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Resolution 40 - Environment, Militarism, Justice and Peace

Resolution 40

Environment, Militarism, Justice and Peace

This Conference:

1. Identifies four interrelated areas in which the misuse of people or resources poses a threat to the life system of the planet, namely (a) unjust distribution of the world's wealth, (b) social injustice within nations, (c) the rise of militarism, (d) irreversible damage to the environment; and therefore

2. Calls upon each province and diocese to devise a programme of study, reflection and action in which the following elements should play a part:

(a) as a matter of urgency, the giving of information to our people of what is happening to our environment, and to encourage them to see stewardship of God's earth for the care of our neighbours as a necessary part of Christian discipleship and a Christian contribution to citizenship;
(b) actively to support by public statement and in private dialogue, the engagement of governments, transnational corporations, management and labour in an examination of what their decisions are doing to our people, and our land, air and water;
(c) opposition to the increase in the arms trade, questioning both excessive expenditure of scarce resources on weapons and trade policies which look upon arms sales as a legitimate source of increased export revenue;
(d) the encouragement of Christians to re-examine the currently accepted economic policies which operate to the disadvantage of those with less bargaining power at every level from international to personal, and to use God's gifts of technology for the benefit of all;
(e) the critical examination of the exercise of power, first within congregations and all other Church bodies, and then in secular institutions which affect the lives of all. Insofar as the aim is to achieve a just and sustainable society world-wide, priority must be given to those modes which nurture people's gifts and evoke responsible participation rather than those which dominate and exclude.

3.(a) Commends, in general, the participation by every province in the WCC's programme for "Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation";
(b) Urges Churches, congregations and individual Christians to actively support all other agencies which share this urgent concern. In particular we commend a widespread study of the United Nations report "Our Common Future" and a participation by Church bodies in the local responses it requires;
(c) Recommends that, in view of the resolutions passed by ACC-7, information concerning local needs and initiatives be shared throughout provinces, possibly by extending the terms of reference for the existing Peace and Justice Network;
(d) Encourages people everywhere to make changes, personal and corporate, in their attitudes and life-style, recognizing that wholeness of living requires a right relationship with God, one's neighbour, and creation.

Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation Some effects, like famine, can be recognised immediately; some, like pollution, are a creeping crisis which is nonetheless deadly. These major threats to the earth's future cannot be averted by action in one region of the world alone, nor by focusing on a single issue. Everything connects.

(See further paras 36-50, 81-97 and 122-126 of the Report on "Christianity and the Social Order.")