WEA at the United Nations | Updates from WEA United Nations Offices in Geneva, New York and Bonn


WEA at UN :

May 2023 Newsletter

Dear friends,

WEA’s UN teams work with WEA’s members to advance human rights, religious freedom and creation care through the United Nations. And recent months were quite busy! WEA’s UN teams addressed issues as varied as the impact of sanctions on ministries and humanitarian work, religious freedom in Iran, India and Algeria, the impact of technology on violence against women, and fair and unrestricted access to water and sanitation!

The following newsletter presents you with a glimpse into our public advocacy.

WEA Global Advocacy team


Reversing The Trend: Minority Rights In India | Webinar, October 3, 2022. Watch the recording here.

Assessing Freedom of Religion or Belief in Algeria | Webinar, October 14, 2022. Watch the recording here.

Nigeria | Wissam al Saliby, Director of the WEA Geneva office, spoke with James Akinyele, Secretary General of the Nigeria Evangelical Fellowship, and discussed how Evangelicals worldwide can support the churches in Nigeria, and what the Fellowship is advocating for in Nigeria. The conversation took place on the margins of the Consultation on the Impact of Religious Extremism on Missions, held in Abuja, from the 21-24 November, 2022.

Creation Care in 2023 | On 24 January 2023, the World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center and the Lausanne WEA Creation Care Network invited creation care practitioners from around the world and anyone passionate about creation care to the virtual forum “Looking Ahead: Creation Care 2023” with contributions from various countries and a variety of partners. The event dealt with the hot topics, key challenges, and expected progress in creation care in 2023 and looked at what major events are coming up and what trends and developments creation care practitioners should keep an eye on. Watch the recording here.

International Religious Freedom Summit 2023 | John Girgis, WEA’s New York Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Kyle Wisdom, Associate Director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF), participated in the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, DC on January 31 and February 1. They were able to network with many global leaders who promote freedom of religion or belief.

Sanctions (Or Unilateral Coercive Measures in UN language) | On 10 March 2023, the WEA together with partners published a research that provides a systematic overview of the challenges sanctions pose to the humanitarian work of churches, and explores pathways for addressing these challenges. The report was launched on the occasion of a side-event in conjunction with the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council, in Geneva.

Water Justice | “Faith Community is a Blue Community” was the title of a hybrid side event on World Water Day 2023 that WEA had jointly organized and co-sponsored together with partners on Wednesday, 22 March 2023. The session took place in the context of the UN Water Conference in New York at the UN Church Center. Read more and watch the recording here.

Iran | On 23 March 2023, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Article18, Middle East Concern, and Open Doors International launched their fifth joint annual report on Rights Violations Against Christians in Iran. The report was launched during an event in partnership with the WEA, in conjunction with the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council. You can watch the full conference here:


Jordan | Thomas Schirrmacher and the WEA delegation to the UN, met with H.E. Mahmoud Hmoud, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations. The Ambassador expressed his interest in working together with the WEA and relevant key players to advance “Biblical Tourism” in Jordan and the MENA region, a request that was emphasized at the MENA General Assembly in September 2022 in Jordan.

Iran | John Girgis met with the newly appointed Ambassador to the United Nations from Iran, H.E. Amir Saied Iravani. The courtesy meeting was part of the WEA’s diplomatic engagements with Member States of the United Nations in New York and largely focused on ongoing global tensions and strains. John noted that the WEA will continue to advocate for all human rights, peace and security globally and encouraged respect for all human life.

Kenya | John Girgis met with H.E. Martin Kimani, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations on February 6, 2023. The courtesy meeting focused on the WEA’s ongoing work in Kenya and the region as well as introducing the WEA to the Kenya mission for an open engagement in many areas of interest including on peace & security, development, and creation care. They also shared updates leading up to the meeting between WEA Secretary General Thomas Schirrmacher and Kenyan President William Ruto in Nairobi on February 17. They discussed the progress of the global SDGs and the role of all stakeholders.


(CSW) 2023

New York City | The 67th session of Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67), the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls and their human rights, was held from 6th to 17th March 2023. This session acknowledged the critical role of technology and innovation in achieving gender equality.

