World Council of Churches - News Release
Contact: +41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate release - 03/03/2008 06:58:51 PM
UN AND WCC GENERAL SECRETARIES FORGE CLOSER PARTNERSHIP ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEMOCRACY ISSUES
[Free photos available, see below] In a wide ranging discussion at the Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC) the UN secretary general, H.E. Ban Ki-Moon and WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia found agreement for the two world bodies to work more closely on several global issues, particularly climate change.
"Global warming will only be resolved through a global common response and we need your help," Ban Ki-Moon said to Kobia and several staff gathered.
The UN leader was visiting the WCC offices at the invitation of Kobia. The two had previously met in New York last October.
Kobia opened the meeting with a brief description of how WCC and its member churches are working to mobilize churches toward a better understand ing of the impact of global warming and the need to follow through beyond the Kyoto Protocol.
"We welcome your visit to the Antarctica to see the climate change issue first hand," Kobia said. "It was a powerful testimony."
"Working on global warming is a matter of faith," Kobia said. "You can count on the WCC as a strong partner in acting together now for the sake of humankind and the rest of creation."
"We would like to maintain a close partnership with the WCC," Ban Ki-Moon said. "You have high moral power and what you are doing is based on your Christian beliefs."
Saying he was very familiar with the work of the WCC he added that the WCC had played an important role in the democratization of Korea.
Ban Ki-Moon is the first UN chief from Korea.
The discussion broadened into the issue of democratic electoral processes with references by Kobia to Kenya and more recently the upheaval in Armenia. "I want to thank you for helping in Kenya as you did," Kobia, who is also a Kenyan pastor, said.
Ban Ki-Moon described how he plans to place a focus on the issues of intolerance which have led to some of the struggles and violence surroundin g electoral processes.
"This is another area where the WCC can make a contribution," he said. "The world has suffered for too long with intolerances."
Kobia said the WCC work on inter-religious dialogue and cooperation promotes understanding and tolerance between people of different faiths.
He also announced that the WCC and its member churches in Africa are planning for monitoring of the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe 29 March.
"Your spirit of caring is based in Christianity," Ban Ki-Moon said. "I am glad the WCC is one of the strong partners of the UN."
Following the discussions the leaders attended a short prayer service for peace in the WCC chapel before Ban Ki-Moon returned to the UN offices which are nearby the WCC.
Free high resolution photo is available at:
WCC statement on democratic electoral processes: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=5611
WCC central committee Minute on global warming and climate change: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=5610
See a photo gallery of the visit at: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=5646
Additional information:Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363media@wcc -coe.org
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, from the Methodist Church in Kenya. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
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