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1929 4 Mar The Council of the League of Nations adopted the conclusion reached by the Mandates Commissions upholding the claim of the Bahá’í community to the House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád. They directed the Mandatory Power (Great Britain) to make representations to the government of Iraq with a view of the immediate redress of the injustice suffered by the petitioners (NSA of Iraq). Also, the International Baha'i Bureau was asked by the League's Publishing Bureau for a short historical account that appeared in that same year's publication. [BW3:50-55; BIC History page 18 Mar 1928]
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s response to this see BW3:206–9 and BA175-180.
  • See Minutes of the Sixteenth Session, 1929, by Permanent Mandates Commission
  • Baghdad; Iraq; Geneva League of Nations; House of Bahaullah (Baghdad)
    1929 18 Mar The International Bahá'í Bureau was recognized by the League of Nations. [BIC History Timeline] [key] New York, NY League of Nations; Bahai International Community
    1930 18 Mar The International Bahá'í Bureau was registered as an International Working Unit by the League of Nations. [BIC History page 18 Mar 1939] [key] BIC; League of Nations; Bahai International Community
    1933 18 Mar After five years of deliberations and intervention from the League of Nations, the Iraqi government decided to protect the house as part of an urban improvement plan. The property was originally designated for destruction. [BIC History page 18 Mar 1933] [key] Baghdad; Iraq House of Bahaullah (Baghdad)
    1947 18 May The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States and Canada was accredited by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization with observer status. [BW12:597; PP303; BIC site History 18 May 1947] [key] New York; United States National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada; United Nations; NGO; BIC; Bahai International Community
    1947 18 Jun The International Bahá'í Bureau contributed to the preparatory work of the Human Rights Commission for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [BIC History 18 Jun 1947] [key] New York, NY UN; Bahai International Community; BIC
    1948 18 Apr The name ‘Bahá’í International Community’ was first used to refer to the eight existing National Spiritual Assemblies recognized collectively as a non-governmental organization. Those Assemblies were those of North America; the British Isles; Germany and Austria; Egypt and Sfidan; ‘Iráq; Iran (Persia); India, Pakistan and Burma; and Australia and New Zealand. Subsequently to these eight bodies were added the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of Canada, of Central America and of South America. Each National Spiritual Assembly in its application established the National Assembly of the United States as its representative in relation to the United Nations. [BBRSM149; BW11:43; BW12:597; BIC History 18 April 1948]
  • The Bahá’í International Community evolved to become an international non-governmental organization with affiliates in over 180 countries and territories, which together represent over 5-6 million members of the Bahá’í Faith. As an international NGO, the Office interacts and cooperates with the United Nations, its specialized agencies, with governments, as well as with inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. The BIC seeks to promote and apply principles — derived from the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith — which contribute to the resolution of current day challenges facing humanity and the development of a united, peaceful, just, and sustainable civilization. The work of the BIC focuses on the promotion of a universal standard for human rights, the advancement of women, and the promotion of just and equitable means of global prosperity.
  • Mildred Mottahedeh was appointed to serve as the accredited Bahá’í International Observer, a post she held as a volunteer for almost 20 years. [BW12:601]
  • The following is a list of UN agencies with whom the BIC has representation: United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Health Organization (WHO).
  • In the Ridván Message of 2001, the Universal House of Justice wrote:
      On many occasions during this one-year endeavour, the external affairs of the Faith were especially visible. Consider, for example, the instances of Bahá’í representatives' having participated prominently in the millennial events that took place in May, August and September at the urging of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The implications of so close and conspicuous an involvement of the Bahá’í International Community with the processes of the Lesser Peace will require the passage of time to be properly understood. (emphasis added)
  • New York; United States BIC; NGO; Bahai International Community (general); Mildred Mottahedeh; UNICEF; UNIFEM; UNEP; Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); World Health Organization (WHO); Firsts, Other; - Basic timeline, Expanded; Shoghi Effendi, Life of The name ‘Bahá’í International Community’ is first used
    1948 18 Jun The Bahá’í International Community took part in its first United Nations conference, on human rights. [BW11:43; BIC History 18 June 1948] [key] Geneva Bahai International Community; BIC; United Nations; Human rights first United Nations conference, on human rights
    1949 4 - 9 Apr Bahá’í delegation to the United Nations International Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations consisted of Amin Banani, Mildred R. Mottahedeh, Hilda Yen and Matthew Bullock. [BIC History 1949} Lake Success, NY BIC; Bahai International Community; Amin Banani; Mildred Mottahedeh; Hilda Yen; Matthew Bullock.
