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Introduction to the Revised Programme Plans 2003-2005

Introduction to the Revised Programme Plans for the period leading up to the Assembly

02 September 2003

World Council of Churches
Geneva, Switzerland
26 August - 2 September 2003

Introduction to the Revised Programme Plans 2003-2005

The new presentation of the core programmes and activities of the Council for the period leading up to the Assembly reflects the changes that have taken place since the Central Committee of September 2002, in terms of internal organisation, staff reduction and financial constraints.

As was the case last year, the document offers a synthetic overview of the priority objectives of the Council's programmes until the Assembly, as well as a summary of the core activities planned on a yearly basis to implement each programme.

As a result of the simplification of the internal structure and of the process of setting priorities, the total number of core programmes has been reduced to thirteen:

    • One programme is related to the core function of the General Secretariat to strengthen the fellowship of churches.
    • Another is for the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey.
    • Three are related to the overall and cross teams' concerns: DOV, Inter-religious dialogue and Ecumenical focus on Africa.
    • Six express the priority objectives in the present context of the Council's historical mandate:
    • Unity
    • Advocacy and peaceful resolution of conflicts
    • Mission and evangelism
    • Ecumenical formation
    • Ethics of life and alternatives to globalisation
    • Diakonia and solidarity
    • Two are related to communicating WCC's work.

In addition, there are two specific "International Ecumenical Initiatives" which are time-limited programmes with specific funding, based on tri-partite collaboration, including churches in the field and specialised ministries with the WCC ensuring the coordination and leadership function:

    • Ecumenical accompaniment programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
    • Ecumenical HIV/AIDS initiative in Africa.

All programmes are implemented through different activities that contribute to the realisation of the overall objective.

In the priority setting process that took place after the last Central Committee, the main criteria used to re-focus the activities were:

    • A realistic assessment of the financial and human capacity in the present context.
    • A viable future.
    • A deliberate choice to strengthen the processes of change leading up to the Assembly.
    • An emphasis on multilateral and ecumenical cooperative approaches to meet the needs.
    • A clearer understanding of the specific role of the WCC linking the local and the global.
    • A clear will to develop new ways of working for the implementation of the programme and activities (increased internal cooperation and multi-disciplinary approach; decentralisation of capacities).