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Justin Welby to UN Security Council: Church will not walk away from global pain

Thu 30 Aug 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised the United Nations Security Council that the Church of England will do all it can to provide mediation and peaceful resolution of conflict in war-torn countries. 

Most Rev Justin Welby addressed the UN Security Council in New York on Wednesday. 

He told the council that the Church is embedded in communities where conflict and violence is rampant and said that the Church “cannot and will not walk away” from those who are suffering.

 

“Let me pledge my support to you, Mr Secretary-General, in this work,” Archbishop Justin said.

“I have the privilege of having assembled a team in my office that is already learning from past experiences. Many of them worked with the UN. Together we can reach out to counterparts from other faiths to encourage their involvement and support, as they are already doing.

“This is our collaborative offer to you in this time of global pain.”

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The Church has already begun mediation efforts in South Sudan, however Archbishop Justin admitted that it’s not enough.

He said: “Mediation by itself, however skilled, is like using a garden hose to put out a forest fire, when what you need is rain over the whole area to let new life grow and sustain itself.

“We therefore need to complement mediation – in fact the whole conflict cycle – within the framework of reconciliation.”

Archbishop Justin urged the UN Security Council to “invest in reconciliation and learn how to support transformation in human relationships better”.


He pointed out that churches are even in the position to stop conflict becoming violent and that, despite current UN reconciliation efforts, more needs to be done.

The head of the Church or England proposed a cross-agency and cross-departmental reconciliation strategy to come up with innovative ways of negotiating strategies for peace.

The Anglican Communion is currently developing a programme called Women on the Front Line, which offers support and equips women who suffer from living among daily conflict.

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