Brahma Kumaris at the United Nations

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Aims and Purpose

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) of the United Nations, in general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council. It is also affiliated to the UN Department of Public Information. Through its international network of centers in 108 countries, the Brahma Kumaris provides people with opportunities and settings to voice their opinions on critical matters that impact their daily lives and ensures that their messages make their way back to the UN through written and oral statements and other publications presented at UN conferences and meetings.

The principles of the Brahma Kumaris are aligned in particular with the tenet contained in the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations “… to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person….” The Brahma Kumaris strives always to promote awareness and highlight the great aspirations of the purpose and principles of the UN.

Aims and Purpose

•To awaken all people to a set of higher values, which inspire human action in the service of the widest possible good.

•To provide a simple and accessible education in spiritual and moral understanding of universal spiritual principles and values to build inner strength and capacity.

•To reaffirm the spiritual identity, inherent goodness, worth, and dignity of the human being to foster a spirit of universal brotherhood.

•To bring about a change of awareness, attitude, vision, and action as the foundation for world-benefiting change.

•To explore human-centered development by offering spiritual perspectives on secular issues and facilitating a greater recognition of rights and responsibilities.


Spiritual Context:

At the core of the Brahma Kumaris’ work is the understanding of the connection among awareness, attitude, vision, action, and world. All real change – big changes in the world and small changes in a single life – occurs as a sequence of subtle shifts, beginning with a change in awareness. A change in awareness precipitates a change in attitude; one’s attitude colors one’s vision; when we see the world in a new way, we can no longer take the same action we would have taken before; and our new actions generate a new world. So the subtle sequence for all real change is awareness, attitude, vision, action, the world. This subtle sequence is referred to as a “spiritual trajectory.”

This spiritual trajectory is values-neutral. The way one chooses to apply this, however, can have either positive or negative outcomes. Whether the global future is bright or dark, or whether the path is filled with misery or hope, depends on individual or collective choice. This spiritual trajectory is the vital force that influences whether we move towards a socially, ecologically, and spiritually satisfying future or whether we move into further violence, poverty, and environmental degradation.


The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is a non-governmental organization in general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), in consultative status with UNICEF and affiliated to the Department of Public Information (DPI). It is also an accredited observer organization to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is a non-governmental organization
What is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO)?
The United Nations is both a participant in and a witness to an increasingly global civil society. More and more, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society organizations (CSOs) are UN system partners and valuable UN links to civil society. CSOs play a key role at major United Nations Conferences and are indispensable partners for UN efforts at the country level. NGOs are consulted on UN policy and programme matters. The UN organizes and hosts, on a regular basis, briefings, meetings and conferences for NGO representatives who are accredited to UN offices, programmes and agencies.

General consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC),
What is consultative status with the United Nations?
The first time that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) took a role in formal UN deliberations was through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1946. Article 71 of the UN Charter opened the door for suitable arrangements for consultation with NGOs. This relationship with ECOSOC is governed today by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31. International, regional and national NGOs, non-profit public or voluntary organizations are eligible to obtain consultative status. There are three categories of status: General, special and roster consultative status.

There are presently 3743 organizations in Consultative Status with ECOSOC. 146 of them have General Consultative Status.

The Brahma Kumaris have been in Consultative Status with ECOSOC since 1983
• Granted Roster Status by the ECOSOC in 1983.

• “The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations decided this morning to grant consultative status with the Economic and Social Council to the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, a non-governmental organization. … The organization was placed on the Council’s Roster.
(NGO/68 9 February 1983 Press Section, United Nations, New York)

• Granted General Consultative Status, at the ECOSOC substantive session of 1998.
“I would like to inform you that the Economic and Social Council, at its substantive session of 1998, decided to grant General consultative status to your organization. … Kindly also note that Part IX, paragraph 61© of Council Resolution 1996/31 requests your organization submit quadrennial reports on their activities in support of the United Nations.”
Letter from Hanifa Mezoui, Chief NGO Section,
Department for Economic and Social Affairs, dated 11 September, 1998)

Affiliated to the Department of Public Information (DPI).
What is affiliation to DPI?
The Department of Public Information and NGOs cooperate regularly. NGOs associated with DPI disseminate information about the UN to their membership, thereby building knowledge of and support for the Organization at the grassroots level. This dissemination includes:
Publicizing UN activities around the world on such issues as peace and security, economic and social development, human rights, humanitarian affairs and international law;
Promoting UN observances and international years established by the General Assembly to focus world attention on important issues facing humanity.

The Brahma Kumaris have been affiliated to the Department of Public information since September 1980.
“It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Brahma Kumaris has been approved for listing with the Department of Public Information. …We look forward to a mutually valuable association. … You are most cordially welcome to join us for what I sincerely believe should provide an exciting and rewarding experience in grappling with the very serious problems facing us and in helping to forge realistic solutions so that we may all enjoy a safer and more humane world.”
(Letter from Sally Swing Shelley, Chief NGO Section, Department of Public Information, dated 30 September, 1980)

Consultative status with UNICEF
What is partnership with UNICEF?
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) play a critical role in supporting UNICEF efforts to deliver results for children. The CSOs that work with UNICEF are infinitely diverse, offering a broad range of specialized knowledge and experience in areas pertaining to children. It is this diversity that produces some of the most innovative and effective achievements for children. The common thread linking UNICEF partnerships with CSOs is the shared objective of realizing children’s rights.

The Brahma Kumaris was welcomed into consultative Status with UNICEF in September 1987
“We take great pleasure in welcoming the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University into consultative status with UNICEF. Following your letter of application dated 18 August, we have received confirmation of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, a principal requirement for formal association with UNICEF. … Thank you for your commitment to the work of UNICEF, and I look forward to working with your organization in areas of mutual concern.”
(Letter from Allegra Morreli, Deputy Director, Division of Information and Public Affairs, UNICEF, dated 9 September, 1987.)

Accredited observer organization to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Civil society engages with the climate change process through representative non-governmental observer organizations. Article 7, paragraph 6, of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change provides for the admission of non-governmental organizations to sessions of the Convention bodies as observers. New applicant organizations are formally admitted by the Conference of the Parties following the successful completion of the admission process.

The Brahma Kumaris have been an accredited observer organization to UNFCCC since 2009.

Contact us:

866 United Nations Plaza
Suite 436
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 688 1335
Fax: (212) 504 2798

Rue Joseph Pasquier 9
1203 Geneve