The Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council of North and South America (GoArch at UN) at the United Nations is a pan-Orthodox effort of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America under the direction of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations.  GoArch at UN has been an accredited Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the UN since 1985.  As a member of the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) and a General Consultative member of ECOSOC, GOAC assigns representatives to participate in meetings and advocacy.


Our mission is to be a voice for the voiceless, an advocate for the oppressed, and an avenue for peace.  These three components are achieved through awareness campaigns, policy interventions, and peace initiatives.



V. Rev. Dr. Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, Director, Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumencial, and Interfaith Relations

The Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides was born in Thessaloniki, Greece (1978), and is a 2000 graduate of Hellenic College (BA) and a 2003 graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (MDiv). He holds a ThD in Bioethics and a STM in Christian Ethics from Boston University. Fr. Nathanael has also studied public health and human rights at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He has authored numerous articles in theology and bioethics and recently convened a colloquium entitled, Orthodoxy and Humanitarianism: Ideas and Action in the Contemporary World. He also has served as a guest professor of Christian Ethics at Saint Vladimir Orthodox School of Theology, Fordham University, and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He is fluent in Greek and English and has a working knowledge of French. He was ordained a Deacon (2003) and a Presbyter (2010) by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. He served as a Deacon to the Archbishop from 2006-2010 and as the pastor of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, NYC from 2010-2013. In September of 2013 he was appointed Director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America as well as the Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. He is also the Director of the Archdiocesan Advisory Committee on Science and Technology. He is a brother of the historic monastic community of St. George Epanosifis in Crete, Greece.

Lila Prounis, Founder & Advisor

Lila Jentiles Prounis was a former Program officer of the Voice of America. Her program “Merlin the Storyteller”, which had thousands of listeners in South Asia, won the Ohio State University Award for Excellence in Radio. A graduate of Hunter College, she received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Ancient Greek. She was inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame in 2014.She received her MA in Public Law and Government from Columbia University in 1950, where she specialized in International Law and Relations. She also worked towards her doctorate in the same field, completing her courses and qualifying exams. After her marriage to Theodore Prounis and becoming the mother of Othon and Amelia, she devoted her life to philanthropic, international, and civic causes. In 1979, Mrs. Prounis was one of the first six women elected to the all-male Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council and has been its United Nations Representative since 1979. In this capacity, she obtained Consultative Status accreditation for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council to the UN Economic and Social Council. She has presented oral and written statements to the UN Commission on Social Development, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Commission (Geneva), the UN Conference on Disarmament and Development, and the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Vienna.  She attended the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. She has interacted with diplomats and NGO’s to achieve passage of the Declaration on the Elimination of Religious Intolerance, the International year of the Family, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. She has received the Medal of Freedom from the Greek Government and received the Recognition Award for Distinguished Service from the Council of Churches of the City of New York.

Nicholas Anton, Coordinator of UN Programs & Main Representative to the UN

A Chicago native, Nicholas Anton has earned a Bachelor's degree in religious studies from Hellenic College, a Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry (Conflict Transformation and Peacemaking) from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He represents the Archdiocese on the board of Creation Justice Ministries, on the Secretariat of the Assembly of Bishops, and as a delegate to the National Council of Churches and Church World Service. He is currently serving a three year term on the CORE Group (Executive Committee) of the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons at the United Nations. Nicholas also focuses on the human right to water and sanitation and accountability of transnational corporations for human rights violations through his work with the NGO Mining Working Group at the UN. During his time at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Nicholas realized the need for religious institutions, the private sector, and governments to work together towards the end goal of a peaceful and sustainable world. Inspired by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s ability to bridge the aforementioned demographics, he had dedicated his life to conflict transformation and policy formation through faith-based diplomacy and advocacy.

Elaina Karayannis, Fellow

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Elaina received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Temple University in 2015 and graduated from Eastern University in 2017, with a master degree in International Development, concentrating on refugees and forcibly displaced persons. 

Prior to her masters degree, Elaina taught English in Thailand, addressed human rights issues with Burmese refugees, worked with malnourished children who had a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities in a Guatemalan hospital, and implemented social work and art therapy programs for middle eastern refugees in Athens Greece. Her most recent experience was working in Moria Refugee camp and detention center, on Lesvos Greece. There she acted as one of the Shelter Coordinators, providing shelter, among other entities, to the 4,000+ refugees residing within the camp.

Though her experiences abroad, Elaina has recognized that despite all people being created in the image of God, there is a great injustice that prevents people from fully achieving this. Therefore, Elaina’s primary focus during her fellowship is on refugees and those forcibly displaced. She seeks to advocate for human rights-based policies related to these areas. She believes combining her International Development degree with the Church is a perfect way to achieve this goal, and she is looking forward to serving the Church as an advocate for positive change.