'Called to full humanity'

Resolution 1.1
Affirmation and Adoption of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On the fiftieth anniversary of its proclamation in December of 1948, this Conference:

  1. resolves that its members urge compliance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the nations in which our various member Churches are located, and all others over whom we may exercise any influence; and
  2. urges extension of the provisions of the Declaration to refugees, uprooted and displaced persons who may be forced by the circumstances of their lives to live among them.

Resolution 1.2
Religious Freedom and Tolerance

This Conference, meeting at the dawn of the new millennium calls upon:

  1. all faith communities, especially the Christian Church, to acknowledge our responsibility to mobilise our spiritual, moral and material resources to promote and protect as absolute rights, each person's freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
  2. the leaders of all faith communities to encourage their congregations to reach out to people of all faiths among whom they live, move and have their being, in order to proclaim and demonstrate the imperatives of love and reconciliation as a pre-condition for a new world community; and
  3. governments of all the nations our Churches represent to strive for creation of just and free conditions for people of all religions to practice their beliefs “either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his (or her) religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” (UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18)

Resolution 1.3
Justice for Women and Children

This Conference resolves that each member Church represented make an intentional effort to:

  1. discover the ways in which women and children are affected and victimised by the political, economic, educational, cultural or religious systems in which they live;
  2. discover the ways in which criminal elements of our societies victimise and exploit women and children;
  3. praise the level of public (local, national and international) awareness about such abuses; and
  4. work toward eliminating abuses through co-operation with existing groups such as ECPAT (End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism) and the monitoring agencies of the United Nations and World Council of Churches.

Resolution 1.4
A Faithful Response to Aggression and War

This Conference:

  1. abhors the evil of war;
  2. repudiates and condemns the use of violence for settling religious, economic, cultural or political disputes;
  3. encourages the use of peacekeeping forces to prevent or forestall the escalation of conflicts, and to assist in their resolution;
  4. repudiates and condemns the use of terrorism;
  5. decries the production and proliferation of arms;
  6. commits its members to prayer, mediation, and any active, non-violent means we can employ to end current conflicts and wars and to prevent others; and
  7. urges the nations represented by our Churches and all those on whom we have any influence whatsoever to join us in this endeavour.

Resolution 1.5
Uprooted and Displaced Persons

This Conference commits its members to:

  1. promote within the Anglican Communion and beyond a greater awareness of the plight of uprooted and forcibly displaced persons, including indigenous peoples, and the causes of such disruption, including Third World Debt, religious conflict, economic deprivation, political oppression and environmental degradation;
  2. recognise the plight of our brothers and sisters who are victims of forcible displacement, and encourage prayer, worship, and study experiences which express the solidarity of the Anglican Communion with uprooted and forcibly displaced persons, commending the exceptional courage and leadership exercised on behalf of these victims by certain members of the Anglican Communion;
  3. encourage effective advocacy on behalf of uprooted and forcibly displaced persons within the Anglican Communion as well as within its individual provinces;
  4. promote greater co-operation within the Anglican Communion on behalf of uprooted and displaced persons by designating contact persons in every province whose responsibility would be to develop and guide this work, and by increasing the commitment of personal and material resources for this work*; and
  5. encourage the revitalisation of the Anglican Communion International Migrant and Refugee Network to assist the Anglican Communion in this work.

* All primates were requested to do this as expressed in Anglican Consultative Council 6, 1984. See Proceedings of ACC-6, Appendix 3, page 26, 1984.

Resolution 1.6
The Plight of the People of Northern and Western Uganda

This Conference, acknowledging the appalling suffering of the people of Northern and Western Uganda as a result of continued civil war waged by rebels, known as LRA and ADF (Lord's Resistance Army and Allied Democratic Forces), backed by forces from outside Uganda:

  1. urges the government of Uganda to continue to engage in a process which will lead to reconciliation, peace and justice. The process must include the Governments of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, representatives of the Rebels, representatives of main Religious bodies and Opinion Leaders of the areas affected; and
  2. calls upon the Anglican Consultative Council and appeals to the United Nations organisations to assist in bringing about a quick settlement of this armed conflict.

