By Matthew Davies
Hellen Grace Wangusa, former United Nations Africa coordinator of the Millennium Development Goals, was officially installed February 4 as the new Anglican Observer at the United Nations during the 11 a.m. Eucharist at New York’s Trinity Church, Wall Street.
Bishop John Paterson of Auckland, New Zealand, chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), preached at the service and the Rev. Dr. James Cooper, rector of Trinity Church, presided.
Adonia Ayebare, deputy permanent representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Uganda, officially “handed over” Wangusa to her new position, while the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, welcomed her as the new emissary of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Communion to the United Nations.
“We acknowledge the unique gifts you bring at this critical time in the future of the global community and the future of our global Communion,” Kearon said. “Be among us as one who interprets to our Communion the needs, concerns and hopes of the world, and one who interprets to the world the concerns, hopes and counsel of our Communion.”
Also present at the service were members of the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations’ Advisory Council; the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore; Counsellor for the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, Paul Johnston; as well as representatives from UNIFEM, UNHCR, and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the UN.
Wangusa accepted the call to be the next Anglican Observer at the United Nations in October 2006 and officially took office on January 1, 2007. She serves as a staff member of the London Anglican Communion Office with her office based at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City, in close proximity to the United Nations.
In representing the Anglican Communion at the United Nations, Wangusa has a responsibility to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the secretary general of the Anglican Communion to provide regular briefings and a flow of accurate information on critical issues that come before the UN general assembly.
Matthew Davies is international correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.
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