Thursday, 19 May 2011

Building peace - the WCC International Ecumenical Peace Convocation

I am in Kingston, Jamaica, the home of Reggae, for the World Council of Churches International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (IEPC). I am here with colleagues to join with 1,000 people gathered from all over the world. We will present two workshops and make connections with people who are peacemakers in many different contexts.

The Convocation has opened with some inspiring worship and addresses. Canon Paul Oestreicher challenged us as follows: -

"The abolition of war is possible. It is as possible as was the abolition of slavery, the slavery that still haunts the history of Jamaica.

"What are the chances of us winning this battle? Some will say slavery, exploitation and trafficking in human beings still goes on. Yes, but it is universally acknowledged as both morally wrong and illegal. Passing legislation to abolish war will not immediately eliminate armed violence. What it will do is to make absolutely clear that to resolve conflicts by military means is illegal, with its perpetrators brought before an International Court of Justice."

You can follow the IEPC here or subscribe to my twitter posts @publicissues.

Meanwhile our three churches have issued a Press Release following the UK Government's announcement of 3 billion spending on design and components for new Trident submarines prior to the promised Parliamentary debate in 2016.