World Council of Churches Office of Communication
Press Release
150 route de Ferney, P.O. Box 2100, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
E-mail: media

22 September 2000

Common ecumenical advocacy at upcoming UNHCR meeting

Racism and xenophobia, and globalization and migration will be the special focus of a 24-26 September meeting of the World Council of Churches' (WCC) Global Ecumenical Network for Uprooted People organized by the WCC team on International Relations. Observers from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Roman Catholic refugee-serving agencies and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and church organizations will also be present at the meeting, to be held at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, near Geneva, Switzerland.

The Global Ecumenical Network brings together representatives of regional working groups on uprooted people to analyse the global situation of uprooted people and develop common strategies for advocacy for the coming year.

The Network will consider issues for common ecumenical advocacy and develop recommendations related to the policy and work of UNHCR. UNHCR is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year, and its Executive Committee meets 2-6 October. Before that, UNHCR will consult with NGOs in a meeting scheduled for 27-29 September.

Participants in the Global Ecumenical Network meeting will be available for interview 24-26 September. They include:

Mr Victor Azariah, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Pakistan
Ms Irinel Bradisteanu, ARCA (Romanian Forum for Refugees)
Mr Tom Clark, Inter-Church Committee for Refugees, Canada
Sr Loreto Conroy, National Council of Churches, Australia
Ms Violeta Adela Correa, CAREF (Comité de Ayuda a Refugiados), Argentina
Mr Jack Costello, Jesuit Refugee Service - Inter-Church Committee for Refugees, Canada
Ms Annemarie Dupré. Federazione delle Chiese, Italy
Mrs Blondina Howes-Jeffrey, Caribbean Conference of Churches
Ms Henriette Hutabarat, Associate General Secretary, Christian Conference of Asia
Bishop S. Tilewa Johnson, Anglican Diocese of Gambia
Rev Milton Mejía, Presbiterio de la Costa Norte, Colombia
Mr Polycarp O. Ochilo, All Africa Conference of Churches, Kenya
Ms Aline Papazian, Middle East Council of Churches, Beirut, Lebanon
Mr Richard Parkins, Episcopal Migration Ministries, USA
Ms Doris Peschke, Churches Commission on Migrants in Europe, Belgium
Ms Wendy Pomeroy, Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program, USA
Mr Cristian Popescu, Czech Orthodox Church
Father Cosimo Spadavecchia, Sacred Heart Church
Rev. Simote Vea, Tonga National Council of Churches

For more information and interview requests contact Sara Speicher, WCC Cluster Communication Officer, tel.: +41 22 791 6398; e-mail: media

For more information contact:
the Media Relations Office
tel.: (+41 22) 791 6153 (office);
e-mail: media
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The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 337, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.