    1955 18 Apr After the violent storm of persecutions against the Bahá'í's in Iran broke loose, the Bahá'í International Community delegates presented their case and Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, intervened with the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs and brought an immediate end to the physical persecution and lifted the danger of a massacre. [Bahá'í International Community History, 18 April 1955] [key] Iran UN; United Nations; Persecution, Iran; Bahai International Community
    1965 18 Mar The Bahá’í International Community established its own offices in the United Nations Plaza Building in New York. [BW14:90, BIC-History] [key] New York Bahai International Community; United Nations
    1970 27 May The Bahá’í International Community was granted consultative status, category II, by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations [BBRSM149; BW15:178, 366; BW16:333; BW19:30; VV54]
  • As a result, the Bahá’í International Community began to be represented at sessions of UN bodies addressing a wide range of issues of particular interest to Bahá’ís, including human rights, social development, status of women, environment, human settlements, agriculture, science and technology, new and renewable resources, population, law of the sea, crime prevention, narcotic drugs, children, youth, the family, disabled persons, the ageing, the United Nations University and disarmament.
  • At such sessions the Bahá’í International Community offers statements on the Bahá’í position on the subject under discussion.
  • Prior to this date individuals were accredited as "observer" representatives of the "Bahá'í International Community" which originally had been established in 1947 under the auspices of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States. Individuals who served as observer representatives on a part-time basis were Mildred Mottahedeh, Dr Ugo Giachery, John Ferraby, 'Azíz Navidi and Dr Amin Banáni among others. In 1963 the responsibility for the BIC was transferred to the Universal House of Justice and in 1965 permanent offices were established in New York with a full-time representative appointed. The first representative was Mildred Mottahedeh who soon asked to be replaced. Dr Victor de Arujo served for 23 years until his retirement in January, 1991. [BW15p358-367]
  • Bahá’í International Community Representative, Victor de Araujo, was elected to the Executive Board of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations. [BIC History 1970] [key]
  • New York; United States Bahai International Community; United Nations; Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); Mildred Mottahedeh; Ugo Giachery; John Ferraby; Aziz Navidi; Amin Banani; Victor de Araujo
    1971 18 Apr The Bahá'í International Community appointed a representative to the UN in Geneva. [BIC History 1971] Geneva Bahai International Community
    1974 1 Dec The Bahá'í International Community appointed a representative in Nairobi. [BIC History 1974] [key] Nairobi; Kenya BIC; Bahai International Community
    1976 8 Mar The Bahá’í International Community was granted consultative status with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). [BIC History Consultative Status; BW16:337–8; VV54] [key] New York; United States United Nations; UNICEF; Bahai International Community
    1978 14 - 26 Aug The Bahá'í International Community participated in the first World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination and sent a delegation of African, European, and Asian backgrounds to participate. A major focus on the conference was South Africa's apartheid policies of racial segregation and discrimination. [BIC History 1978]
  • See the declaration submitted by the Bahá'í International Community.
  • See the resolutions adopted.
  • Declaration and Programme of Action
  • Geneva Bahai International Community; Racism; United Nations; BIC statements
    1979 12 Jun The UN Conference entitled "The Human Factor in Science and Technology for Development" was held in New York. Those attending on behalf of the Bahá'í International Community were: Dr. Will C. van den Hoonaard, Alternative Representative of the Baha'i International Community; Dr. K.H. Standke, Director, UN Office of Science and Technology for Development; Mr. Jurge Mahner, Special Fellow, UN Institute for Training and Research; Mr. John Edmonds, Engineer, Baha'i; and Ms. Susan Berge, Economist, Baha'i. [BIC History Science and Technology for Development] [key] New York; United States Bahai International Community; United Nations conferences
    1980 14 - 30 Jul Representatives of the Bahá'í International Community participated in the Second World Conference of Women in Copenhagen, Denmark and its preparatory conferences in Paris, New Delhi, Macuto (Venezuela) and Lusaka (Zambia). [Wikipedia; BIC History Second World Conference on Women]
  • The BIC presented two statements, Equality, development and peace; and Universal Values for the Advancement of Women.
