Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

 

BDS& Beyond: Prayerful Conversation

The 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) directed “the Presbyterian Mission Agency to facilitate dialogue events regarding Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS), which would include the authors of the 2005 civil society call and our interfaith partners who oppose the BDS movement and any interested Presbyterians.”

On January 25, the Presbyterian Mission Agency will host a dialogue for interested Presbyterians in New York City.

Registration is now open

For more information, please contact Sue Rheem at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations at 212-697-4568 or sue.rheem@pcusa.org.

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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The 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) directed “the Presbyterian Mission Agency to facilitate dialogue events regarding Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS), which would include the authors of the 2005 civil society call and our interfaith partners who oppose the BDS movement and any interested Presbyterians.”

On January 25, the Presbyterian Mission Agency will host a dialogue for interested Presbyterians in New York City.

Registration is now open

For more information, please contact Sue Rheem at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations at 212-697-4568 or sue.rheem@pcusa.org.

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

Affordable and Clean Energy: Sustainable Development Goal #7

Accessing clean, affordable energy is essential to mitigate climate change, aid food production, and increase incomes. Learn how the PC(USA) and partners around the world advocate for clean energy access by improving churches’ energy facilities, emphasizing clean resources in worship, and engaging major private corporations on their environmental policies.

Clean Water and Sanitation: Sustainable Development Goal #6

The United Nations designated access to safe and clean drinking water as a human right. Yet, water scarcity affects more than 40% of world’s population. Learn more how PC(USA) and partners around the world provide access to safe drinking water, sustainable water sources, and toilets to those in need in the US and abroad.

Gender Equality: Sustainable Development Goal #5

Though the world has made progress in terms of gender equality and female empowerment, women still face discrimination, inequality, and violence. Learn how the PC(USA) and partners around the world support women and girls by advocating to end sexual violence and human trafficking and brings women to the United Nations to discuss female empowerment.

Quality Education: Sustainable Development Goal #4

Obtaining a quality education is a key to improving livelihoods and opening doors to opportunities for employment.  Learn how PC(USA) and partners around the world work to educate all by helping to improve school systems, support apprenticeship programs, and organizing action days focused on improving children’s literacy.
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