August 22, 2016

The Baha’i International Community

In 1947 the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada was accredited to the United Nations as a national non-governmental organization qualified to be represented at United Nations Conferences through a designated observer. One year later the eight existing National Spiritual Assemblies were recognized collectively as an international non-governmental organization under the title "The Bahá'í International Community." Each National Spiritual Assembly designated the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States as its representative at the United Nations. Mrs. Mildred Mottahedeh, who also served as a member of the International Bahá'í Council from 1961 to 1963, was the observer for the Bahá'í International Community for nearly twenty years. The Bahá'í International Community, which now includes at least five million believers, 165 National Spiritual Assemblies, and approximately twenty thousand Local Spiritual Assemblies, maintains offices in New York and Geneva as well as regional offices in Addis Ababa, Brussels, and Jakarta.

The Baha’i International Community registered with the UN as an NGO in 1948 and currently has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), as well as accreditation with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI). The Baha’i International Community collaborates with the UN and its specialized agencies, as well as member states, inter- and non-governmental organizations, academia, and practitioners. 
(Adapted from the explanatory footnotes in ‘Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-1986’, and website of Baha’i International Community)