On the 10-11 November this year, more than 60 people gathered for the Perth Peacemaking Conference to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW1. The Conference included an Interfaith Forum (pictured) with representatives from a range of religious faiths.
After the Conference, members of the Ecumenical Social Justice Roundtable agreed to issue a Statement which emerges from the material presented and discussed at the Conference. You can read the Statement below.
As we remember the end of the First World War 100 years ago, we recall the suffering and tragedy of that war and seek to learn from it, so that it may never happen again.
The Peace Conference heard the unanimous call from seven faith leaders that any violence between people, families, communities or nations is an unacceptable solution to conflict as it always leads to trauma, dislocation, suffering, death, division or further violence.
We believe that instead, we need to be investing much more in conflict prevention and resolution. We believe that meeting basic needs and human rights is fundamental to conflict prevention.
We want to see a generous and compassionate Australia that is united by our common love for our neighbour and is inclusive of minority groups.
Consequently as an outcome of this Peacemaking Conference we call upon the Australian Government to take the following actions to create and sustain peace:
- Pursue a more independent foreign policy;
- Support the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty;
- Heed the resolutions of the United Nations and not support military actions contrary to it;
- Increase our foreign aid towards the 0.7% of GDP as recommended by the United Nations;
- Withdraw all Australian military from Afghanistan and make equivalent, long term financial contributions to peace building and development in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals;
- Advocate for a just peace in Palestine/Israel, guided by UN resolutions and international law;
- Enact and invest in justice and development initiatives that uphold human rights and align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region;
- Foster the development of peace building and conflict resolution studies in our universities;
- Encourage more conversations with Heads of Faith regarding peace making and sustaining efforts globally, nationally, within our communities and homes;
- Encourage greater recognition of those people and organisations that have contributed to peace and reconciliation;
- Acknowledge and commemorate the history, trauma and injustice of the frontier wars for the sake of reconciliation with First Peoples;
- Refuse to incentivise or invest in weapons manufacturing.
We call for these measures as followers of the nonviolent Jesus who proclaimed the peaceable reign of God. We commit ourselves to pursuing the things that make for peace and being peacemakers as Jesus calls us to.
For the sake of peace, from the following members of the WA Ecumenical Social Justice Roundtable:
- Anglican Social Responsibilities Commission; Anglican Diocese of Perth
- Justice, Ecology and Development Office; Catholic Archdiocese of Perth
- WA Regional Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- Social Justice Commission; Uniting Church Western Australia
For more resources on Peacemaking, see https://unitingforpeacewa.org/
The Statement issued from the conference can be found at https://unitingforpeacewa.org/2018/11/28/perth-peacemaking-conference-statement/