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SPSSI and the United Nations

SPSSI has been represented as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations since 1987 and has held consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council since 1991. While there are many domains of influence at the UN, three in which SPSSI team members participate are the Non-Governmental Organization Community, particularly the Council of Non-governmental Organizations (CONGO), and its subcommittees; UN Organs, for example the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the UN Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and the Permanent Missions to the United Nations, generally in conjunction with preparing programs on current social issues, e.g. ageing, children’s rights, health, or social development. Statements and programs sponsored or endorsed by SPSSI require the approval of its governing body.

SPSSI regularly collaborates with other UN NGOs and is also a member of the Psychology Coalition at the United Nations (PCUN), for which SPSSI UN/NGO Committee member Dr. Corann Okorodudu served as Founding President. 

Members of the Committee include: Dr. Joseph De Meyer, Dr. Corann Okorodudu, Dr. Peter Walker, Dr. Harold Cook, Dr. David Livert, Dr. Toni Antonucci, and Dr. Rachel Ravich (Chair).

The committee interns are: Priyadharshany Sandanapitchai and Maya Godbole. Click here to learn more about our interns. 

Current Announcements

Accepting Applications Now for SPSSI UN/NGO Internship Team! Deadline for applications is June 2nd.

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) welcomes applications from graduate psychology students to serve as interns with its United Nations NGO Team. The position will commence in September 2017 and continues through the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. Interns will learn about the UN system, and will engage with SPSSI UN/NGO representatives, other UN psychologists and other NGO interns on social issues of interest to the UN community. SPSSI UN interns serve as non-paid volunteers. Click through to link for application details.

Accepting Applications Now for SPSSI Representatives at the United Nations! Deadline for applications is June 15th.

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) welcomes applications from psychologists to join its United Nations NGO Team. SPSSI is An accredited Non-Governmental Organization in consultative status at the United Nations with the Department of Public Information (DPI) the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

SPSSI UN/NGO representatives serve as non-paid volunteers but are eligible for reimbursement of modest transportation and other expenses. They attend monthly UN/SPSSI team meetings (generally on Thursdays) and engage with the Psychology Coalition of NGOs at the United Nations, UN Psychology Day, and substantive NGO Committees. They participate in a variety of UN events, and share information about the priorities of the UN with SPSSI members through reports, newsletter articles and presentations at SPSSI meetings. The appointment is for two years and is renewable for additional terms of two years. There is a review of the new representative’s work at the end of the first year and continuing reviews occur every two years. Click through to link for application details.

SPSSI Members: Please Complete this Survey to Tell Us How Your Work Can Help Inform the UN's Work to Promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

By now many SPSSI members will be aware of UN Sustainable Development Agenda entitled "Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." The Psychology Coalition of NGOs Accredited at the United Nations, of which SPSSI is a member (and under the current leadership of President Florence Denmark), is conducting a survey among psychologists across various countries to determine the relevance of their work to the 17 Goals of the UN 2030 SDGs Agenda and to gauge psychologists' interest in sharing their work. Please click on the link above to complete the survey at your earliest convenience. 

SPSSI Thanks Dr. Yvonne Rafferty for Her 12 Years of Service on the Committee

In February of 2017, the SPSSI UN/NGO Committee celebrated Dr. Yvonne Rafferty for her 12 years of service on the committee. Dr. Rafferty, a Professor of Psychology at Pace University in New York City, was particularly active with the Working Group on Girls (WGG), the NGO Committee on Child Rights, the Psychology Coalition, and the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons. We wish Dr. Rafferty the very best in her next adventures!


SPSSI UN/NGO 2019 Events

SPSSI UN/NGO Team presents, "Advancing Science in a Global Context: Scientific Engagement at the United Nations" at the 10th anniversary conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Human Rights Conference. (October 2019)

SPSSI UN/NGO Team participates in the "UNICEF Backpack Activation." (September 2019)

SPSSI UN/NGO Team participates in "350.Org for the Global Climate Strike: Art Build Workshop." (August 2019)

SPSSI UN/NGO Team participates in "HLPF 2019: Youth Climate Action for Small Island Developing States." (July 2019)

SPSSI UN/NGO Team participates in "The Time is Now: Psychological Contributions to Global Gender Equality - 12th Annual Psychology Day at the United Nations." (April 2019)

SPSSI UN/NGO Team is featured in a SPSSI Graduate Student Committee webinar, "Getting Global How to Integrate the United Nations into Your Graduate School Experience." (March 2019)

SPSSI UN/NGO Team hosts event entitled, "Commission on the Status of Women 2019: Women Leaders & Decision Makers Across Cultures: Lessons from Psychology." (March 2019)

SPSSI UN/NGO Team participates in SPSSI's 2019 Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. (January 2019)

Past Events and Statements

SPSSI Responds to the Executive Order on Immigration (February 2017)

SPSSI Sponsors Side Event on Promoting Equal Access to Mental Health Resources for All Ages (February 2017)

SPSSI Calls on United Nations to Elect a Woman as the Next Secretary-General (May 2016)

SPSSI Co-Sponsors Ninth Annual Psychology Day at the UN: From Vulnerability to Resilience: Using Psychology to Address the Global Migration Crisis (April 2016)

The Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Racial Conflicts in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda: Implementing Human Rights Learning Practices (May 2014)

Refugee Children and the Right to Early Childhood Education: A Humanitarian and Sustainable Development Issue (February 2014)

Other Resources

UN Agenda 2030 Campaign 

SPSSI-Endorsed Statements

Guidelines for Representatives to the UN

Quadrennial Reports


Areas of Representation

Children Development    Spirituality and Values
Communities    The elderly Women