World Council of Churches Executive Committee, November 2018.
Statement on People on the Move:
Migrants and Refugees
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. (Matthew 25:35)
As noted by the joint Roman Catholic--XCC Conference on Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration (Rome, 18-20 September 2018), migration--the movement of people--is an inherent feature of the human condition. It belongs to the whole history of humanity--past, present and future--and the entire biblical narrative.
Today, an estimated 258 million people globally are migrants, i.e. living in a country other than the one of their birth. People move for many different reasons--for work, study, marriage, or to seek a better life for themselves and their families--and make valuable contributions both to their host countries and to their countries of origin. But some are forced to flee from conflict, violence and oppression. Of the total estimated 68.5 million people who are presently forcibly displaced from their homes, approximately 25.4 million are refugees, i.e. have fled across an international border--but the majority of the forcibly displaced remain within the borders of their own country, and of those that do cross an international border approximately 85 percent remain within their own region.
In several wealthier countries migration has become a subject of great political contention in recent years, even though the vast majority of migrants and especially refugees have been hosted in the countries and regions of the global South. Political figures and parties in several countries of the global North have garnered support by playing upon people's fears about the impact of migrants and refugees on their societies, economies and cultural identities.
During these very days, we are witnessing threats of deployment of military forces to prevent the entry into the United States of America of people fleeing from violence and poverty in Central America.
The response of the international community, both to the recent large population movements and to the reactions by destination countries, has been expressed in the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, and is being further articulated in two Global Compacts--one on Refugees, and one for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration--to be presented to the UN General Assembly in December 2018.
Many churches in receiving countries have made great efforts to offer welcome and support to refugees and migrants, and to counter the atmosphere of fear, exclusion, racism and xenophobia that is increasingly prevalent in many of the wealthier destination countries.
The World Council of Churches has also undertaken great efforts to address this question at the international level, including most recently by convening, jointly with the Roman Catholic Church, the conference on Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration (Rome, 18-20 September 2018), closely followed by a Global Forum for Faith Action for Children on the Move (Rome, 16-19 October 2018) in which WCC partnered with World Vision International and several other leading faith-based organizations.
This meeting of the WCC executive committee takes place in Uppsala, Sweden, a country which--like Germany--has become an important destination for refugees and migrants and which has offered refuge to many people on the move despite many other European countries refusing to share equitably in the responsibility for receiving and managing the influx of new arrivals. The Church of Sweden, one of those hosting this meeting, has taken an important leadership role in the Swedish context in offering support and hospitality to migrants and refugees, and in advocating for the human rights of people on the move.
The executive committee, meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 2-8 November 2018:
* Lifts up and affirms the example given to their societies and their governments by the many churches that seek to be true servants of Christ by welcoming the stranger, the refugees and the migrants, especially in contexts in which refugees and migrants arc increasingly stigmatized, discriminated against, criminalized, marginalized and completely excluded.
* Acknowledges that many people in countries receiving significant numbers of migrants and refugees are genuinely concerned and fearful of the impact on their societies, economies and religious and cultural identities, and that national governments have the legitimate responsibility to control their borders, to ensure security, and to promote stability and prosperity for their citizens.
* Nevertheless stresses as a matter of first principle that all refugees and migrants, regular or irregular, are human beings each created in the image of God, children of God, sisters and brothers, with equal human dignity and rights regardless of their immigration status. To raise national boundaries and the nation state to an order of value above the recognition of the image of God in every refugee and migrant is a kind of idolatry.
* Endorses the outcomes of the joint Roman Catholic--WCC Conference on Xenophobia, Racism and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration, and commends them to every member church and ecumenical partner.
* Affirms the conference's declaration that "to refuse to receive and help those in need is contrary to the example and calling of Jesus Christ." God identifies with migrants and refugees through the life of Christ and calls us to care for people on the move in vulnerable situations, fleeing conflict, violence, persecution, famine and economic hardship.
* Strongly reaffirms support for the institution of asylum, the principle of non-refoulement, and the 1951 UN Refugee Convention as essential instruments for the protection of people obliged to flee from their homes due to conflict, violence and persecution, as well as reaffirming the right of refugees to return to their places of origin once the conditions enabling them to do so in security and dignity have been established.
