Peter Prove

Peter Prove, director of the World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches on International Affairs.


He opened by congratulating the CoNGO on its 75th anniversary—an anniversary that is shared with the WCC—recalling the days when the WCC worked very directly in the drafting of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, among many other roles.

Prove then summarized how the WCC has called for a global ceasefire, and for greater investment by governments and other actors for promoting peace and preventing conflict. 

We encouraged renewed efforts to reform and improve the effectiveness of the United Nations and other instruments for promoting peace and security,” he said. 

But is the United Nations able to function in a way that solves todays grave global issue? 

War is back big time. The nuclear threat is very much more salient. Poverty is rising again. There is the enormous threat of the climate and biodiversity crisis,” Prove said. The United Nations is not fit for the gravity of the crisis that we are currently facing.”

He touched on the ineffectiveness of sanctions in many cases. Very often, they constitute warfare by another means—economic warfare that has greater consequences for larger number of people than armed conflict,” he said. We find ourselves in an extremely challenging times with no obvious solutions.”

He concluded: My fear is that things are going to get much, much worse before the nations of the world realize they must come together to confront crisis of a global nature,” he said. We clearly havent reached the point of sufficient seriousness that obliges nations to come together.”

Prove’s presentation was part of a webinar in New York City on 27 October entitled UN-NGO Relations: Enhancing Multilateralism, Protecting NGO Access, Civic Space, and Democratic Discourse.”

Conference explores stronger relationships between non-governmental organizations and United Nations (WCC news release 29 October 2023)