The WEA New York office together with the WEA Women’s Commission hosted a webinar event on March 9th, under the theme: Violence against women. Does technology help or hinder?

Read more and watch the webinar recording here.


In late March 2023, a team of WEA colleagues from the WEA Sustainability Center in Bonn and the WEA New York Office participated in the UN Water Conference at the UN headquarters in New York to monitor its debates and decisions for the global evangelical community. On Friday, March 24, the conference came to a successful conclusion, even though the commitments and decisions could have been more ambitious and stronger in light of the global water and sanitation crisis. The most important result is the Water Action Agenda, for whose implementation voluntary commitments were registered by conference participants. At the end of the UN 2023 Water Conference, the total number of commitments was 708 and according to Csaba Kőrösi, President of the UN General Assembly, financial pledges made equal USD 300 billion. Another commendable outcome of the conference is the announcement that the role of a “UN Special Envoy for Water” will be established for the first time. The WEA team has published daily update articles (follow the links): Day 1Day 2Day 3Special article on the WEA’s side event during the UN Water Conference


Sudan | Oral statement calling on Sudan for the swift return to civilian rule in the country and immediate action to be taken to address violations of the rights of religious minorities. March 3, 2023.

Armenia – Azerbaijan | Oral statement calling on Azerbaijan for the immediate lifting of the blockade to allow for the two-side free and safe passage of civilians, transport and goods along the corridor and to guarantee unimpeded humanitarian access to urgently alleviate the suffering of the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and promote the full enjoyment of fundamental human rights of all without any discrimination. March 8, 2023.

Recognition & Registration of Religious Communities | Oral statement on freedom of religion or belief and the challenges to the legal recognition and registration of religious communities to establish and maintain religious, charitable or humanitarian institutions. March 13, 2023.

Syria | Oral statement by NewHumanity, co-sponsored by WEA, calling on sanctioning States to remove all the sanctions that prevent the Syrians from accessing basic needs and services, essential health supplies and that inhibit the reconstruction of basic infrastructure destroyed by the ongoing conflict and by the earthquake.

Religious Minorities in India & Algeria | Oral statement calling on Algeria to cease all prosecutions against Christians and allow forcibly closed Protestant churches to reopen, and calling on India to ensure order and safety for the 2500 forcibly displaced Adivasi Christians of Chhattisgarh so that they can return home without the risk of being attacked on the basis of their religion. March 22, 2023.

Algeria | Oral statement calling on the government of Algeria to allow forcibly closed Protestant churches to reopen and to drop all the unfair court cases and accusations against Christians. March 27, 2023.

India | Oral statement by WEA and a multi-faith coalition, calling on India to guarantee the safety of all Dalit and Adivasi Indians, to investigate and condemn all cases of religious violence and discrimination on religious grounds, to repeal anti-conversion laws, and to repeal religious references in the ‘Scheduled Caste’ Constitutional Order of 1950 which exclude Christian and Muslim Dalits from accessing affirmative action benefits. March 27, 2023.


France | On 11 October 2022, the WEA, the Conseil National des Évangéliques de France (CNEF), the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA), and the European Baptist Federation (EBF) submitted a joint report to the Human Rights Council ahead of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of France scheduled for May 2023 during the UPR 43rd session. Our joint submission reported on the situation of freedom of religion or belief and freedom of conscience in France in the context of increased State surveillance of religious worship, Covid-19 Pandemic, the increasing of anti-religious acts of violence and hate speech, and lack of tolerance towards minoritarian opinions or convictions.

Canada | On 31 March 2023, the WEA and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) submitted a joint report to the Human Rights Council ahead of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Canada scheduled for November 2023 during the UPR 44th session. Our joint submission reported on the situation of the right to life in Canada, protection of persons with disabilities and Medical Assistance in Dying, on protection of women and girls from sexual exploitation, prostitution and human trafficking, on protection of children from pornography, and freedom of religion and non-discrimination on the basis of religion.


In March 2022, the Geneva office had the pleasure to welcome Matthieu Volet as our Refugee Advocacy Officer. Matthieu is a member of the Salvation Army. He completed a master’s degree in political science and is now ready to serve with his newly acquired skills. Matthieu has been touched by the suffering he witnessed around the world and wants to act upon it. With the help of God, he is willing to participate in making this world a better place and calls for peace and justice for the forgotten.