  • Report of the World Conference of the UN Decade for Women; Equality, Develpment and Peace. (pdf)
  • Copenhagen; Denmark UN; United Nations; Bahai International Community; BIC statements
    1981 (In the year) The persecution of the Bahá’ís of Iran continued throughout the year. [BW18:92]
  • Forty–six Bahá’ís were executed and two assassinated. [BW18:292–3; BW19:230–1]
  • For pictures of the martyrs see BW18:295–305 and BW19:236–46.
  • For accounts of some of the martyrdoms see BW18:277–8, 281–4.
  • For excerpts from the wills of some of the martyrs see BW18:284–9.
  • For a list of resolutions adopted by the United Nations, regional bodies, national and provincial governments, and other actions taken, see BW18:92–6 and BW19:44–6.
  • For a list of the actions taken by the Bahá’í International Community, Bahá’í institutions and others see BW18:341–5, 417–20.
  • See Archives of Bahá'í Persecution in Iran for an edited video recording of the secret trial of the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran at Evin Prison in Tehran. (In Farsi)
  • During the year the Bahá'í International Community made its first appeal to the UN Commission in Human Rights to address the situation of the Bahá'í Community in Iran. [BIC History 1981] [key]
  • Iran Persecution, Iran; Persecution, Deaths; Persecution; United Nations; Bahai International Community; Human rights; NSA
    1981 1 Jan The European branch office of the Bahá’í International Community was established in Geneva. [BW19:33, VV54, BIC-History] [key] Geneva; Switzerland BIC; Bahai International Community
    1984 19 Oct The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) appointed Andrés Aguilar of Venezuela as its Special Representative to Iran on human rights. Iran refused to engage with him and he eventually resigned in 1986, unable to persuade Iranian officials to cooperate with him in any way. [Wikipedia; BIC site History] [key] New York, NY UN; United Nations; UNHCR; Andres Aguilar; Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran; Bahai International Community
    1996 03 - 14 Jun The Bahá'í International Community and 150 Bahá'ís from many countries participated in the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and the parallel Non-Governmental Organization Forum in Istanbul. [BINS365:5]
  • The Bahá'í International Community presented a statement entitled Sustainable Communities in an Integrating World to the Plenary . [BIC History Habitat II] [key]
  • Istanbul; Turkey United Nations; Migration; Bahai International Community; BIC statements
    1996 1 Aug The Bahá'í International Community launched its first website. The site contained exclusively Baha'i International Community statements. Previously these statements had been hosted on an Internet Gopher server. [BIC History Launch of Official Website] [key] New York, NY Bahai International Community first BIC website
    1997 15 Mar The Bahá'í International Community presented a statement The United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education during the 53rd Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights held in Geneva. This statement focused on educating children and youth to instill in them those virtues required for a progressive society. [BIC website 1 January 1997] [key] Geneva; Switzerland United Nations; Bahai International Community; BIC statements
    1998 18 -19 Feb World Faiths and Development Dialogue (WFDD) hosted an event at Lambeth Palace in London that brought together spiritual leaders from nine major religions as well as traditional development experts. This gathering was dedicated to discussing development in the context of how faith and development organizations can cooperate to improve development as a process that encompasses both the spiritual and material aspects of life.The Bahá'í International Community contributed a paper entitled Valuing Spirituality in Development: Initial Considerations Regarding the Creation of Spiritually Based Indicators for Development. [BIC History 1 January 1998]
  • Kiser Barnes, Counsellor and member of the International Teaching Centre represented the International Bahá'í Community. Accompanying him was Lawrence Arturo, Director of the Bahá'í International Office of the Environment in New York City and Bahá'í Representative to the United Nations on environmental and development issues. [One Country] .