* Calls for respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all people on the move, regardless of their status.
* Recalling the WCC Churches' Commitments to Children, expresses particular concern for the situation of children on the move, and in this regard welcomes the Plan for Faith Action for Children on the Move issued by the Global Forum held in Rome on 16-19 October 2018 in which WCC cooperated with several leading international faith-based organizations.
* Strongly reaffirms the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely ratified international treaty, and the principle of acting in the best interests of the child.
* Abhors the practice of separating families and detaining children, simply because they are on the move, as invariably incompatible with the best interests of the child, and condemns all such practices.
* Calls upon all members of the international community to join in adopting Global Compacts on refugees and for sate, orderly and regular migration that will strengthen, not weaken, the protection of people on the move. In particular, we call for action:
- For safe, regular and accessible pathways and opportunities for human mobility in compliance with international human rights law.
- To combat xenophobic and racist discourses that seek to exclude, stigmatize and criminalize migrants and refugees.
- For inclusion and integration of migrants and refugees in host countries, and against discrimination.
- For equitable responsibility-sharing for refugees.
- To end the drivers of forced displacement, and to make migration a matter of choice, not of necessity.
* Urges churches and Christians to combine consideration of the Global Compacts and of other related statements and commitments, with:
- learning about the situation of migrants and refugees in their own localities and countries, and linking direct support and advocacy in their respective spheres of influence with active engagement and accompaniment of migrants and refugees in their midst;
- encouraging receiving communities to move from welcome and hospitality to inclusion;
- promoting greater social cohesion--not only inclusive of migrants and refugees, but also of other diverse minority communities and vulnerable groups--in order to create a climate of openness and spirit of solidarity more broadly in society.
* Appeals for increased ecumenical and international solidarity with children, women and men on the move, and prays that they may receive a welcome and compassionate cue in the countries and communities to which their journeys take them.
Statement on COP 24 and Just Transition to Sustainable Economy
For surely I know the plans I hare for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Climate change is altering the Earth more rapidly than previously predicted. The latest research published by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals that global warming is likely to cross the 1.5[degrees]C threshold already between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
The IPCC report indicates that a half-degree rise from 1.5[degrees]C to 2[degrees]C--the upper ceiling governments agreed to in Paris in 2015--will likely cause an extra 10 cm rise in sea levels and heighten the risk of glacial melt and multi-metre sea-level rise, inundating small low-lying islands and coastal cities. Risks of widespread hunger, massive displacement, conflicts, and species extinction will be amplified. Those people and communities living in situations of poverty, deprivation, and disadvantage are already feeling and will continue to bear the brunt of climate change.
While the world is finally beginning to act to address climate change and also to realize the Sustainable Development Goals, the challenge is one of scale and speed. Current government commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Paris Agreement are vastly insufficient to limit warming to the more ambitious target of 1.5[degrees]C. Several studies have indicated that none of the major industrialized nations are meeting their pledged emission reduction targets, and that even if they had, the sum of all member pledges would not keep global temperature rise "well below 2[degrees]C." According to United Nations Environment Programme estimates in late 2016, emission reduction targets would result in temperature rise of 3[degrees]C above preindustrial levels, tar above the 2[degrees]C upper limit of the Paris Agreement. Since the time of those estimates, the outlook has unfortunately deteriorated, in light of the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
The latest IPCC report stresses that only with "rapid and far-reaching" transitions in the world economy, on a scale and at a rate without historical precedent, can the 1.5[degrees]C limit be achieved. This entails "more planning, coordination and disruptive innovation across actors and scales of governance than the spontaneous or coincidental changes observed in the past." It is estimated that the necessary economic and social transformations must take place within a rapidly disappearing window of opportunity, perhaps within as little as a decade, it we are to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change.
In facing this existential challenge, hope lies in realising that sustainability and justice are two sides of the same coin. Carbon-neutral and climate-resilient development pathways have the potential to meet the key goals of sustainable development, including the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities.
