Pillars of Peace for the 21st Century
A Policy Statement on the United Nations
Adopted by the General Assembly November 11, 1999
The world needs a new vision, a vision of peace rooted in justice, a vision of a world bound together in intentional community dedicated to the well-being of all people and all creation. The United Nations, however limited, represents the best efforts made so far by governments and peoples of the world toward such a vision.
The Christian faith and community are rooted in theological understanding that is global by its very nature. The foundation for the church's involvement in the quest for world peace and justice can be found in the following Biblically based beliefs: 1) the transcending sovereignty and love of God for all creation and the expression of that love in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, whose mission was to reveal understanding about that divine presence, to proclaim a message of salvation and to bring justice and peace; 2) the unity of creation and the equality of all races and peoples; 3) the dignity and worth of each person as a child of God; and 4) the church, the body of believers, whose global mission of witness, peacemaking and reconciliation testifies to God's action in history.
The world is the responsibility of each of our communities, where the securing of justice for one individual, one community, one nation contributes to the securing of justice and peace for all. To work for justice and peace for all is to affirm God's promise of the fullness of life: "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." (Psalm 24:1); "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10b).
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA therefore reaffirms its support for the United Nations and calls upon the United States government fully to support the United Nations in the fulfillment of its charter and in its highest calling to work for peace and justice for all the world's people.
Furthermore, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA affirms the following principles as "Pillars of Peace for the 21st Century."
PILLARS OF PEACE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
1) Political Accountability. Peace rooted in justice requires increased political collaboration and accountability within the United Nations system, among regional bodies, governments, local authorities, peoples' organizations, and global economic structures to seek the common good and equality for all.
2) Economic Accountability. Peace rooted in justice requires increased moral, ethical and legal accountability at all levels from governments, financial institutions, multilateral organizations, transnational corporations and all other economic actors to seek a just, participatory and sustainable economic order for the welfare and well-being of all people and all creation.
3) Legal Accountability. Peace rooted in justice requires a comprehensive international legal system, capable of change as conditions require, in order to prevent and resolve conflicts, to protect rights, to hold accountable those who disturb peace and violate international law, and to provide fair and effective review and enforcement mechanisms.
4) Liberation and Empowerment. Peace rooted in justice requires the participation of of vulnerable and marginalized groups, seeking to promote justice and peace, in those mechanisms capable of redressing the causes and consequences of injustice and oppression.
5) Peace and Conflict Resolution. Peace rooted in justice requires the nurturing of a culture of peace in homes, communities, religious institutions, nations and across the world; the use of non-violent means of resolving conflict; appropriate systems of common security; and the end of the unrestrained production, sale and use of weapons worldwide.
6) Human Dignity and Rights. Peace rooted in justice requires respect for the inherent dignity of all persons and the recognition, protection and implementation of the principles of the International Bill of Human Rights, so that communities and individuals may claim and enjoy their universal, indivisible and inalienable rights.
7) Preservation of the Environment. Peace rooted in justice requires a commitment to the long-term sustainability of the means of life, and profound reorientation of economic systems and individual lifestyles to support ecological justice for human communities in harmony with the whole of creation.
NCCC Policy Statement, "The United Nations and the World Community", adopted May 4, 1977
NCCC Policy Statement, "The National Council of Churches Views its Task in Christian Life and Work," adopted May 16, 1951
NCCC Policy Statement, "Statement on the International Situation" adopted January 17, 1951
Federal Council of Churches Statement, "Six Pillars of Peace," 1943