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At CSW62, “stories are the heartbeat”

Dr Ulysses Burley III is serving as a WCC delegate to the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York City (CSW62), being held 12-23 March. Dr Burley, from Chicago, is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He currently serves on the WCC-Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance HIV Access to Treatment Working Group.

Re-engineering life forms: Church forum raises concerns

“What do we have the right to manipulate in creation?” The question is at the heart of a Canadian Quaker’s commitment to the process of encouraging member churches of the World Council of Churches (WCC) to reflect on scientific experiments in modifying life forms known as “synthetic biology”.

Responsible agriculture investments theme of WCC session

Promoting responsible agricultural investments was the theme of a session organised by the WCC at the Civil Society Policy Forum of the World Bank Group-International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings held in Washington DC from 9-13 October. “There is no doubt we need to invest more in agriculture – it feeds us all and remains an important source of employment, especially for the world’s poor,” said Athena Peralta, WCC programme executive for economic and ecological justice.

“Good healthcare a right, not a privilege,” says WCC-EAA

The World Council of Churches - Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance endorses a newly expanded collaboration on HIV between the Medicine Patent Pool and Gilead. On 4 October, the MPP announced a licence with Gilead Sciences for bictegravir, a new integrase inhibitor part of a once-daily, single-tablet HIV regimen currently filed for regulatory approval at the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Union.

G20 summit: call to pray for peace in Hamburg

Friday evening when the leaders of the G20 states will be meeting in Hamburg and discussing global economic, social, environmental and political issues, the churches in Germany are inviting people in Germany and all over the world to a common peace prayer.

G7 must address famine

Not nearly enough is being done to save the lives of the 20 million people who face famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. Among them are 1.4 million children, who are at imminent risk of death unless aid reaches them immediately.

UN discussion focuses on women, HIV and property rights

“She is HIV positive too. No need to inherit her late husband’s title deed. She will die soon and leave it anyway.”

These man’s thoughts during his brother’s funeral were used by Jane Ng’ang’a, national coordinator, International Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV (INERELA+) Kenya Chapter, to push the debate on property and inheritance rights linked to HIV. The discussion was held during the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), on 16 March, at the headquarters of UNAIDS, in New York.

WCC book featured in UN discussion on gender, religions and health

“Dignity, Freedom, and Grace: Christian Perspectives on HIV, AIDS and Human Rights,” a book published earlier this year by the WCC, will be among reports discussed at a 20 September event with the theme “Keeping the Faith in Development: Gender, Religions & Heath.”

Prayers ring to “open our eyes and lift up our heads” on AIDS response

You disgust me. - “We value you despite our differences.” I’m scared of you. - “Let’s spend some time together.” Your children cannot come to this school. - “All of our children can play together.” Gathered in prayer and determined to overcome stigma and discrimination, participants in a 7 June interfaith service replaced words of rejection with words of acceptance.

Faith community issues call to action: end AIDS by 2030

At an interfaith prayer service on 7 June, people from diverse faith communities issued a call to action to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The call focuses on reducing stigma and discrimination; increasing access to HIV services; defending human rights; and ensuring testing and treatment for all, including children.

Interfaith service to precede UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS

A clear, global interfaith call to action to end the AIDS epidemic will be unveiled at an interfaith service on 7 June at 5:30 p.m. in the Church Center of the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza in New York City. The service will precede an 8-10 June UN High Level Meeting on AIDS at which world leaders will adopt a concise, action-oriented Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. The declaration will express the commitment of nations to HIV response, and serve as a point of accountability for achieving the goals for ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030.

WCC video calls for strong action to end AIDS epidemic

“Leave no one behind.” That’s the urgent message of the World Council of Churches’ general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in a video released in preparation for a United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS in New York, 8-10 June.

United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS

A UN High-Level Meeting on AIDS (HLM) is being held 8-10 June at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Through the HLM, the international community can demonstrate commitment to accelerating the HIV response with the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic. Concerted advocacy by people of faith has been a vital part of efforts to encourage governments to develop and adopt a Political Declaration with new and bold commitments – matched by funding commitments – to scale up prevention, treatment, care and support, eliminate stigma and discrimination, uphold human rights, and ensure the engagement of communities most affected.