Resolution 1.7
The Plight of the People of the Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi

This Conference, expressing its horror at the human disaster in the Sudan and Rwanda, urges that:

  1. the Episcopal Church of the Sudan be encouraged to establish a dynamic network of reciprocal communications with government bodies, sympathetic Muslims, and non-governmental organisations, including the All Africa Conference of Churches, the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Observer at the UN, and specialised organs of the UN and the UN Security Council;
  2. the member Churches of the Anglican Communion find ways to help provide technology, equipment, vehicles and administrative support in order to make publicity about and response to the urgent situation in the Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi possible;
  3. the member Churches of the Anglican Communion contribute as generously as possible of expertise, labour, money, and material goods to aid in necessary rebuilding of these nations on all levels; and
  4. help be sought from existing organisations whose mission is the facilitation of peace processes, to aid in the implementation of this resolution.

Resolution 1.8

This Conference:

(a) reaffirms the Biblical vision of Creation according to which: Creation is a web of inter-dependent relationships bound together in the Covenant which God, the Holy Trinity has established with the whole earth and every living being.

(i) the divine Spirit is sacramentally present in Creation, which is therefore to be treated with reverence, respect, and gratitude;

(ii) human beings are both co-partners with the rest of Creation and living bridges between heaven and earth, with responsibility to make personal and corporate sacrifices for the common good of all Creation;

(iii) the redemptive purpose of God in Jesus Christ extends to the whole of Creation.

(b) recognises

    (i) that unless human beings take responsibility for caring for the earth, the consequences will be catastrophic because of:

    • overpopulation
    • unsustainable levels of consumption by the rich
    • poor quality and shortage of water
    • air pollution
    • eroded and impoverished soil
    • forest destruction
    • plant and animal extinction;

(ii) that the loss of natural habitats is a direct cause of genocide amongst millions of indigenous peoples and is causing the extinction of thousands of plant and animal species. Unbridled capitalism, selfishness and greed cannot continue to be allowed to pollute, exploit and destroy what remains of the earth's indigenous habitats;

(iii) that the future of human beings and all life on earth hangs in balance as a consequence of the present unjust economic structures, the injustice existing between the rich and the poor, the continuing exploitation of the natural environment and the threat of nuclear self-destruction;

(iv) that the servant-hood to God's creation is becoming the most important responsibility facing humankind and that we should work together with people of all faiths in the implementation of our responsibilities;

(v) that we as Christians have a God given mandate to care for, look after and protect God's creation.

(c) prays in the Spirit of Jesus Christ:

(i) for widespread conversion and spiritual renewal in order that human beings will be restored to a relationship of harmony with the rest of Creation and that this relationship may be informed by the principles of justice and the integrity of every living being, so that self centred greed is overcome; and

(ii) for the recovery of the Sabbath principle, as part of the redemption of time and the restoration of the divinely intended rhythms of life.

Resolution 1.9

This Conference:

(a) calls upon all ecumenical partners and other faith communities, governments and transnational companies:

  1. to work for sustainable society in a sustainable world;
  2. to recognise the dignity and rights of all people and the sanctity of all life, especially the rights of future generations;
  3. to ensure the responsible use and re-cycling of natural resources;
  4. to bring about economic reforms which will establish a just and fair trading system both for people and for the environment.

(b) calls upon the United Nations to incorporate the right of future generations to a sustainable future in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

(c) asks the Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and the Primates to consider the appointment of a co-ordinator of an inter-national ecological network within the Anglican Communion, who would:

  1. work in co-operation with other ecumenical and interfaith agencies;
  2. be funded through and responsible to the Anglican Consultative Council;
  3. support those engaged in grass-roots environmental initiatives;
  4. gather and disseminate data and information on environmental issues so that the Church can play an informed role in lobbying for ecological justice in both the public and private sectors; and
  5. contribute to the development of environmental educational programmes for use in the training of Christian leaders.

Resolution 1.10
Human Sexuality

This Conference:

  1. commends to the Church the subsection report on human sexuality;
  2. in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;
  3. recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God's transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;
  4. while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex;
  5. cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;
  6. requests the Primates and the ACC to establish a means of monitoring the work done on the subject of human sexuality in the Communion and to share statements and resources among us;
  7. notes the significance of the Kuala Lumpur Statement on Human Sexuality and the concerns expressed in resolutions IV.26, V.1, V.10, V.23 and V.35 on the authority of Scripture in matters of marriage and sexuality and asks the Primates and the ACC to include them in their monitoring process.

