What is the Brahma Kumaris’ relationship with the United Nations?

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU), with its spiritual headquarters in Mt. Abu, India, comprises a worldwide network of centers in 110 countries and is an international non-governmental organization of the United Nations accredited with General Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); Associate Status with the Department of Public Information (DPI); Consultative Status with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Observer Status to the United Nations Environment Assembly of UNEP; Observer Organization to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Flagship Member of Education for Rural People (ERP), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

How old is the Brahma Kumaris’ relationship with the UN?

The Brahma Kumaris became affiliated to the DPI in 1980 and to ECOSOC in 1983. To UNICEF in 1987, UNFCCC in 2009, and UNEP in 2014.

What are the aims and purposes of the Brahma Kumaris and its course of action?

To clarify spiritual and moral perspectives on issues of personal, community and global concerns; to facilitate a greater awareness of corresponding rights and responsibilities; to foster sustainable human-centered development, the support of economic, social, environmental and human well-being; and the promotion of gender equality.

How does the Brahma Kumaris contribute to the work of the UN?

In promoting the purpose and principles of the United Nations Charter, the trajectory of awareness, attitude, vision, and action is used in the areas of the Millennium Development Goals, Climate Change, Food Crisis, Gender Equality, Global Public Health, Humanitarian Emergencies, Human Rights, Women, Children, Youth, International Decades, Days.

Attend UN conferences, prep coms, commissions; present oral and written statements; hosts parallel events and exhibitions; work with NGO committees and caucuses.

What UN Conferences have the Brahma Kumaris participated in over the years?

80’s – the Brahma Kumaris initiated various outreach projects including The Million Minutes of Peace Appeal, and Global Cooperation for a Better World.
90’s — the Brahma Kumaris participated in most UN world conferences which included conferences and summits on Ageing, Sustainable Development, The Earth Summit, Information Society, Women, Civil Society, Decent Work, Human Rights, Social Development, Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance, Human Settlements, Religious and Spiritual Leaders, Health and Youth.
2000 – the Brahma Kumaris focused on the Millennium Development Goals
2010 — the Brahma Kumaris’ focus on the Environment and participated in:
United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC):
Sessions attended, written statements, parallel events, exhibitions
• Bonn Climate Change Conference, June, Germany.
• COP 16 (United Nations Conference of Parties), November/ December, 2010 Cancun, Mexico
• COP 17, November/December, 2011 Durban, South Africa
• COP18, November/December, 2012, Doha, Qatar.
• COP 19, November 2013, Warsaw, Poland.
• The 9th Global Climate Conference of Youth (COY 9) November, 2013, Warsaw, Poland.
UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20)
• Attended regional preparations for Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia Pacific Region, Africa Region and partners and Europe
• Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, 20-22 June, 2012, Rio, Brazil – written statement, parallel events, exhibits.
• Rio+20 People’s Summit, 15-23 June, 2012, Rio, Brazil, workshops, exhibits.
Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity
• COP 11 October 2012, Hyderabad, India
• COP12, October 2014, Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea

What specific projects has the Brahma Kumaris contributed in bringing UN programmes to the masses worldwide?

The Brahma Kumaris initiated and implemented global projects to help raise awareness on the significance of the UN programs of action on people’s lives and realities:
• The Million Minutes of Peace Appeal, held in observance of the International Year of Peace, in 1986. Brahma Kumaris centres in seven countries received Peace Messenger Awards for their significant contribution.
• Global Co-operation for a Better World, a peace messenger initiative, was a follow-up to the work done during 1986 and reached out to people in 129 countries, asking them for their vision of a better world. This was compiled in a book entitled, “Visions of a Better World.”
• Sharing Our Values for a Better World, a programme to honour the UN 50th Anniversary, in which people were asked to identify values that gave meaning to the lives of people in their country. A book entitled “Living Values: A Guidebook” was dedicated to the UN 50.
• International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. The university signed a partnership agreement with UNESCO and was designated as a “Messenger for Manifesto 2000”. It actively promoted Manifesto 2000, collecting over 37 million signed pledges by individuals to implement it. The university also organised “Flagship” and other events in 51 countries and held numerous seminars and workshops regarding and promoting the principles and values underlying a culture of peace.

What are some of the on-going activities in support of UN programmes?

Annual observance of UN-dedicated days such as:
• International Women’s Day (March 8)
• International Day of Happiness (March 20)
• World Health Day (7 April)
• World Environment Day (June 5)
• International Day of Peace, (Sept 21)
• International Youth Day (Aug 12)
• International Day of Older Persons (Oct 1)
• International Day of Non-violence (Oct 2)
• United Nations Day (Oct 24)
• International Day of Tolerance. (November 16)
• International Day of Remembrance dedicated to Road Traffic Victims (3rd Sunday of November)
• Human Rights Day (December 10)
Weeks such as:
• World Interfaith Harmony week (1-7 February)
• UN Global Road Safety Week (23-29 April).
Decades such as:
• United Nations Decade of Sustainable Development for All (2014-2024);
• United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety (2011-2020)
• United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (2011-2020)
Other Activities
• Promote Gender Equality and Empowerment of Young Women through the Commission on the Status of Women.
• A world-wide initiative on the Spiritual Dimension of Decent Work, in support of the International Labour Organization’s Decent Work Agenda.
• Research and development of Renewable Energy to ensure environmental sustainability.
• Reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health through the Global Hospital and Research Centre.
• Values in Healthcare: A Spiritual Approach, a personal and team development programme for healthcare practitioners in partnership with the Janki Foundation.
• The Call-of-the-Time Dialogue Series: is convened annually in Oxford UK bringing together seasoned and young leaders representing diverse issues and different disciplines. The common thread being an understanding of the double helix of the spiritual and secular.
• The Future of Power: is a series of exclusive conversations exploring the forthcoming ‘shifts in power’ and their impact on leadership in the 21st Century.
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