Friends World Committee for Consultation - Europe & Middle East Section

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Responsibility to Protect and "Towards a Declaration on Just Peace" - some Responses to the World Council of Churches

As a member of Church and Peace, FWCC-EMES contributed to its response to the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) position on the concept of Responsibility to Protect. Switzerland Yearly Meeting and The Netherlands Yearly Meeting also submitted responses.

In addition, Friends in the Netherlands have responded to the World Council of Churches document “Towards a declaration on Just Peace”, and have joined with the response of the Council of Churches in the Netherlands.

Drawing from a tradition that goes back to the declaration by Quakers to King Charles II in 1660 which is still regarded as the basis of the Quaker Peace Testimony, Friends offer the following recommendations:

  • To consider the meeting in Jamaica no longer as the completion of a campaign (Decade to Overcome Violence) but to save from the seeds presented there some for a new planting season: finally starting the campaign that Bonhoeffer envisioned: towards a worldwide ecumenical Council of Peace in 2021 where we evaluate how far we have come with the target: to finally ban war during this 21 st century!
  • Working towards an ecumenical declaration of Just Peace that actually calls us to follow Jesus example of practising non-violence and will be an inspiring starting-document for the above mentioned campaign.
  • To implement a WCC-policy that is clearly aiming at abolishing war and the use of deadly violence as means of settling conflict.
  • To engage the WCC seriously in campaigning for the abolishment of ABC- and other categories of weapons , as well as the termination of arms production and arms trade, in close cooperation with other world religions.
  • To stimulate the churches to contribute to non-violent conflict resolution (also financially!) and to actively commit themselves to working for peace and reconciliation at home and elsewhere.
  • To inspire the members of our churches to adopt a lifestyle that enables all citizens of this one world to live a sustainable, just and peaceful life.
  • The world wide church could serve as an ‘early warning system’ when and where conflicting interests threaten to develop into armed conflict, so that non-violent intervention will be made possible at an early stage by the local and the (inter)national authorities, as well as the churches themselves. The World Council of Churches is well placed to facilitate the effective development of such an ‘early warning system’.

The full documents can be read by following these links:
Netherlands YM’s response
Netherlands Council of Churches’ response

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