Ecumenical Formation, Gender
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Sound the Bamboo
The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK), National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) are jointly organizing the International Consultation on Peace in the East-Asia Region (hereafter referred to as the Peace Consultation), to be held in Seoul on 2-4 May, 2006.
The PROK has traditionally taken strong initiatives in the movement for peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula. As we continue to do so, we are now focusing particularly on reactivating the international and North-East Asia peace network. Believing that peace on the Korean peninsula and in the whole East-Asia region is crucial to the peace on the entire global community, we are inviting certain partners from around the world to work together with committed Koreans during these three days, to discuss how we may cooperate for peace on the Korean peninsula and in the region, and begin to build an international peace network. We expect over thirty-five friends from overseas and about thirty Koreans will participate in this Peace Consultation.
The objectives of this consultation are:
- The Peace Consultation will be an opportunity to explore the possibility of creating a new regional order in East Asia that promotes peace and co-existence. The reunification issue will be revisited form the perspective of peace in the wider regional, global context.
- The Peace Consultation will be an opportunity for Christians in the region to search for possible ways of cooperating for peace on the Korean peninsula and among East-Asian countries.
- The Peace consultation will be an opportunity to create an international network to promote the peace movement.
posted by Tony Waworuntu on Friday, March 24, 2006
Interfaith AIDS Consultation
Interfaith AIDS Consultation 2006
April 2-7, 2006, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Christian Conference of Asia- HIV/AIDS Concern (CCA-HIV/AIDS Concern)
Asian Interfaith Network on HIV/AIDS (AINA)
National Christian Council in Sri Lanka (NCCSL)
HIV/AIDS continue threatening people around the world. The latest global figure of the people living with HIV/AIDS shows some sign of declining in many countries. However, the number of people living with this deadly virus in 2005 has reached its highest level, as an estimated 40.3 million people.
Asia has the world?s second-largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS after the sub-Sahara Africa. In South and South East Asian region, around 7.1 million of people aged 0-49 years old and about 7.1 million are living with HIV and AIDS. UNAids has reported that an additional12 million could be infected in the region over the next five years if nothing is done to slow the epidemic?s pace.
In light of these situations, an interfaith gathering in Bangkok in 2004 became a milestone for people from different religions and faith to renew and recommit themselves in the midst of increasing HIV and AIDS crisis. The statement of commitment calls for new commitment to work together and within our communities to:
- Promote the dignity, equality, and rights of all people;
- Discuss openly and accurately the basic facts about the HIV and AIDS and about all effective means of prevention;
- Work to eliminate the root causes of the HIV and AIDS pandemic including gender inequality, prejudice against those whose way of life or sexual orientation is different from the majority community, systemic injustice, and unequal distribution of wealth;
- Overcome silence, stigma, discrimination, denial, and fear regarding HIV and AIDS;
- Reject the negative statements by some faith leaders that AIDS is a form of divine punishment or retribution;
- Advocate for expanded resources to fight against HIV and AIDS;
- Document ?good practices? and support research to identify more effective means of prevention and treatment;
- Attain ?access for all? ? to effective preventive education and knowledge, comprehensive care and treatment, and full inclusion in the community.
Our religious communities bring rich experience and unique strengths to fulfil these commitments. Specifically, we will carry out the following actions:
- We will implement policies within our structures and institutions in order to combat every tendency to marginalize people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS as either employees or members within our communities.
- We will advocate for and with people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS in order to obtain lower prices for both medications and laboratory tests and to ensure access to the full range of education, counselling, voluntary testing, and care.
- We will call upon those holding political office, in collaboration with all members of the global human family, to fulfil the grave responsibility to make the dream of ?Access for All? into an everyday reality in all parts of the world, among all groups of people, and at every level of the socio-economic spectrum and to maintain strict, enhanced and transparent accountability in this regard.
- We will ensure, through educational activities and community gatherings, the inclusion of accurate information about ways to prevent the further spread of HIV.
- We will commit our diverse structures of health care, ranging from highly specialized services to locally-based village clinics, as well as our systems of education, social and community development, to implement these strategies in a comprehensive, universal, and equitable manner.
- We will dedicate additional funds from the resources of our own religious communities in order to scale up our respective contributions to the struggle against the HIV pandemic, and pledge careful stewardship and responsible use of the funds entrusted to us by donors from our own communities and from the international community.
- We will involve people living with or directly affected by HIV, many of whom are members of our own religious communities, in the response to this pandemic.
- We will give priority attention addressing the practices within our religious traditions that increase the vulnerability of women and girls who also carry the greatest burden of response in this pandemic.
- We will promote community-based responses to the special needs of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS.
- We will promote preaching and teaching about HIV in our houses of worship and will encourage the designation of special days and/or weeks of prayer and other religious observances to focus on HIV and AIDS.
- We commit ourselves to monitor and evaluate our own progress toward accomplishing the goals that we have articulated in this statement;
Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), Asian Interfaith Network on HIV/AIDS (AINA) and National Christian Council in Sri Lanka (NCCSL) invites you to participate in the significant consultation.
The Consultation is designed to
- Strengthen religious and faith-based communities in their commitment and sharpen their response to effectively address the concerns of those living with HIV and AIDS.
- Empower faith based organizations in Asia to efficiently carry out their programs and implementations at both grassroots and advocacy levels in preparation to the significant participation in "7th International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP 2007)" to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2007.
The consultation will be a special time for people of various faith communities to:
- To delineate the various thematic issues relating to HIV/AIDS concerns and programs of religious communities in Asia.
- To examine and reflect the working of faith-based communities religious teaching and practices response to HIV and AIDS
- To identify strategies for closer coordination and cooperation of faith-based communities in combating HIV and AIDS.
- To initially discuss the various ways for effective participation of faith-based communities in the 8th ICAAP 2007
Date and Venue
The Consultation will be held from April 2 (Sunday) ? 7 (Friday), 2006 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Participants should plan to arrive in Colombo by the evening of April 2.
The consultation will include:
- Religious reflection on the theme
- Overview of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the response of faith-based communities: an update and analysis of the situation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and critical issues in the global community; the focus will be on how HIV positive people, especially the poor, are able to access medicine and services.
- Experiences exchange and networking among ecumenical stakeholders will include opportunities for organizational and personal sharing on HIV/AIDS program implementation in respective countries, including strategies energizing communities and associations of people living with HIV/AIDS to fully participate to minimize the impacts of the disease as well as to maintain the fullness of life of people living with HIV/AIDS. Small groups and informal sharing sessions by sector, region and interest will take place, as well as display space for sharing materials.
- Orientation and preparation of faith-based organizations to participate in International Conference on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific 2007 (ICAAP 2007).
posted by Prawate on Thursday, March 23, 2006