Churches' UN Advocacy Week to focus on Israel-Palestine and Nigeria

By staff writers
22 Sep 2010

Representatives from churches, ecumenical organisations and civil society groups from around the world will gather in Geneva from 27 September to 1 October 2010 for the sixth United Nations Advocacy Week (UNAW).

This is an annual event organised by the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

UNAW 2010 will focus on Palestine and Israel, and Nigeria. The advocacy week will be held in Geneva and has been organised in conjunction with the 15th session of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council being held in Geneva.

More than 100 representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, who work on global and regional advocacy issues in churches, national councils of churches, specialised agencies, regional ecumenical organisations and regional advocacy networks will be present.

“As the UNAW initiatives will facilitate gathering of global ecumenical partners in a platform dedicated to common strategic global ecumenical advocacy, this year’s foci will be most pertinent as they need more international attention and advocacy within global and regional contexts,” said Dr Mathews George Chunakara, the WCC programme director for International Affairs.

“The advocacy week will be instrumental in creating more momentum for global advocacy on just peace related to Palestine and Israel and Nigeria, and it will ensure the ecumenical movement’s active participation in advocacy at various levels, as well as facilitating the capacity building of churches and ecumenical councils in the area of advocacy,” he added.

A wide range of issues related to the two thematic emphases will be dealt with at various sessions during the week-long event, which will include “Palestine and Israel: Barriers to Just Peace, Residency Rights in Jerusalem”, “The Situation in Gaza”, “Human Security and Rule of Law in Nigeria”, “Ethno-religious politics and its implications”, “Free and Fair Elections in Nigeria” etc.

In addition to these thematic sessions, there will be special sessions on “United Nations Systems and Rights-protection Mechanisms” and “Strategies for Ecumenical Advocacy at the Global Arena”.

The participants will also have opportunities to attend side events during the 15th session of the UN Human Rights Council and to meet representatives of the diplomatic missions of various countries to the United Nations.

More information on the WCC UN Advocacy Week: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/events-sections/unaw.html

[Ekk/3]

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