilitated by trained educators, NGO representatives and distinguished guests. Students, ages 16 to 21, have access to General Assembly and Security Council meetings, interviews with UN Agency staff and engage in peer dialogues on global issues. They are required to research and present a report on a chosen issue related to the Millennium Development Goals.