Note: The resolutions referred to in subsection (g) of this resolution are set out in the appendix to this document.

Resolution 1.11
Nuclear Weapons

This Conference resolves to call upon our respective governments and through our governments, the United Nations and other instruments:

  1. to urge all nations to agree by treaty to stop the production, testing, stock-piling and usage of nuclear weapons; and
  2. to press for an international mandate for all member states to prohibit nuclear warfare.

Resolution 1.12
Calling for a Commission on Technology and Ethics

This Conference:

  1. calls for consideration to be given to the establishment of a commission through the Anglican Consultative Council to track technological developments, to reflect on them theologically and ethically, and to inform bishops and other church leaders as to what is taking place; and
  2. recommends that such a commission does its work and informs the church of it, as far as possible, through e-mail and Internet conferencing.

Resolution 1.13

This Conference, attended both by bishops from nations suffering acutely from the presence of landmines in their own countries (Mrs. Winifred Ochola wife of the Bishop of Kitgum in Uganda was killed by a landmine) and by bishops from countries that have profited from the manufacture of landmines:

  1. calls upon all signatory Governments to ratify the Ottawa Convention (without exceptions) at the earliest possible date;
  2. calls upon all non-signatory Governments to sign and ratify the Ottawa Convention at the earliest possible date;
  3. calls upon all Governments to provide extra funding for mine clearance programmes, and to encourage the development of appropriate technology for mine clearance initiatives; and;
  4. calls upon international organisations, all Governments, community level and local Government initiatives, NGOs, Churches and other people of good will, to engage in educational work on this issue, provide practical assistance to alleviate the consequences of the massive level of previous landmine deployment, and engage in practical schemes to reintegrate landmine survivors and their families into their communities.

Resolution 1.14

In the light of current debate and proposals for the legalisation of euthanasia in several countries, this Conference:

  1. affirms that life is God-given and has intrinsic sanctity, significance and worth;
  2. defines euthanasia as the act by which one person intentionally causes or assists in causing the death of another who is terminally or seriously ill in order to end the other's pain and suffering;
  3. resolves that euthanasia, as precisely defined, is neither compatible with the Christian faith nor should be permitted in civil legislation;
  4. distinguishes between euthanasia and withholding, withdrawing, declining or terminating excessive medical treatment and intervention, all of which may be consonant with Christian faith in enabling a person to die with dignity. When a person is in a permanent vegetative state, to sustain him or her with artificial nutrition and hydration may be seen as constituting medical intervention; and
  5. commends the Section Report on euthanasia as a suitable introduction for study of such matters in all Provinces of the Communion.

Resolution 1.15
International Debt and Economic Justice

Recognising the importance and urgency of issues of international debt and economic justice, this Conference adopts the following statement:

(a) We see the issues of international debt and economic justice in the light of our belief in creation: God has created a world in which we are bound together in a common humanity in which each person has equal dignity and value. God has generously given to the nations immense resources which are to be held in trust and used for the wellbeing of all and also offered us in Christ Jesus liberation from all that which destroys healthy human life--a pattern of giving which God desires all to follow. The healthy pattern for relationships is of mutual giving and receiving of God's gifts. Borrowing has its place only in as much as it releases growth for human well being. When we ignore this pattern, money becomes a force that destroys human community and God's creation. The vast expansion in the power and quantity of money in recent decades, the huge increase in borrowing among rich and poor alike, the damaging material and spiritual consequences to many, bear testimony to this destructive force.

(b) Mindful of the work done by the political leaders, finance ministers, church leaders and people of creditor nations, we welcome the framework provided by the historic Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC) of 1996. We particularly welcome the approach of bringing all creditors together to agree upon debt relief, and the emphasis on debtor participation. We welcome unilateral initiatives taken by governments to write off loans owed to Overseas Development Departments; and initiatives by governments and international financial institutions to strengthen the capacity of debtor nations to manage debt portfolios, and to co-operate together. We welcome the commitment by leaders of the eight most powerful economies (the G8) in Birmingham May 1998; to consider withholding future taxpayer-subsidised loans intended for arms sales and other unproductive purposes.

(c) While recognising these achievements, we wish to assert that these measures do not as yet provide sufficient release for the hundreds of millions of people whose governments are diverting scarce resources away from health, education, sanitation and clean water.

