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

10 December 1999


The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Dr Konrad Raiser, will have a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York, on Monday 13 December.

Among the topics Raiser would like to discuss during their conversation are a number of political and ethical questions concerning the settlement of conflicts and the possibilities for non-violent forms of conflict resolution. The three specific problem areas on which the general secretary would like to have a more detailed discussion are the planning of humanitarian interventions, the defence of human rights through the use of military force and the use of sanctions to bring pressure to bear on governments.

In this connection, Raiser also wishes to inform the UN Secretary-General about the WCCs planned Decade to Overcome Violence and to assure him of the WCCs support for the UN in the search for a viable response to these issues.

A further possible point of discussion is the new role of religious organizations on the international scene. Raiser believes there are many signs to indicate that religion is re-emerging from the private sphere and once again becoming a factor in public life. Public institutions and business enterprises are also showing a marked interest in a dialogue with religious organizations, he says. Another notable trend is the growing interest in inter-religious dialogue prompted by the need to develop an ethic that holds for the world community a whole.

Contact: Kristine Greenaway, Director of Communication, tel: (+41.22) 791.61.68

For more information contact:
Karin Achtelstetter, Media Relations Officer
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.