Rev. Allen Drew joined the WEA New York office as the Advocate for Creation Care at the United Nations in February 2023. He will closely work with the WEA Sustainability Center on creation care issues at the United Nations. Allen is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church, North America (CRCNA) with 10 years of experience as a church planter. He lives in Philadelphia and serves as the East Coast Regional Organizer for the Climate Witness Project, which focuses on engaging and equipping the church to take meaningful action on the climate crisis. He is also the chief organizer for the Hunting Park Community Solar Initiative.  



Rev. Dr. Samuel Richmond Saxena has recently joined the WEA Sustainability Center as the new Project Support Officer. Dr. Richmond is an Indian educator, environmentalist, musician and eco-theologian. He is presently serving as Director, Centre For Advanced Religious Studies, North East Christian University, Nagaland. He is also Academic Consultant at Caleb Institute, Gurgaon (NCR New Delhi). As an author Dr. Richmond has written book on Contemporary Issues in Science and Theology published by ISPCK. Number of his articles are published in national and international journals as well as book chapters. He is married to Delicia Howell and blessed with two children Jane Esther (12 yrs.) and Sam John (7 yrs.).


Radio R | ONU Genève : l’Algérie et ses violations de la liberté religieuse à l’endroit des Eglises protestantes é l’examen périodique universel, November 4, 2022.

GLAUBE.at | Evangelische Allianz beruft neuen Vertreter bei den Vereinten Nationen in Genf, November 14, 2022.

Evangelical Focus | COP27: “Faith actors make a difference – solving the environmental problem is not just about data and policy tools”, November 22, 2022.

IDEA e.V. Evangelische Nachrichtenagentur | Mehr Gerechtigkeit in Zeiten des Klimawandels – Evangelikale Christen bei der UN-Klimakonferenz in Ägypten – Ein Kommentar von Matthias Boehning, November 29, 2022.

Info Chrétienne | Des responsables évangéliques africains appellent les croyants à agir pour sauver leur continent, December 12, 2022.

Evangelical Focus | World Evangelical Alliance supports UN agreement to protect biodiversity, December 22, 2022.

Evangelical Focus | UN to hear report on how exercise of religious freedom is used to violate LGBT rights, January 30, 2023.

Christianity Today | Speaking for Evangelicals at the UN, Gaetan Roy Seeks to Serve, March 13, 2023.

IDEA e.V. Evangelische Nachrichtenagentur | Christen sollten Hoffnungsspezialisten sein – Frühjahrsempfang der Evangelischen Allianz und von Hilfsorganisationen, March 16, 2023.

Évangéliques.info | Syrie: Les transactions humanitaires sont bridées, les chrétiens se réunissent, March 16, 2023.

Evangelical Focus | Christians denounce sanctions prevented the arrival of aid to Syria after the earthquake, March 17, 2023.

The Geneva Office Calls on Evangelical Alliances to Nominate a Candidate for the Geneva Human Rights Experience!

The Geneva Office has the pleasure to invite national Evangelical alliances to nominate candidates to volunteer with our office. The two-months program includes one month remote preparation, and one month all expenses paid internship in Geneva during a Human Rights Council session. This exciting opportunity will allow a young man or woman affiliated with a WEA member to engage in human rights advocacy and contribute to a Human Rights Council session. The Geneva Human Rights Experience is a partnership between the Geneva Office and national Evangelical alliances.

To learn more and to nominate candidates, contact us at [email protected]

Would you like to invest in building the advocacy capacity of Evangelical Alliances? You can support the Geneva Human Rights Experience through a donation to cover the annual costs of CHF 5’000.

Partner with Us!

WEA’s UN offices in Geneva, New York and Bonn need to increase capacity to respond to the advocacy requests from our global Evangelical constituency. If you are interested in becoming partners and support our advocacy work, please contact us.

For donations, please visit www.worldea.org/donate where you may select to donate towards the Global Advocacy.

Click here for more Information on our website. You can also register directly here.