World churches' body welcomes UN decision on Palestine

By agency reporter
30 Nov 2012

The newly upgraded status of Palestine in the United Nations (UN) is viewed as a positive step in the direction toward peace and a reaffirmation of the World Council of Churches' long-term commitment to a two-state solution, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary said on Friday 30 November 2012.

“It is now up to the two sides, Israel and Palestine, to move this process forward,” said Dr Tveit. “The vote in the UN confirms that the two-state solution is the best way to peace in the region. Without that, the future holds yet more violence and insecurity, and continuing tragedy for both peoples.”

Dr Tveit made his comments following the decision of the UN General Assembly on 29 November to acknowledge the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a “non-member observer state”. The motion passed by more than the required two-thirds majority.

Previously, participation in the UN had been on the basis of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s recognition as a “permanent observer”. A 2011 attempt to install the PA as a full UN member-state stalled in the Security Council.

“The WCC has consistently spoken in favour of a two-state solution,” Tveit recalled. Since as early as its First Assembly in 1948, the WCC has championed the rights of both Israel and Palestine to free and independent states of their own.

The World Council of Churches "promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world."

An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church.

[Ekk/3]

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