(d) We have heard and understood the point of view that poverty reduction is more important than debt cancellation. Nevertheless we conclude that substantial debt relief, including cancellation of unpayable debts of the poorest nations under an independent, fair and transparent process, is a necessary, while not sufficient precondition for freeing these nations, and their people, from the hopeless downward spiral of poverty. Because indebted nations lose their autonomy to international creditors, debt cancellation is also a necessary step if these governments are to be given the dignity, autonomy and independence essential to the growth and development of democracy. We believe it vital that all of God's people should participate, on the basis of equal dignity, in the fruits of our interdependent world.

(e) The need for debt relief for the poorest nations is urgent. Children are dying, and societies are unravelling under the burden of debt. We call for negotiations to be speeded up so that the poorest nations may benefit from such cancellation by the birth of the new millennium. The imagination of many, rich and poor alike, has already been gripped by the stark simplicity of this call. This response can be harnessed for the cause of development.

(f) We call on the political, corporate and church leaders and people of creditor nations:

  1. to accept equal dignity for debtor nations in negotiations over loan agreements and debt relief;
  2. to ensure that the legislatures of lending nations are given the power to scrutinise taxpayer-subsidised loans; and to devise methods of regular legislative scrutiny that hold to account government-financed creditors, including the multilateral financial institutions, for lending decisions;
  3. to introduce into the design of international financial systems mechanisms that will impose discipline on lenders, introduce accountability for bad lending, and challenge corruption effectively, thus preventing future recurrence of debt crises;
  4. to introduce measures that will enable debtor nations to trade fairly with creditor nations. Fair trade will allow debtor nations to develop their domestic economies. This in turn will allow them to pay those debts which remain and to take their rightful place in the community of nations;
  5. to ensure that each of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations honour their commitment to set aside 0.7% of their GNP for international development.

(g) We call on political leaders, finance ministers, corporate executives traditional rulers, religious leaders and the people of debtor nation:

  1. to accept independent, fair and transparent procedures for agreeing debt relief;
  2. to adopt much greater transparency and accountability in the process of accepting and agreeing new loans, particularly as the burden of repayment of these loans will fall largely on the poorest; ensuring proper scrutiny by legislative bodies of each loan contract signed by government ministers;
  3. to adopt measures for disciplining elected and paid government officials who corruptly divert public funds and also to provide for sanctions against private sector persons and bodies who act corruptly;
  4. to adopt measures for ensuring that additional resources generated from debt relief are allocated to projects that genuinely benefit the poorest sections of society.

(h) We call on political leaders and finance ministers in both creditor and debtor nations to develop, in a spirit of partnership, a new, independent, open and transparent forum for the negotiation and agreement of debt relief for highly indebted nations. In particular, we call on them to co-operate with the United Nations in the establishment of a Mediation Council whose purpose would be:

  1. to respond to appeals from debtor nations unable to service their debts, except at great human cost;to identify those debts that are odious, and therefore not to be considered as debts.
  2. to assess, independently and fairly, the assets and liabilities of indebted nations;
  3. to determine that debt repayments are set at levels which prioritise basic human development needs over the demands of creditors;
  4. to hold to account those in authority in borrowing countries for the way in which loans have been spent;
  5. to hold to account those in authority in lending nations for the nature of their lending decisions;to demand repayment of public funds corruptly diverted to private accounts;
  6. to consult widely over local development needs and the country's capacity to pay; and
  7. to ensure, through public monitoring and evaluation, that any additional resources made available from debt relief are allocated to projects that genuinely benefit the poor.

(i) We commit ourselves to supporting the objectives outlined above, in the countries in which we live, whether they are debtor nations or creditor nations. We will seek also to highlight the moral and theological implications. Mindful of the wisdom held within other faith traditions we shall work with them, as we are able, to examine the issues of credit and debit and the nature of the economy.

(j) Furthermore we call upon members of the Communion to co-operate with other people of faith in programmes of education and advocacy within our dioceses, so that we may help to raise public awareness of these vital economic issues that impact so deeply on the daily lives of the poor.

(k) Finally, we call on all Primates to challenge their dioceses to fund international development programmes, recognised by provinces, at a level of at least 0.7% of annual total diocesan income.

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