Signs of such hope are to be found in the actions of some governments (national and especially sub-national), businesses and investors, as well as the determined and passionate commitment of churches and civil society networks for climate justice. We lift up, among other signs of hope, the ecumenical pilgrimage from Bonn to Katowice which is currently underway, the international ecological symposium, "Toward a Greener Attica: Preserving the Planet and Protecting its People," organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in June 2018, and the international conference on the 3rd anniversary of Laudato Si': "Saving Our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth" organized by the Vatican Dicastery on Promoting Integral Human Development in July 2018.
All these initiatives, discussions and reflections underscore the message that today the world stands in front of a great transition. If we arc to build a future of wellbeing for coming generations, the profound understanding of being one humanity on one Earth created by a loving and faithful God so that "they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10), must be internalised at all levels of society, from individuals to the global community. The biblical teaching, "the earth is the Lord's and all that is in it" (Psalm 24:1), must be reaffirmed in this time of climate change.
Meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, on 2-8 November 2018, the WCC Executive Committee:
Stresses that there is no more time to waste in short-term self-interestedness. Urgent adaptation and mitigation measures, transformation of economic systems, deep behavioural change, and supportive national and global policies and institutional arrangements are needed now to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences of climate change. Amidst all these shifts, our Christian faith calls us to ensure that "the least among us" are not made to pay the price for a global ecological problem to which they contributed the least.
Commends all those engaged in the ecumenical pilgrimage from Bonn to Katowice, and urges the 24th Conference of Parties (COP 24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Katowice, Poland, 2-15 December 2018, to deliver the Paris Rulebook based on climate justice principles and to work towards a just transition to sustainable economy now, entailing:
* Increasing nationally determined contributions to ensure global warming does not exceed the safer limit of 1.5[degrees]C above preindustrial levels;
* Ensuring the transfer of adequate technological and financial resources to poor, vulnerable countries for mitigation, adaptation and resilience-building (amounting to USD 100 billion per year from 2020 as pledged at COP 15 in Copenhagen); and
* Delivering concrete action on loss and damage by further developing the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.
Appeals to WCC member churches and ecumenical partners urgently to intensity their advocacy and action for climate justice and transition to sustainable economy in local, national and international arenas, as well as to promote the necessary lifestyle changes including by:
* Fostering a spirituality of transformation--a spirituality of "enough"--through thoughtful theological education, the development of new liturgical resources, pilgrimages, prayers and fasting for climate justice together with ecumenical and interfaith partners and in solidarity with the victims of climate change;
* Divesting from fossil fuels and undertaking faith-consistent impact investments in renewable energies, agro-ecology, reforestation, and other activities that add to ecological health and community wellbeing; and
* Opening up spaces to discuss and contribute to the Roadmap for Congregations, Communities and Churches for an Economy of
Life and Ecological Justice, the interfaith Living the Change campaign, Interfaith Rainforest Initiative and other similar initiatives.
Statement on Ecumenical Witness and Action for Primary Health Care for All: 40th Anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration
Since its establishment the World Council of Churches (WCC) has supported the work of its member churches and national ecumenical bodies, as well as government authorities, for the health and wellbeing of all people. Such support has included providing technical assistance and accompaniment to church health services and structures, promoting the establishment of ecumenical Christian health associations, and organising national health structures, as well as international health structures such as the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network (EPN) and the Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (EHAIA).
The WCC central committee meeting in August 1967 mandated the establishment of the Christian Medical Commission (CMC) to accompany and help coordinate the health and healing ministries of the WCC member churches. The main purpose of CMC was promotion and advocacy for community-based health care programmes. The principles under-girding these programmes were in turn adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF in 1975, under the rubric of Primary Health Care (PHC). In 1978, the first international conference on PHC produced the Alma-Ata Declaration, with its vision of "health for all by the year 2000", and identifying PHC as the key to the attainment of this goal. This outcome is widely recognized as a major milestone of the twentieth century in the field of public health.
The WCC executive committee, meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 2-8 November 2018, recognises that while much has been achieved in many areas of global health, the vision of "health for all" remains largely unachieved. Healthcare and related services have become a major industry driven by the pursuit of profit, and often excluding the poor. However, the WCC considers the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental human right, and an essential foundation for the realization of the God-given dignity of every human being.