  • London; United Kingdom World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD); Bahai International Community; BIC statements; Lawrence Arturo; Kiser Barnes
    2001 25 - 27 Jun During the special session of the General Assembly on the HIV./AIDS pandemic held at the UN headquarters, the Bahá'í International Community circulated a written statement entitled HIV/AIDS and Gender Equality: Transforming Attitudes and Behaviors that emphasized the need to transform the attitudes and behaviors that spread the disease and directed attention to the important roles played by men and faith communities in turning the tide of the pandemic. [BIC History] [key] New York, NY Bahai International Community; United Nations; HIV/AIDS; Gender; Equality; BIC statements
    2008 25 Feb - 7 Mar The 52nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York. [UN Women]
  • The Bahá'í International Community presented Mobilizing Institutional, Legal and Cultural Resources to Achieve Gender Equality.
  • Baha'i International Community Representative, Ms. Bani Dugal was elected to serve as the President of the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief in New York. During the 52nd Commission on Status of Women. [BIC History 2008] [key]
  • New York, NY United Nations; Bahai International Community; Women; Bani Dugal; Commission on the Status of Women; BIC statements
    2009 2 - 4 Nov A new initiative of the UN Development Programme and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation launched at Windsor Castle afforded the Bahá'í International Community the opportunity to begin to apply the framework of action underlying the Institute Process to the problem of climate change. Represented by the Bahá'í International Community, the Bahá'í Faith joined other world religions in articulating a Seven-Year Plan for Generational Change with respect to environmental stewardship. Their plan, one of the 31 presented, outlined a community-based methodology of social transformation rooted in the spiritual development of the individual and the channeling of collective energies towards service to humanity. [One Country]
  • During the conference BIC representatives Tahirih Naylor and Arthur Lyon Dahl were presented with certificates from HRH Prince Philip, the founder of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC). [BIC History 2009] [key]
  • Windsor Castle United Nations; Bahai International Community; * Institute Process; Tahirih Naylor; Arthur Dahl
    2009 7 – 18 Dec The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference raised climate change policy to the highest political level. Close to 115 world leaders attended the high-level segment, making it one of the largest gatherings of world leaders ever outside UN headquarters in New York. More than 40,000 people, representing governments, non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, faith-based organizations, media and UN agencies applied for accreditation. The delegation of the Bahá'í International Community led by Tahirih Naylor, registered with the United Nations as an international nongovernmental organization, comprised some 21 people. [BWNS742; BIC History 2009]
  • United Nations Climate Change Conference.
  • Copenhagen; Denmark Climate change; Environment; United Nations; United Nations conferences; BWNS; Copenhagen Summit; Bahai International Community
    2010 2 Jul The UN General Assembly voted unanimously to create UN Women, (General Assembly resolution 64/289) a new entity merging the four UN offices focusing on gender equality: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women. Following the passage of the resolution, the Bahá'í International Community, as one of the core NGOs leading the campaign for the new gender entity, received congratulatory notes from NGOs and women around the world expressing their appreciation and support for its role in the four-year campaign. [BIC History; UN Women]
  • See as well A short history of the Commission on the Status of Women (PDF).
  • New York, NY; United States United Nations; Bahai International Community; UN Women; Commission on the Status of Women; BIC statements
    2012 19 Jun Over 100 people gathered to mark the re-dedication of the “Peace Monument,” which contains soil brought from nearly 150 countries and is a symbolic representation of the oneness of humanity and the global cooperation needed to achieve lasting peace. The monument was built by the Bahá'í International Community and the Bahá'í Community of Brazil in 1992 for the 1992 Earth Summit. Members of the Baha'i International Community’s delegation attending were: Duncan Hanks, Daniel Perell, May Akale, Ming Hwee Chong, Peter Adriance. [One Country; BIC HIstory 2012] [key] Rio De Janeiro; Brazil United Nations; Bahai International Community; Peace Monument; Duncan Hanks; Daniel Perell; May Akale, Ming Hwee Chong; Peter Adriance; Earth Summit
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