This year, 2021, marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment in 1946 of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA). The World Council of Churches (WCC) – then still in the process of formation – joined with International Missionary Council (IMC) in creating CCIA in 1946, in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, in a world broken by war and struggling to deal with gross violations of human rights, the plight of refugees, the emergence of unprecedented weapons of mass destruction, and the threat of even more catastrophic conflicts in the future.

The new United Nations, founded in 1945, bore the hallmarks of the aspirations of the fellowship of churches that it should become an instrument of the world's peoples, not only of the world’s powers. CCIA was created to serve as an organ in formulating the Christian mind on world issues and bringing that mind effectively to bear upon such issues, particularly in relationship with the United Nations and the new post-war system of international governance.

One of the pillars of the international ecumenical movement, CCIA has worked throughout its 75 year history to call the attention of churches to problems which are especially claimant upon the Christian conscience and to suggest ways in which Christians may act effectively upon those problems in their respective countries and internationally. Among its many other historic achievements, CCIA contributed directly to the formulation of core principles of modern international human rights law as tools for the promotion and protection of the God-given human dignity of all people without discrimination, and to the establishment of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a new international legal norm against the most indiscriminately destructive weapons ever developed by human beings.

During this present time of convergent global crises and diminished commitment to multilateral cooperation in facing them, this ministry of Christian faith-based witness and action has never been more critically needed.

Therefore the WCC executive committee, meeting on 12-17 November 2021 in Bossey, Switzerland, celebrates three-quarters of a century of CCIA’s ministry for justice and for peace, and affirms and encourages the Commission in its continuing work with and on behalf of the churches and people of the world.