International Affairs, Peace & Human Security

The WCC and the United Nations

For over 50 years, the WCC, through the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), has maintained a constant and active presence at the United Nations. In the early years there were offices in New York (UN Headquarters), London, Geneva (UNHCR and ILO), Paris (UNESCO), and close liaison with Rome (FAO). Today only the Geneva and New York UN Headquarters Liaison Offices remain, though consultative relations have further been established with virtually the whole family of UN-related agencies (UNEP, UNDP, UNCTAD, WHO, etc.) History and overview

WCC role in international affairs

For many years the WCC has facilitated the participation of Indigenous peoples' representatives to meetings of the UN Human Rights Commission and its Working Group on Indigenous Peoples. Here, Indigenous representatives demonstrate at the Group's 15th session, Geneva, 1997.
The UN offices in New York and Geneva are part of the WCC International Affairs, Peace & Human Security Team. In relation to the UN, WCC International Affairs, Peace & Human Security:
  • monitors UN processes and informs appropriate WCC staff
  • advises and assists in the formulation of WCC policies on international affairs and how they are to be represented at the UN
  • shares with the churches information and analysis on critical political issues, viewed in part through UN work and debates
  • arranges for and promotes research on selected problems of international justice, world order and peace, and uses the results to further ecumenical priorities in the UN.
  • makes representations to governments in accordance with WCC policies
  • develops relationships with non-governmental organizations and provides contacts with the UN and related regional bodies
  • represents the WCC or provides for its representation before these international bodies
  • represents, facilitates and helps coordinate the representation of member churches, related international Christian organizations and non-member churches before such international bodies.

In addition, International Affairs, Peace & Human Security staff, through its UN offices, coordinate the UN-related work of many other WCC teams (Justice, Peace and Creation, Education and Ecumenical Formation, Mission and Evangelism, Regional Relations) to facilitate their work in a wide variety of areas, and to ensure coherence in the WCC's representations to UN bodies. As it does so, it seeks to demonstrate the ecumenical movement's long-standing commitment to the UN and the ideals embodied in the UN Charter and to give voice to the ethical, moral and spiritual values which must undergird international relations.

New York:
WCC/CCIA United Nations Headquarters Liaison Office
777 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Telephone: +1-212-867-5890
Fax: +1-212-867-7462
Email: WCC Contact
Return to main International Affairs, Peace & Human Security page Geneva:
Central Office
P.O. Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2
Telephone: +41-22-791-6111
Fax: +41 22 791 2122
E-mail: WCC Contact