New York and Geneva
The Bahá'í International Community’s United Nations Offices represent the worldwide Bahá'í community at the UN and in other international fora, including those organized by global civil society. Our vision is rooted in the sacred scriptures of the Bahá'í Faith, which state that all human beings “have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.” We believe that every person, every community, and every nation has a part to play in building a peaceful and prosperous global society.
Our UN Offices contribute to discourses at the international level about how to realize such a society. We seek to promote a culture of cooperation and collaboration through principled and constructive interactions with diplomats, UN officials, NGO representatives, and others. We are committed to joining with others in the collective search for more effective ways to address problems of global concern.
Within the context of the UN, the BIC is recognized as an international NGO, with affiliates in over 180 countries and territories, which together represent a cross-section of humanity. The BIC engages with the UN, its member states, as well as with inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. The Office registered with the UN as an NGO recognized by the Department of Public Information in 1948 and, in 1970, was granted Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Formal associations with other UN agencies followed: the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1974; the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1976; and the (former) UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Over the years, the BIC has worked closely with the Offices of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In addition, today, the New York Office collaborates with UN Women on a regular basis.
BIC delegates from around the world have participated in major UN conferences and international gatherings—in particular, those related to gender equality, human rights, as well as social and sustainable development.
New York Office
The BIC’s New York office focuses on discourses related to gender equality, social development, sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security, and plays an active role in all relevant UN processes. Throughout its history of engagement with the UN, BIC Representatives have served on, and been elected to leadership positions on numerous NGO committees and task forces. A library of the BIC’s perspectives and formal statements on issues under consideration by the UN can be accessed here.
The BIC’s Geneva Office deals primarily with issues involving human rights. It is very active in discourses on freedom of religion or belief, minority issues, and non-discrimination. The Office also contributes to discussions concerning the complementarity of Articles 18 (freedom of religion) and 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, particularly in relation to combatting incitement to hatred.
BIC Representatives participate in sessions of the General Assembly and consistently contribute to sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, its Working Groups, and various treaty monitoring bodies. A library of the BIC’s perspectives and formal statements on issues under consideration by the UN can be accessed here.
The Office has been elected to leadership roles on the NGO Sub-Committee on Freedom of Religion and Belief (Geneva), the Committee on Racism and Racial Discrimination, and the Special Committee of International NGOs on Human Rights. The Office’s Representative has also served as a consultant for the Technical Cooperation Programme of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
BIC Representatives have attended all major UN human rights conference and regularly participate as invited experts in consultations organized by the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the European Union, the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice, as well as at the UN Forum on Minorities.
Contact for Office in New York
Ms. Bani Dugal
Principal Representative to the United Nations
Baha'i International Community
Phone: +1 212 803 2500
After-hours phone: +1 914 329 3020
Contact for Office in Geneva
Ms. Diane Ala’i
Representative to the United Nations
Baha'i International Community
Phone: +41 22 798 5400
After-hours phone: +41 78 604-0100