Commission discusses last chance for peacemaking statement

The UUA’s Commission on Social Witness and peacemaking activists met Wednesday evening to discuss strategies for successfully passing a proposed Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking. The Statement calls UUs “to the work of peacebuilding, peacemaking, and peacekeeping,” and to “advocate a culture of peace through a transformation of public policies, religious consciousness, and individual lifestyles.”

The draft Statement will be discussed and amended during a miniassembly Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon in room 200 FG. Delegates will debate and vote on the Statement during Friday morning’s plenary session. The Statement must be approved by a two-thirds majority of delegates.

An earlier draft of the Statement, presented for a vote at the 2009 General Assembly, was sent back for refinement after it drew criticism from both pacifists and just war advocates. Because a statement can only be referred back to the Commission once, the ‘Creating Peace’ Statement cannot be sent back for further refinement this year.

“The Statement of Conscience on the topic of peace must either be adopted now or it dies now,” said David May, Commission chair. “If it dies now we cannot reconsider the topic of peace until it is proposed again as a Congregational Study/Action Issue.” The next opportunity to propose a peace topic as a CSAI, he explained, would be in 2012, and the draft statement would not be voted on until the 2015 GA.

“The changes to the Statement of Conscience have not just been modifications or amendments but a transformation in the approach of the document itself,” Commission member John Hooper said.

Quoting from the introduction of the draft Statement, Hooper said, “We believe all people share a moral responsibility to create peace. Mindful of both our rich heritage and our past failures to prevent war, and enriched by our present diversity of experience and perspective, we commit ourselves to a radically inclusive and transformative approach to peace,” adding that, “I invite you to join us in that effort.”

Read the full Draft Statement of Conscience on Creating Peace on page 10 of the GA agenda book or online here.

For coverage of the 2009 GA’s decision to send the draft Statement back to the Commission, see our news summary.

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