World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

Congratulations on election to Swiss presidency

13 December 2006

Letter to H.E. Mrs Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of the Swiss Confederation, Head
of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, 13 December, 2006


Your Excellency,

At the season of Advent, we greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Prince of Peace.

The World Council of Churches sends its hearty congratulations to you on your
election as the President of the Swiss Confederation. You bring to this high office
a reservoir of rich experience, combined with efforts that are directed to promote
peace, respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. Under your
wise and able leadership the Swiss Confederation has joined other nations in
addressing the global challenges in respect of poverty, conflicts and human rights
that have confronted the world.

Early this year I had the privilege to meet you in Bern together with the leadership
of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches. The meeting provided us
with the opportunity to discuss with you matters of mutual interest and concern.

Amongst these was the conflict in the Korean Peninsula. The World Council of
Churches, as you are aware, has a long history of working with its member churches
for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula and its people.

We may add that the World Council of Churches appreciates the role played
by Switzerland at the new Human Rights Council which is presently passing
through its birth pangs. As part of the civil society the churches are committed
to see a well-functioning and effective Human Rights Council that is able to
address not only critical human rights situations in the world, but also contribute
to the developments of norms and standards relating to thematic issues.

We also remember your role and commitment in facilitating the Geneva Accord
and your support for the WCC's Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in
Palestine and Israel, for which we thank you very much.

We wish you well as you take charge of your office and assure you of our prayers
and support.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary

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