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Anglican Communion advocacy manager receives United Nations award

Posted on: October 30, 2019 10:39 AM
Jillian Abballe
Photo Credit: Loretto at the UN Twitter

[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] A member of the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations has been awarded a Spirit of the United Nations award in recognition of her exemplary work in promoting spirituality and values at the UN.

Advocacy Manager and Head of New York Office, Jillian Abballe, was one of five candidates to be presented with Spirit of the United Nations awards last week. She received her award under the youth category.

Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Jack Palmer White said: “This award is a wonderful opportunity to recognise Jillian’s outstanding contribution to strengthening relationships between the faith community and the United Nations, not only in her current role but throughout her time working in the FBO/UN sphere. Her ability to build collaborative partnerships, articulate complex issues in a compelling way and see opportunities for positive and transformational action are just some of the reasons why this award is so well-deserved. The growing impact that the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations is having, in New York and beyond, is testament to our dedicated team, including Jillian’s role as the head of our New York office and Advocacy Manager. I very much hope that this award is a platform for the Anglican Communion Office’s impact at the United Nations.”

Jillian is the advocacy manager and head of office for the Anglican Communion Office at the united Nations in New York, having served as interim director for the World Council of Churches’ UN Office. She is an elected Member-at-large of the Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN and has previously been co-chair of the Ecumenical WOmen at the United Nations, a coalition of 18 church-based organisations advocating for gender issues. She was also a member of the Security Council NGO Working Group as well as the UN Office on Genocide Prevention's Global Steering Committee. Jillian is pursuing a Master of Science in Global Affairs at New York University in peacebuilding and global gender studies.


Speaking after the ceremony, Jillian said she was humbled and honoured to receive the award and paid tribute to friends and colleagues who she said: “had seen me push myself, grow, and expand over the years. This award in particular is a great reminder that, despite the persistent challenges we face in our collective work, we are united in our hopes for the world in the founding spirit of the United Nations. Most importantly, we must continue mustering the spiritual resources it takes to maintain that vision - across the UN, broader civil society, and faith-based organisations.”

During the event, Vice-Chair of the Executive Council of the Committee on Spiritual Values and Global Concerns at the United Nations in New York, Rabbi Roger Ross shared a spiritual history of the UN which he said had been founded on spiritual principles with human dignity at its heart. He said: “In my humble opinion, without an underpinning of spirituality, the United Nations could never have become the source of healing and oneness it represents.”

He explained how the awards are managed by the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns (Geneva & New York) which aims to bring spiritual and values dimensions in all areas of the United Nations agenda and public policy.