The forum, extending from 20-24 March, is a public space for debate on human rights in the world, the main progresses and challenges focused on respect for differences, social participation, reduction of inequalities, and promotion of equity and social inclusion.
The WCC messages, “Global inequalities, human rights and social justice” and “Experiences of peace building in Latin America and worldwide,” both highlighted insights from the WCC 11th Assembly, in addition to reiterating the WCC’s ongoing commitment to strengthening human rights in many ways.
The WCC recognized that we are living in a time of converging global crises, and that injustice and unsustainable economic models are at the centre of these crises. The messages also acknowledged that the WCC does not take pride in religion becoming an instrument of deprivation and an instrument that inhibits the enjoyment of life by all people of God.
The message about global inequalities acknowledged that religion has not been clean, and therefore this is something that the World Council of Churches takes seriously.
The task of peace-building, the WCC emphasized, is about engaging in dialogue to resolve disputes, promoting reconciliation, and confronting injustices and the violation of human rights.
The message on peace-building in Latin America described how the WCC has been engaged in this regard since the 1970s, and that the lessons learned during that time continue to inform the WCC’s approach to the struggles of today, against religious intolerance, violence against women and children, racism, xenophobia, discrimination against minorities, poverty, and socio-economic injustice in the region.
Delivering part of that message, Rev. Dr Kenneth Mtata, WCC director of Public Witness and Diakonia, acknowledged that making peace involves addressing racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, hate speech, and other forms of hatred.
“Hearing the groans from so many conflict-affected communities around the world, these are some of the core commitments that we as a global fellowship of churches have made, and that together with our ecumenical, interfaith and civil society partners, we are determined to pursue,” he said.
Watch the video messages: