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Table of Contents
issue 19/2000

justice, peace and creation news

ECHOES is an occasional publication of the World Council of Churches' cluster on "Issues and Themes", Justice, Peace & Creation team.

The executive Director of the Cluster on "Issues and Themes", Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia

Publication Staff Team:
Susie Harrison, Bob Scott, Samuel Kabue, Miriam Reidy-Prost, Thadeo Mutua-Mulonzya

Layout and design:
Marie Arnaud Snakkers

Printed on environmentally friendly paper by Imprimer M. Picarat

Articles for future publications are welcome.

Articles published in ECHOES are WCC copyright, however permission will be granted to reproduce most material on application.

All correspondence and inquiries should be directed to:

Justice, Peace & Creation
World Council of Churches
150 rte de Ferney
P.O. Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

Tel: (41 22) 791 6111
Fax: (41 22) 791 6409
Email: WCC Contact

Echoes from elsewhere:
An introduction to Echoes magazine in reactions, facts and issues from all over the world

US Military moves to "Control space" and be "enforcement arm for the global economy" - by Karl Grossman

The United States is seeking to "control space" and from space "dominate" the Earth below. "Control" and "dominate" are words used repeatedly in US military documents. The US military, further, would like to base weapons in space. As last month’s report of the "Space Commission" chaired by incoming Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld puts it: "In the coming period, the US will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on the Earth and in space." Star Wars is back. But there’s a difference since Star Wars first emerged under Ronald Reagan in 1983. Then it was purportedly needed to fend off what Reagan called the "evil empire," the Soviet Union. There is no Soviet Union any longer. And a key rationale for Star Wars now, US military documents acknowledge, is the global economy of which the US is the engine. The US would, from the "ultimate high ground" of space, "dominate" the planet below in part to keep the global economy on track.

What a legacy to be left for our children and their children at the dawn of this new century, this new millennium, if the US succeeds in trashing the Outer Space Treaty and makes space a new place for war. No one will profit but Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and TRW, and so on. We have a narrow window to keep space for peace, to strengthen the Outer Space Treaty and ban all weapons in space. We must join with peoples from around the world and stop this move by the United States to turn the heavens into a war zone. Getting and spreading the information about what is going on is critical. We must challenge the anti-environmental, anti-democratic global economy and we must challenge its would-be "enforcement arm" the new US space military establishment.

Extracted from a Presentation at Technology and Globalization Teach-In, New York City, February 24, 2001. For more information on this subject try the following web sites:, and

Leon Sullivan, a ‘prophet’ in the fight against apartheid

New York (ENI): Church officials and leading defenders of human rights have praised Leon Sullivan, a leading figure in US efforts to end South Africa’s system of apartheid, for his long commitment to making corporations more responsible for ethical conduct. Sullivan, an African American and ordained Baptist mini-ster, died on 25 April of leukaemia at the age of 78 in Scottsdale, in the US state of Arizona. Sullivan was best known for creating the Sullivan Principles, a set of ethical guidelines later signed by officials from more than 125 US corporations working in South Africa. The principles pledged the corporations to practise racial non-discrimination in their South African operations and to opposing apartheid.

Churches to meet in Sarajevo to improve relations with Europe’s Muslims

Geneva (ENI): Two leading organisations representing mainstream churches across Europe are organising an historic joint gathering on the future of Christian-Muslim relations in Europe. The theme of the meeting, which will take place in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from 16 to 21 September, is the "joint responsibility" of Christians and Muslims in Europe in "a pluralist and secular society".

WCC encourages countries to continue working towards the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol despite its rejection by the Bush administration

"The rejection of the Kyoto Protocol by the Bush administration is a betrayal of their responsibilities as global citizens", said Dr David Hallman, the World Council of Churches (WCC) Climate Change Programme coordinator, today in a first reaction to the decision of the US government to reject an international treaty designed to combat global warming. The United States, with 4% of the world’s population, emits 25% of the global emissions that are leading to climate change.

The WCC Central Committee, meeting in Potsdam, 29 January-6 February 2001, reaffirmed its position that "industrialised countries bear the major moral responsibility for precipitating climate change and therefore must exercise leadership that results in real action to reduce the causes".

Hallman, a member of the United Church of Canada, noted that there is increasing evidence that vulnerable peoples, especially in the poorer countries, are already suffering from the impacts of human-induced climate change. He pointed to the past two years of devastating floods in Mozambique, rising sea levels in the Pacific Islands, and persistent years of drought in Africa.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientific body which advises the UN, reported earlier this year that "there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities".

Hallman stated that the climate change issue will continue regardless of the recent rejection: "If the US walks away from the Kyoto Protocol, it just means that another treaty with even more ambitious targets will have to be negotiated in the future as evidence of the devastating impacts of climate change mounts. We encourage all other countries to continue working towards the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol regardless of the US action."

© 2001 world council of churches | remarks to webeditor