About - Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council (GOAC) at the UN
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.
Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian, Director, Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumencial and Interfaith Relations
Rev. Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian was born in France, where he pursued his undergraduate degree at the Institute of Orthodox Theology Saint Serge in Paris, graduating with a BA. He continued his studies at the University of Cyprus, in Nicosia, and Thessaloniki in Greece, before moving to Switzerland to start an MA in Orthodox Theology at the Orthodox Theological Institute of Chambésy. He completed his Ph.D. at the Sorbonne. He later attended the 2017 KAICIID International Fellows Program (Vienna, Austria) on interfaith dialogue.
He is the author of numerous publications about the Orthodox Church, ecumenical dialogue, interfaith relations and geopolitics in various languages. He has also taught Ecumenical Relations at the Catholic University of Paris and at the Institute of Orthodox Theology, Saint Serge.
He serves as Ecumenical Officer and Director of the Department on Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations.
He is the parish priest of St. Eleftherios Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan.
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.
Spyridoula Fotinis, Coordinator of Programs
Spyridoula Fotinis serves as the Coordinator of Programs and focuses on bridging the work of the Department on social issues with the Orthodox Church. Her work is currently centered on homelessness and mental health, with an emphasis on homelessness and social protections at the United Nations, where she is on the Executive Committee of the Working Group to End Homelessness. Spyridoula earned her BA from CUNY - The City College of New York in International Studies and Sociology. She interned for the Department and served as the Assistant Secretary for the Green Attica Symposium. Spyridoula was actively involved in Orthodox Christian Fellowship, locally and nationally, as the Northeast Regional Student Leader and the Public Relations Student Leader in addition to being a YES (Youth Equipped to Serve) Leader for FOCUS North America. She is passionate about serving others in a way that recognizes each person’s unique humanity as icons of Christ.
Nicholas Anton, Special Advisor, Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumencial and Interfaith Relations
A Chicago native, Nicholas Anton serves as the Director of Operations for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. Prior to his current appointment, he held the positons of Ecumenical Officer and Director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) from 2018-2020 and Coordinator of UN Programs for the GOA from 2014-2018. While at the UN, he specialized in human trafficking and the human right to water and sanitation. Additionally, he was the Secretary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s 2018 Green Attica Symposium. He earned a M.Div. from Holy Cross GOST, a MA from Boston College, and a Graduate Certificate in Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations from Southern New Hampshire University. He specializes in negotiation, diplomacy, peacemaking, and change leadership. Nicholas also continues to serve the GOA as a Special Advisor on Inter-Orthodox and Social Issues.