Bruce Knotts, executive director of the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO), has been elected as the new chair of the Executive Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations Associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI/NGO).
Knotts, who became director of the UU-UNO in 2008 after serving with the U.S. Department of State for twenty-three years in positions around the world, was elected by his peers to head DPI/NGO, which coordinates hundreds of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that work with the UN. It also sponsors an annual conference for NGOs. This year’s conference, focused on “Education for Global Citizenship,” will take place in South Korea in May.
Knotts said one of his priorities is to ensure that the conference emphasizes broadly inclusive education, including for refugees and children in armed conflict. “Particularly in the area of inclusion of LGBTIQ people, there is not always enthusiastic support, especially from some of the Christian Korean counterparts we work with,” said Knotts. “A lot of diplomatic work is necessary, building alliances and giving opponents what they need in order to get our values well-represented at the conference.” He added, “I have with delight supported efforts to include peace education, indigenous voices, education for sustainable development, and more.”
“Bruce is so broadly qualified and educated in so many different fields and functions, and a lot of that comes through his Unitarian Universalism as well [because] UUs are so broadminded in focus,” said Bill Hunter, director of International Outreach at Lehigh University, where he manages the partnership between Lehigh and the UN.