February 23, 2006

WCC Report 3 News

The news items below, prepared by WCC staff and posted here, are offered for information only and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints or beliefs of Adventist leaders attending the WCC Assembly, the General Conference, or the Adventist Review.
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Assembly Adopts Nuclear Arms Minute
The World Council of Churches at its 9th General Assembly in Porto Alegré, Brazil, February 14-23, 2006, has adopted a Minute on the elimination of nuclear arms calling on member churches to urge their governments to pursue the unequivocal elimination of nuclear weapons in line with the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Minute says, ?Governments that have decided to abstain from developing nuclear weapons should be affirmed and states that are not signatories of NPT must be pressed to sign the treaty.?

1506 WCC logoIt urges churches to work to overcome the ?ignorance and complacency? in society concerning the nuclear threat, and especially to raise awareness in generations with no memory of what these weapons do. It recommends that until the goal of nuclear disarmament is achieved, member churches should prevail upon their governments to take collective responsibility for making international disarmament machinery work.

The Minute also proposes that member churches and parishes should mobilize their membership to support and strengthen Nuclear Weapons Free Zones, which are established in Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and Africa and are proposed for other inhabited regions. It especially recommends that churches engage with other religions to advocate for the Nuclear Weapons Free Zones during the WCC ?Decade to Overcome Violence.?

The full text of the ?Minute on the elimination of nuclear arms? is available by clicking here.

Churches Urged to Counter Threat to Water, Cradle of Life
The 9th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, meeting in Porto Alegré, Brazil, February 14-23, 2006, has called on churches and ecumenical partners to work together to preserve and protect water resources against over-consumption and pollution.

In a statement approved today, the Assembly described water as ?an integral part of the right to life.? The statement on ?Water for Life? drew on the demand of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and New Rome, that water never be treated as private property and that ?indifference towards the vitality of water constitutes both a blasphemy to God the Creator and a crime against humanity.?

The Assembly said ?access to freshwater supplies is becoming an urgent matter across the planet. The survival of 1.2 billion people is currently in jeopardy due to lack of adequate water and sanitation.?

It said, ?Agreements concerning international watercourses and river basins need to be more concrete, setting out measures to enforce treaties made and incorporating detailed conflict resolution mechanisms in case disputes erupt.?

Other public issues?Latin America, vulnerable populations, terrorism and human rights, and reform of the United Nations?will be considered by the Assembly on February 22.

The full text of the ?Statement on Water for Life? is available by clicking here.