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Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations represents the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the United Nations. Staff members help inspire, equip and connect Presbyterians for ministry as faithful disciples of Jesus in the global community. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations helps Presbyterians witness for justice and peace, in the name of Jesus Christ, within the United Nations community based on the policies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly. Through the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, the church responds to Christ’s call to bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives and to let the oppressed go free. The church lives out the reality that “God sends the church in the power of the Holy Spirit to share with Christ in establishing God’s just, peaceable, and loving rule in the world.”  (Book of Order, G-3.0300)

Human Rights of children in Palestine and Israel

Each year hundreds of Palestinian children are arrested by Israeli forces and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The United Nations and many human rights groups are concerned by reports from Palestinian children that detail cruel punishments, substandard conditions, and a lack of basic fundamental due process rights in these military courts.

According to the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, as of the end of March 2015, 184 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli custody.   B’Tselem notes, “the military law applied in the West Bank…denies them the protections accorded to minors under both international and Israeli law.”  A 2013 UNICEF report states, “Ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.”  While noting posno_way_to_treat_a_child_logo_medium300itive progress on some fronts, a UNICEF update this year states, “The data demonstrates the need for further actions to improve the protection of children in military detention, as reports of alleged ill-treatment of children during arrest, transfer, interrogation and detention have not significantly decreased in 2013 and 2014.”

The American Friends Service Committee has posted video clips from a June 2, 2015 Congressional Briefing. Young Adult Volunteers with the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness led the worship at an Interfaith Vigil on the occasion of the International Day for Protection of Children, Monday, June 1, at noon, at the U.S. Capitol’s Upper Senate Park, 200 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001. The vigil will highlight the issue of Palestinian children in Israeli detention and focus on the need to protect all children, both within our US communities and abroad.

Israeli Children

Israel has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Israel has reported their progress in implementing the convention to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. The Committee’s observations reflect on Israel’s achievements in relation to the convention and offer recommendations for further actions.

The 221st General Assembly (2015) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) called the church’s attention to this issue and directed the Presbyterian Mission Agency, to create information documents, study guides, or other educational materials using information, research, and statistics from the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel, United Nations agencies, including OCHA and UNICEF, and other human rights or nongovernmental organizations, such as B’Tselem, Defense for Children International Palestine, and Amnesty International to be made available through digital download at the PC(USA) website, as well as links to materials and research from other organizations.


How to schedule a seminar

Amid the restless spirits and often-tough diplomacy of the United Nations, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations helps inspire, equip and connect Presbyterians for ministry as faithful disciples of Jesus in the global community. We educate with the hope of helping individuals live out God’s call in Christ to live with compassion, seek peace, and pursue justice wherever they go.

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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Decision to Boycott

The 220th General Assembly (2012) approved a denomination-wide boycott of all Israeli products coming from the occupied Palestinian territories by a 71% vote. The motion included:

    • Call upon all nations to prohibit the import of products made by enterprises in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.
    • Call for the boycott of all Israeli products coming from the occupied Palestinian Territories. Products include:
      • AHAVA Dead Sea Laboratories Beauty Products and dates grown by Hadiklaim, The Israel Date Growers Co-Operative Ltd, often marked by the brand names: King Solomon Dates and Jordan River.
      • Other Israeli products made in occupied Palestinian Territories are listed at whoprofits.org.
    • Direct the Stated Clerk to communicate this action to all other PC(USA) councils and entities and invite and strongly encourage those groups and organizations to endorse this boycott until significant progress toward Palestinian rights and independence can be reported to the General Assembly or General Assembly Mission Council.
    • Read the full resolution
    • Read a letter from Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

Resources

Find resources to help interpret and carry out the campaign from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), other denominations, and ecumenical and secular organizations.

PC(USA) Boycott Flyer: Download

Four-page product summary: Download

Bulletin Insert: Download

Minute for Mission: Download

Holy Discontentment: Boycott! The Power of the Pocketbook to Create Social Change Download

Observe an Orange Day on the 25th of each month

On the 25th of each month – join people around the world in observing an Orange Day to work for an end to violence against women and girls. In August,  the UNiTE to End Violence against Women invites us to plan to “Orange the World” for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Share your ideas and ways your congregation observes Orange Days.

View young adult interns as they reflect on their commitment to end violence against women and girls.

Resources

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the United Nations

Guided by our commitment to Christ, Presbyterians have engaged with the United Nations since before its creation. The  220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) reaffirmed support for the United Nations. Read that action and learn more about why Presbyterians engage with the United Nations as followers of Jesus.

Presbyterians Say No Child Soldiers

Join Presbyterian efforts to end the exploitation of children as soldiers. Find information about the issue and how you can become involved as well as a description of how to participate in the Red Hands Campaign.

You Made Us in Your Image – a Human Rights Day hymn (pdf)

Drawing on the affirmation that we all are made in God’s image, other scriptural references, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new hymn, “You Have Made Us in Your Image” for use on Human Rights Day, December 10 or other days when human rights are celebrated… Read more »

You Made Us in Your Image – a hymn for Human Rights Day

Drawing on the affirmation that we all are made in God’s image, other scriptural references, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new hymn, “You Have Made Us in Your Image” for use on Human Rights Day, December 10 or other days when human rights are celebrated… Read more »
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