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

9 August 2001

Economic globalization consultation: Another world is possible!

cf. WCC Press Update, Up-01-22, of 29 June 2001
cf. WCC Press Update, Up-01-19, of 25 June 2001
cf. WCC Press Release, PR-01-15, of 18 June 2001

"There are people across our continent who believe that another world is possible... Humble people are beginning to understand they face this enormous threat to sustainable life," says Angel Luis Rivera-Agosto. Rivera-Agosto from Ecuador will be reporting from Latin America to an international ecumenical consultation in Fiji, 12-16 August, on the devastating effects of economic globalization on national and regional economies. The consultation is being organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in cooperation with the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC).

"There is growing social consciousness among peoples' movements and even world leaders that the process of economic globalization needs to be regulated. The church has an important role in providing theological and ethical insights in support of the peoples marginalized and excluded by economic globalization", says Dr Rogate Mshana, WCC staff person on economic issues.

The consultation will be an important step in the development of the churches' understanding of economic globalization. Church representatives will share experiences from thirty countries facing the effects of economic globalization.

"We go to the Pacific because, while many people think it is the perfect place for a vacation, it is also a region suffering the negative effects of globalization," said Mshana. "We want to demonstrate our solidarity with the churches in the Pacific as they face those difficulties. It is a region that is often marginalized in world forums because of its relatively small population and distance from the major centres of political and economic activity," he said.

The consultation theme, 'Island of Hope', is based on the vision and lifestyle of the Pacific. These challenge the logic of globalization - the kind of alternative vision called for by the WCC assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1998.

Participants will focus on the effects of economic globalization on peoples' lives, such as trade and environmental devastation, while articulating alternatives from the perspective of the ethical challenges to the churches.

The WCC has worked with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) on a number of regional consultations on the same subject. The Fiji meeting will help build a picture of churches' worldwide response to economic globalization. It will be preceded by a gathering of 25 young people to prepare for their participation in the main consultation.

Participants include:
Linn Aas-Hansen, Norway
Rev. Dr Robert Aboygye-Mensah, Ghana
Dr Agnes Abuom, Kenya
Rev. Dick Avi, Papua New Guinea
Fr. Kevin Barr, Fiji
Fr. Vsevolod Chaplin, Russia
Jacques-chai Chomthongdi, Thailand
Lawrence S. Cumming, Canada
Rev. Bruce Deverell, New Zealand
Salam El-Haouch, Lebanon
Pastor Bender Enicar, The Federated States of Micronesia
Joan Alleluia Filemoni-Tofaeono, Fiji
Fr. Line Folautnoeloa, Tonga
Rev. Juan Gattinoni, Argentina
Lilia Solano Gongora, Colombia
Dr Ruth GŁtter, Germany
Dr Tyegaye Habte, Ethiopia
Georgine Kengne, Cameroon
Bishop Wesley Kigasung, Papua New Guinea
Tex-Paul Koku, Togo
Rev. Marta Kovacs, Hungary
Prof. Kyung Mi Park, Korea
Augusto Kelly Lawig, Philippines
Chris Lind, Canada
Bishop Bernardino Mandlate, Mozambique
H.E. Mar Gregorios Yoanna Ibrahim, Syria
Jack Menke, Suriname
Lic. Horacio Mesones, Ecuador
Rev. Dr Fidon Mwombeki, Tanzania
Prof. M. Abraham Oommen, India
Rev. Valamotu Palu, Fiji
Peter Pavlovic, Slovakia
Bishop Ellison Pogo, Solomon Islands
Pasteure RafaŽlle Quinche, Switzerland
Angel Luis Rivera, Ecuador
Rev. Bertalan Tamas, Hungary
Hellen Wangusa, Uganda
Tony Wawaruntu, Hong Kong

Some participants may be available for personal interviews by telephone or by e-mail. Contact: Bob Scott, Fiji Mocambo Nadi Hotel, Tel.: +679 722.000 or Mobile: +679 259.540

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 342, 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.