We lift up the contribution that churches and related organizations around the globe continue to make to promote health and wellbeing, especially to marginalised and poor people in many parts of the world, often at significant cost to the churches and through great personal sacrifice by frontline health workers. We also affirm the important ecumenical role that Christian health networks play, greatly enhancing the effectiveness and impact of church-based health services that might otherwise-be denominationally fragmented and disconnected.
We acknowledge with appreciation the address by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebrevesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), to the WCC central committee meeting in June 2018, and his affirmation that "the time is right for a new memorandum of understanding to mobilize faith-based organizations (FBOs) for universal health coverage."
The WCC executive committee:
* Encourages all WCC member churches to recommit themselves to Christian service in the field of primary health care, for effective national health structures, and to the realization of the vision of health for all.
* Rec]uests the general secretary to pursue closer cooperation and partnership with the World Health Organization in the realization of this vision, to mobilize faith-based organizations for universal health coverage.
* Further requests the general secretary to ensure that promotion of primary health care for all is emphasized in the implementation of the WCC's new Global Ecumenical Health Strategy.
* Urges WCC member churches and ecumenical partners to engage in advocacy and action for the right for ill to have access to medicines at an affordable price (including traditional medicines and treatments which have been proven to be efficacious), and for international health research--including the development of medicines and treatments--to be re-focused on illnesses and afflictions that particularly affect the marginalized and poor people of the world.
* Invites engagement by WCC member churches and ecumenical partners in proactive church-based health promotion activities, including the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles, support for cessation of unhealthy lifestyles, and the development and dissemination of biblical reflections on health and healing.
Statement on Reconciliation and Restoration of Relationships in Ethiopia and Eritrea
The executive committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) warmly welcomes the recent positive developments in the relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea, beginning a process of healing of the wounds still lingering from the Eritrean--Ethiopian war of 1998-2000 in which an estimated 80,000 people lost their lives. We express our respect and appreciation to Prime Minister Ably Ahmed of Ethiopia and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea for their leadership in bringing a formal end to this conflict through the joint agreement signed at the Eritrea--Ethiopia Summit on 9 July 2018, followed by an official peace agreement concluded in Jeddah on 16 September 2018. We celebrate with the peoples of both countries the resumption of diplomatic and economic relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the opening of Eritrean ports to Ethiopian vessels, the agreement to jointly develop ports on Eritrea's Red Sea coast, the reopening of the border on 11 September 2018 and the resumption of the movement of people between the two countries after 20 years of closure.
In this season of reconciliation and restoration in the region, positive developments within the churches of both countries also give powerful new hope of the healing of old wounds. The end of a 27-year long schism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, with the reunification of the "Addis Ababa Synod" and "Synod in Exile" is an inspiration to the entire Christian family. And the re-establishment of functional relations with the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, following a WCC delegation visit to Eritrea in September 2017--the first such visit in 10 years--has created fresh opportunities for engagement in the Eritrean context.
The WCC executive committee, meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 2-8 November 2018:
* Welcomes, affirms and encourages these steps towards restoration of relationships within and with the churches, and between the governments and peoples of both countries.
* Requests the WCC general secretary to explore ways in which the WCC can further support deeper reconciliation among the people and churches of Ethiopia and Eritrea, and to promote a sustainable and resilient peace in the region.
* Invites all WCC member churches, specialized ministries and ecumenical partners to consider ways in which they can accompany and support the churches and people of Ethiopia and Eritrea in the ongoing pilgrimage of justice and peace in their countries and region.
Statement on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, and the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer wale and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3: 28)
In March 1992 the World Council of Churches (WCC) wrote to the Secretary-General of the United Nations: "In various international fora, women are urging the United Nations to recognize that violence against women constitutes the violation of the basic human rights of half the world's population. As Christians we support these initiatives, guided by the firm conviction that all human beings are made in the image of God and deserve protection and care." Reading the signs of our times, there has been an increase in sexual and gender-based violence against women, children and vulnerable people. The purpose of the current statement is a call from the WCC for new commitments and contributions to stop, prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.
This call for addressing sexual and gender-based violence is rooted in the outcomes of a recent consultation marking the 20th anniversary of the Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998), which took place in Kingston, Jamaica, 1-6 October 2018. It is also inspired by the award of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to Dr Denis Mukwege and Ms Nadia Murad, whose work embodies the very issues that were emphasised at the consultation, and addressed during the Ecumenical Decade itself.
