Peacemaking Conference Statement

December 4, 2018 at 8:53 am Leave a comment

I participated in a Peace Conference in Perth, WA on 10-11 November at St George’s Anglican Cathedral.  I had the privilege of preaching at the Cathedral on Remembrance Day, Sunday 11 November.  The Conference organisers have produced a Peacemaking Conferenece Statement that sums up the various concerns that were expressed by the different speakers and seminar leaders at the conference.  It calls on the Austalian Government to take a number of actions that would enhance peace and are readily achievable. 

 

As we remember the end of WW1 100 years ago we recall the suffering and tragedy of that war and seek to learn from it, so that it may never happen again.

The Peace Conference heard the unanimous call from seven faith leaders that any violence between people, families, communities or nations is an unacceptable solution to conflict as it always leads to trauma, dislocation, suffering, death, division or further violence.

We believe that instead, we need to be investing much more in conflict prevention and resolution. We believe that meeting basic needs and human rights is fundamental to conflict prevention.

We want to see a generous and compassionate Australia that is united by our common love for our neighbour and is inclusive of minority groups.

Consequently as an outcome of this Peacemaking Conference we call upon the Australian Government to enact the following actions that create and sustain peace:

  • Pursue a more independent foreign policy.
  • Support the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty.
  • Heed the resolutions of the United Nations and not support military actions contrary to it.
  • Increase our foreign aid towards the 0.7% of GDP as recommended by the United Nations.
  • Withdraw all Australian military from Afghanistan and make equivalent, long term financial contributions to peace building and development in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Advocate for a just peace in Palestine/Israel, guided by UN resolutions and international law.
  • Enact and invest in justice and development initiatives that uphold human rights and align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Foster the development of peace building and conflict resolution studies in our universities.
  • Encourage more conversations with Heads of Faith regarding peacemaking and sustaining efforts globally, nationally, within our communities and homes.
  • Encourage greater recognition of those people and organisations that have contributed to peace and reconciliation.
  • Acknowledge and commemorate the history, trauma and injustice of the frontier wars for the sake of reconciliation with First Peoples.
  • Refuse to incentivise or invest in weapons manufacturing.

We call for these measures as followers of the nonviolent Jesus who proclaimed the peaceable reign of God. We commit ourselves to pursuing the things that make for peace and being peacemakers as Jesus calls us to.

For the sake of peace from the following members of the WA Ecumenical Social Justice Roundtable,

  • Anglican Social Responsibilities Commission; Anglican Diocese of Perth
  • Justice, Ecology and Development Office; Catholic Archdiocese of Perth
  • WA Regional Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • Social Justice Commission; Uniting Church Western Australia
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