The statement begins with the acknowledgement of the “deep pain and dismay that violence and conflict continue to impact vulnerable communities, especially the elderly, women, children and youth.”
The work of the WCC since the 10th assembly in Busan has been framed as a “Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace” with four dimensions: just peace in the community, just peace in the earth, just peace in the marketplace, and just peace among nations.
This statement, titled “The Things that Make for Peace; moving the world to reconciliation and unity,” acknowledges living in a time of renewed and escalating global polarization, reconfiguration of governance and geopolitical alignments, division, and militarization, as well as of continuing military occupations in situations such as the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Cyprus. All of which contribute to, “instrumentalization of religious language, authority, and leadership to justify, support, or ‘bless’ armed aggression or any kind of violence and oppression.”
Peace-making through inter-religious dialogue, the pursuit of mutual understanding, and cooperation at all levels are identified as key contributions to addressing division, polarization, and injustice. The WCC and the entire ecumenical fellowship are urged to, “continue and deepen this engagement.”
The statement calls for a global ceasefire in all armed conflicts around the world, and for all parties, “to engage and persist in dialogue and negotiations until just and sustainable peace can be achieved, and to abstain from war.”
WCC member churches are invited into reflection and discussion on “Christian principles and perspectives with regard to the doctrine of nuclear deterrence.” A global pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons systems is strongly noted, as well as “full legal accountability for perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights.”
Urgent action to achieve climate justices and address the threat of catastrophic climate change are identified as foundational to human and global security. The statement calls governments to increase investment in the areas of renewable energy, sustainable development, and for measures to control rampant inequality, “all of which if not addressed will fuel conflict.”
Partnership and cooperation among WCC, ACT Alliance and other ecumenical partners, including the UN, are identified as a way of strengthening, “the capacity of churches around the world” and providing support especially in conflict-affected areas.
The statement also denounces “every instance of the violation of freedom of religion or belief, and affirms the freedom of religion or belief for all people of faith and people of no faith everywhere, and the right of conscientious objection, for a peaceful world.”