Hearing the painful testimonies and inspirational stories of women survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, we are encouraged and challenged to affirm the dignity, rights, and needs of all women, children and others who are vulnerable--or are made vulnerable--to such violence.
We recognize that sexual and gender-based violence is evident in many different and often hidden contexts, including spousal abuse and 'child marriage', and that its risks and impacts are compounded by stigma, racial discrimination, socioeconomic divisions, poverty, abuse, armed conflict, and lack of access to quality reproductive healthcare. Issues related to human sexual behaviour and gender relations within the family are taboo in many churches and church communities, preventing the church from being a safe and protective place for women who are victims of or threatened by sexual and gender-based violence. The church must actively contribute to the elimination of such violence and abuse.
Goal 5.3 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for the eradication of "child marriage" and female genital mutilation by 2030. It is estimated that 20 million girls and women still do not have access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and services. It is imperative that the church, in partnership with civil society, governmental and intergovernmental partners, take the necessary steps to break the culture of silence and address the issues which are impacting women and girls, families and communities around the world.
The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad is an encouragement to all those working to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Denis Mukwege is a physician who has helped thousands of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and has condemned the use of sexual violence against women as a strategy and weapon of war. Nadia Murad is a survivor of war crimes who was abducted, repeatedly raped and abused by so-called 'Islamic State' (IS) fighters who attacked her Yazidi community in northern Iraq in 2014 with genocidal intent. Since escaping, she has spoken out about her experience and became the UN's first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking in 2016.
We note that both the DRC and Iraq are priority countries on the Pilgrimage of justice and Peace. We recall the 2009 public statement by the WCC condemning violence against women in the DRC, and we acknowledge the work being done by the WCC to promote social cohesion in Iraq and to promote and protect the rights of religious minority communities in that country.
Through the Churches' Commitments to Children we are all called to provide safe and open space for children's participation in the life of our churches as well as in society, and to be more effective advocates and actors for the elimination of violence against children.
The Decade of the Churches in Solidarity with Women raised similar stories of sexual and gender-based violence from 30 years ago. The present reality seems even more brutal, with so many girl children in refugee camps "married" as "protection" from sexual violence; rape and sexual violence continuing to be used as a weapon of war; so many lives lost or blighted due to discrimination based on gender, race, poverty or human sexuality; and political and social institutions - including the church--continuing to demonstrate misogyny, impunity and discrimination despite the hard-fought struggles of so many for equity and liberation.
The executive committee of the WCC, meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 2-8 November 2018, therefore:
* Urges WCC member churches and ecumenical partners to condemn or reiterate their condemnation of sexual and gender-based violence and of any form of violence against women, children and vulnerable people; to declare such violence a sin; and to make constructive efforts to overcome the attitudes that predispose to such violence, including by the development of clear sexual harassment policies that clearly spell out consequences for such harassment.
* Encourages WCC member churches and ecumenical partners to continue working with local organizations and groups in opposition to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence and offering support including trauma healing for women, girls, and others vulnerable to such violence in their communities.
* Encourages the creation of new and more effective ways for communication and collaboration among WCC member churches and local advocacy groups on gender justice issues, including by taking up and promoting the Thursdays in Black Campaign.
* Appeals to WCC member churches and ecumenical partners to develop urgent action networks to stop assaults, abuse, and the killing of women, girls (including female foeticide), and other vulnerable people in their context, and to clearly identify and denounce 'child marriage' as the rape and abuse of girl children.
* Encourages WCC member churches and ecumenical partners to support boys' and men's organizations in becoming spaces for transformation and affirmation of positive and anti-violent masculinities.
* Calls upon WCC member churches and ecumenical partners to promote the audit of institutional budgets through a gender justice lens at all levels of operation.
* Encourages WCC member churches and ecumenical partners and their theological institutions and networks to promote research on gender justice to influence religious, ecumenical, inter-religious and cross-cultural curricula development.
Statement on the Urgent Challenge of Economic Transformation, 10 years after the Global Financial Crisis
The executive committee of the World Council of Churches meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 2-8 November 2018, observes that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the global financial crisis, the continuing consequences of which include escalating levels of income inequality, even greater concentration of wealth in the hands of an even smaller group of economic elites, increased economic precariousness for a larger majority of the world's population, widespread youth unemployment, growing sovereign indebtedness, social and political instability, and the rise of populist political forces in many contexts around the world.
