New York: Pax Christi international meeting

 The war on terrorism, the crisis in Israel and Palestine and the need for inclusive security formed the basis for most of the discussion and planning at the Pax Christi International General Assembly, held in New York from 19-24 May. Representatives from 45 countries attended. The movement called on the government of Israel to end the military occupation of Palestine and urged the United States to work within the framework of international law and act as an honest broker to support Palestinians and Israelis equally in developing trust-building measures. This work is to be supported by practical campaigning by members of the movement on the security wall in Israel/Palestine and in support of Israeli conscientious objectors. The final declaration of the gathering committed Pax Christi to work for a world at peace; a world profoundly opposed to that sought by terrorists and by the 'war on terrorism' ; a world shaped by inclusive human security and the globalisation of solidarity. It also calls on the "US and the UK to cease all offensive military actions in Iraq and allow the United Nations as to assume appropriate responsibility for enabling a just and peaceful transition to Iraqi authority" . A plea was also made to the Churches. "We are people of faith; we believe that another world is possible, and we commit ourselves to helping birth it. We echo the cry of Pope John Paul II that 'war is always a defeat for humanity'... As Christians we call our churches to the prophetic task in these dangerous times of speaking truth to power and to the challenging pastoral task of helping us reclaim Gospel values, nurture justice and right relationships and participate in the transformation of the world." Several new members were elected to the International Executive Committee including Giovanni Scudiero IMC, a Consolata Missionary from the British Section of Pax Christi. Giovanni has been active with the British section since 1991 and has a strong commitment to developing a theology and spirituality of nonviolence within the movement. Bishop Kevin Dowling of South Africa was also appointed. Bishop Dowling was elected as chair to the International Sudan Ecumenical Forum in 2003 and is actively involved in the Sudan Peace Process.

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