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December 2003

21 November 2003

WCC delegation attends UN conference on climate change

1-12 December 2003, Milan, Italy

The World Council of Churches (WCC) will send delegates from Argentina, India, Canada, Kenya, Russia, the United States and Switzerland to observe the Ninth Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Coinciding with this event, the WCC and the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) in collaboration with the Council of Christian Churches in Milan (CCCM) will host a programme consisting of two workshops entitled "Responsible lifestyles and traffic" and "Transport issues especially in the City of Milan". This programme aims to sustain the churches' continued interest in the effects of global warming.

Seminar on alternative agriculture and trade: creation of a global alternative agriculture forum

8-9 December 2003, Geneva, Switzerland

Proposals for the development of a Global Alternative Agriculture Forum (GAAF) and a framework for its first meeting are among the expected results of an upcoming seminar organized by the Ecumenical Coalition on Alternatives to Economical Globalization (ECAG)*. Twenty participants - from Africa, Asia, Latin American, the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Middle East, North America and Europe - will share thoughts and methodologies on alternative agriculture and equitable trade for small-scale farmers throughout the world confronted with globalization. Participants may have an opportunity to visit churches and Christian farmers in Switzerland or France who are currently practising alternative agriculture and trade.

* Members of ECAG include the WCC, Lutheran World Federation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, World YWCA, World Alliance of YMCAs, World Student Christian Federation, Pax Romana and Frontier Internship in Mission.

WCC holds seminar to prepare for WSIS

9 December 2003, Ecumenical Centre, Geneva, Switzerland

The WCC will host a seminar for church-related organizations to prepare their participation in the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), to take place 10-13 December 2003. The seminar will be jointly facilitated by WCC, the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

Interrogating and redefining power: a theological consultation

10-13 December 2003, Bossey, Switzerland

As part of the WCC Theology of Peace process, twenty theologians, ethicists and social scientists from around the world will gather to identify core theological, ecclesiological and ethical issues of power. Participants will make connections between existential notions and trends, and set a time frame for further work in this area. This consultation will prepare for a larger gathering to take place in 2004.

WCC launches three-year series of dialogues among five world religions

13-17 December 2003, St Petersburg (Florida), United States

This first meeting in a three-year process entitled "From Xenophobia to Philoxenia" will bring together thinkers, educators and theologians from the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths. Participants will develop specific approaches to engage local communities in an inter-religious dialogue by exploring past and present religious definitions, texts and traditions. The group’s goal is to provide guidelines for dialogue to local congregations by 2005.

Central and Eastern Europe strategy consultation on HIV/AIDS

15-20 December 2003, St Petersburg, Russia

This consultation seeks to mobilize and support the efforts of church-related organizations in countering the rising HIV/AIDS epidemic in Central and Eastern European countries. Participants from nearly 50 church-related organizations and agencies will promote a regional ecumenical strategy to strengthen work in this area. The WCC is organizing this meeting with Norwegian Church Aid, the Christian Inter-church Diaconal Council of St. Petersburg (CIDC) and the Russian Orthodox Church Round Table Office in Moscow.

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