We observe that hardly any key actors in the practices that generated the crisis were ultimately held accountable for the global harm done, that the political opportunity in the immediate aftermath of the crisis for making systemic reforms of economic policy and practice was largely missed, and that the few regulatory measures put in place after the crisis have been rolled back. The unconstrained greed of an unaccountable few continues to create risks threatening the future of many, and the conditions for another global financial and economic crisis of even greater dimensions are rapidly emerging again.
Moreover, we note that today many governments are again falling into debt crisis and are struggling to finance the sustainable development goals due in part to corruption, corporate tax evasion, tax competition, and the erosion of tax bases.
We further note that the urgent challenge of climate change demands a global financial and economic system that applies new economic indicators (other than the growth-centric gross domestic product) accounting for social and ecological impacts, that prioritises investments in ecological sustainability, and that reduces debt dependency so as to free up resources for social and ecological renewal. This challenge has recently been dramatically underlined by a special report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impacts of global warming of 1.5[degrees]C above pre-industrial levels which indicates that avoiding catastrophic impacts of climate change will require transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has no historic precedent.
The WCC executive committee therefore:
* Renews its oft-repeated call for a new international financial and economic architecture for an economy of life that links finance to the real economy, accounts for social and ecological impacts, and sets effective constraints on greed.
* Calls for effective regulation and real accountability for those individuals and entities--including transnational corporations and financial institutions regarded as "too big to fail"--whose greed and corrupt practices have created, and continue to create, risks of widespread and disastrous economic crisis and instability, and deprive nations of the resources needed for equitable and sustainable development.
* Encourages the efforts of the WCC, the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), the Council for World Mission (CWM), and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) for a New International Financial and Economic Architecture (NIFEA), and of all churches and ecumenical and inter-faith partners in this regard.
* Affirms the work of the Ecumenical Panel on a NIFEA and the Ecumenical School on Governance, Economics and Management for an Economy of Life to build economic literacy and competence within churches by equipping participants with the tools and language to effectively advocate for urgent transformations in the global financial and economic realm.
* Asks the WCC to collaborate with ecumenical and other partners in convening broader consultations for financial and economic transformation--engaging different categories of expertise represented within the churches--including in the areas of (1) taxation as a tool for promoting redistribution, accountability and sustainability; (2) regulating and democratising finance; and (3) post-growth economics.
Minute on the Impacts of Nuclear Weapons Testing in French Polynesia (Maohi Nui), and Decolonization
The World Council of Churches has long supported the advocacy and engagement of the Maohi Protestant Church for justice and compensation for the lingering health and environmental consequences of the French nuclear weapon testing programme conducted in their region. This engagement is an inspiration for and expression of the shared ecumenical commitment to the global elimination of nuclear weapons, now reflected in the form of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, for the signature and ratification of which the WCC actively advocates.
The injustice perpetrated on the people of Maohi Nui through exposure to fallout and other contamination from 193 nuclear weapon tests conducted over 3d years until 1996 has much to do with the system and attitudes of colonial dominion. The WCC central committee had explicitly supported the 2(113 re-inscription of French Polynesia on the UN decolonization list, considering the removal of this territory from that list in 1947 to have perpetuated a continuing injustice.
The WCC executive committee, meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 2-8 November 21)18, lifts up and affirms the Maohi Protestant Church's longstanding commitment and persistent witness for justice, including recent advocacy initiatives taken in the Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly, and with relevant UN human rights accountability mechanisms.
We request the general secretary to continue to provide support and accompaniment to the Maohi Protestant Church in its ministry of caring for those suffering the health consequences of nuclear testing, and in its witness for justice and peace, and to further strengthen WCC's efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons globally in light of nuclear rearmament by several nations and the increasing threat of nuclear conflict. In particular, we ask the general secretary to explore possibilities for organizing a Pilgrim Team Visit to Pacific island nations and territories affected by nuclear weapon testing programmes, including French Polynesia (Maohi Nui).
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|Publication:||The Ecumenical Review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2019|
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