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International affairs, peace
and human security

  • UN liaison office in New York

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  • History
  • 2004 WCC UN Advocacy Week
  • 2003 WCC UN Advocacy Week

  • WCC United Nations liaison office
    Work on the environment

    Unsustainable environmental practices pose increasing threats to the Earth's water, forests, climate, biodiversity, food and energy supply. Developing countries are often the most hardly done by, suffering the adverse ecological consequences of rich countries' interests and energy intensive growth.

    In recent decades, there has been an ongoing battle between advocates for greater environmental protection and those who contest rules and regulations for the benefit of economic growth.

    The WCC’s perspective on the natural environment is founded on its conviction about the sacred nature of all Creation, about the respect for the integrity of the Earth, and sustaining the health and well-being of all members of the global community.

    Small island nations are threatened by global warming.
    Deforestation, Haiti

    SEE ALSO: WCC/Justice, Peace & Creation work on the environment

    Its sacred origin makes Earth the common inheritance of all peoples, in present and future generations, to be shared in a just and responsible manner. One of the roles of faith communities in this context is to articulate the spiritual and ethical dimensions of environmental sustainability. In addition, justice and equity must be at the core of any sustainable economic, social or environmental system supporting the entire global community.

    WCC actions to date
    For more than twenty years, the WCC has been engaged in efforts within its own world-wide constituency to build a faith-based understanding of the integral relationship between social justice, human development and protection of the environment. Among other things, the WCC accompanied the follow-up to the Rio Summit in 1992, and participated in the preparatory process of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in 2002. The Council also participated in the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) process with ecumenical teams, putting forward the experiences and advocacy concerns of churches and ecumenical development and relief agencies.

    The WCC Climate Change programme, which started in 1988, aims at demonstrating that climate change is more than a scientific, ecological, economic and political concern, but has important spiritual and ethical dimensions as well. While responding to the real need to help people adapt to the impacts of climate change, the WCC is more than ever committed to challenging the forces that are causing human-induced climate change. Thus, churches continue to devote a great deal of time and effort to advocacy initiatives in relation to climate change, e.g. by means of ecumenical delegations participating in the Conferences of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as a recent Call to Action in Solidarity with those Most Affected by Climate Change.

    WCC UN Liaison Office aims

    • assess critically and bring alternative approaches to the negotiations and debate on sustainable development
    • urge governments to carry forward the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, by taking forceful steps to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions
    • seek to achieve accountability as a way of being responsible towards one another and Earth itself

    Work methods

    • attend and report on the CSD sessions in New York
    • take action in solidarity with victims of climate change by means of supporting and promoting Calls to Actions’ in the field of sustainable development and climate change
    • promote climate change as an issue of international justice and intergenerational justice

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