As well as the reported United Nations conference in New York, another conference is scheduled for 13-18 August 2006 in Toronto, according to Ekklesia. "Faith-based participants at this, the world's largest HIV/AIDS conference, intend to examine how they will deliver on their promises - and they will also challenge government and other players to keep their promises through ecumenical and inter-faith pre-conferences." more »
Wise Tutu is quoted as saying "...South Africans had learned there would never be true security from the barrel of a gun... It was only when everyone felt their human rights were recognised and acknowledged that there would be a peaceful Middle East." There needs to be a divine vision that transcends the existing paradims, for example Isaiah 5:8 which cautions: "Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land." more »
New York - The United Nations opens its first global AIDS conference today, aimed at combating a disease that is killing five million people annually worldwide and leaving untold numbers of children without homes or parents. "It's telling that 20 years into this epidemic, we can't even name the vulnerable groups and do something for them," said Joanne Csete, a public health expert for the New York-based Human Rights Watch.
Frank Feeling, the author of a US Boston University study comments: "Policymakers might be tempted to focus on stopping emigration as the best strategy to strengthen the African civil service... Undoubtedly, the pay of health professionals is low and the burden of disease in the population makes the job difficult. But the dead do not complain about conditions of service... It is time to put more effort into keeping HIV-positive professionals alive and serving in national institutions." more »
ABORIGINES are less likely to die of bronchitis, emphysema or stroke than they were 20 years ago, Northern Territory doctors have found, in a rare positive glimmer amid the generally worsening picture of indigenous health. The turnaround contradicts widespread pessimism about Aboriginal health and should stir governments to invest in further improvements. more »
Dr Robert D. Crane was Director of the Dialogue Commission of the leading interfaith organization at the urban level in the world, the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC) in the mid-1980s. He brought together the most outstanding leaders of interfaith dialogue to learn from their experiences and to prepare a manual on the do's and don'ts of dialogue. He shares some of his practical lessons from this time, and it is a useful paper for highlighting internalised assumptions that can jeoparadise genuine dialogue. more »
The Vatican's insistent call for an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon has highlighted a basic disagreement with the United States and some other Western governments. Backing Israel, the U.S. wants a cease-fire conditioned on a wider accord ultimately aimed at disarming Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon. The pope, on the other hand, has urged all sides to lay down their weapons now, saying nothing can be gained by the current fighting. In a sense, the root difference may be over the usefulness of war -- or the lack thereof. more »
This week's Times Online Faith article explores the life and deeds of Richard Oastler (1788-1861) who fought against child labour and the dehumanisation of the English peasants as they were shunted from the farms to the mills and mines. Oastler was an orator a prophet who insisted that Christianity was relevant to the industrial society. Tall and broad-shouldered, he was sure that the bible was on the side of the poor. Today the protests about worldwide hunger from Christian Aid, Oxfam, Cafod and Amnesty International are sometimes criticised for being "political" and "not religious". But the prophetic within religion, so desparately needed during the Industrial Revolution, remains as vital in our days of disaster and famine. more »
Leaders and young people from Anglican, Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Hindu, Muslim, and Taoist faiths spoke to about 800 Catholic participants of the fourth Asian Youth Day. The meeting whose theme is "Youth, Hope of Asian Families" is began on July 8 and is to close on August 5 and was held in Hong Kong. more »
The body responsible for further education in Wales (ffworm) has called for a change in approach within the college world to help build awareness of sustainable development. The issues contained within Sustainable Development, which encourages economic success in a socially and environmentally responsible fashion without necessarily sacrificing economic performance or competitiveness, are becoming increasingly urgent as the world moves into the 21st Century.
More Americans than ever disapprove of President Bush's handling of the environment, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll. A majority, 56 percent, of those questioned in a national poll said the Bush administration is doing too little to protect the environment. The negative rating was up sharply from a Times survey taken in 2001 in which 41 percent said he was not doing enough. more »
More than 40 delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) met in Hanoi on 2-4 August. The conference focused on four aspects of sustainable development, including society, environment, economy and institution. more »
United Nations General Assembly President Jan Eliasson has written to all United Nations Member States, encouraging them to give priority to the convention. He advises that some 650 million people - or one in 10 of hte worlds's population - are believed to be living with some form of disability, and yet there is no international convention to uphold their rights. more »
Interfaith Summit on Africa CWS press release is issued. While media cameras focused on the Middle East, Africans steadfastly recited a list of long-term concerns on their continent: Sudan, Congo, Somalia, hunger, extreme poverty, violence, malaria, small arms trafficking, millions of orphaned children. The group of 150 participants addressed nine critical issues and will report on specific recommendations toward alleviating hunger and poverty; malaria; HIV/AIDS; the status of women; the children of Africa; small arms trafficking; peace and reconciliation efforts; water; displaced people; and sustainable economic development. more »