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Press Release: Christian Advocacy Network to Select Campaign Issues

15. August 2013

    Members of one of the most diverse international church-based networks will choose two issues for future common action at the General Assembly of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) taking place 22-25 August 2013 at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.

    The EAA is a global network of 82 churches and Christian organizations committed to campaigning together on common concerns for justice and human dignity. EAA member organizations come from a wide range of church families (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Evangelical) and types of organization (international ecumenical organizations, church-based humanitarian relief and development agencies, church-based advocacy organizations, churches, national and regional councils of churches, religious orders, and other groups).

    “Our campaigns through the EAA have shown how effective we can be when we speak and act together out of our common Christian faith,” says Rev. Dr Richard Fee, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and Chair of the EAA Board of Directors. “I look forward to the Assembly to reaffirm our commitment to the active pursuit of justice and peace in our world.”

    The EAA’s General Assembly is held usually every four years to discuss the context for ecumenical advocacy, select two focus issues for campaigning for the next four years, and elect a Board of Directors.

    Since its founding in 2000, the EAA has coordinated ecumenical advocacy on HIV and AIDS, becoming one of the leading faith-based organizations addressing human dignity and stigma and discrimination; root causes of vulnerability to HIV transmission; universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support; and sustainable resourcing to overcome the pandemic. Since 2009, the EAA’s second focus has been on hunger and food security, promoting just and sustainable production and consumption and the realization of the right to food for all.

    Members have been actively discussing Assembly recommendations online in advance, in a new initiative to enhance participation. A facility for remote participation for representatives of member organizations is also being trialled during the Assembly to ensure the widest possible exchange and input from the global membership.

    Assembly sessions open to the public

    Several of the EAA Assembly sessions will be open to the public, all taking place in the Main Conference Hall of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva:

    Current Challenges and Opportunities for Advancing Justice and Human Dignity

    Thursday 22 August, 9:45-11:00 am


    • Mr Craig Mokhiber, Chief, Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
    • Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches
    • Ms Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary, World YWCA
    • Ms. Martina Liebsch, Director of Policy, Caritas Internationalis
    • Ms Beris Gwynne, Partnership Leader for Global Accountability, World Vision International

    Living the promise in all its fullness: HIV, AIDS and Global Health

    Thursday, 22 August, 16:00-17:30

    A review of the status of the HIV epidemic and results of EAA’s “Live the Promise” Campaign will lead to a panel discussion on the next steps for faith-based advocacy on HIV. Panelists will include:

    • Dr Mariângela Simão, Director for Rights, Gender, Community Mobilization and Prevention, UNAIDS
    • Mr David Ruiz Villafranca, Senior Policy Adviser, Stop AIDS Alliance
    • Rev. Phumzile Mabizela, Executive Director, INERELA+
    • Mr Yoram Siame, Advocacy and Public Relations Manager, Churches Health Association of Zambia
    • Dr Erlinda Senturias, Board Member, Asian Interfaith Network on AIDS
    • Moderated by Msgr Robert Vitillo, Head of Delegation, Caritas Internationalis

    The session will be followed by a reception and launch of the Framework for Dialogue between Religious Leaders and People Living with HIV in the main lobby of the Ecumenical Centre at 18:00.

    Food for Life: Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

    Friday, 23 August, 9:00-10:30 am

    An introduction to the current state of food security and review of the achievements and lessons learned through the EAA’s “Food for Life” Campaign. A panel discussion will address key concerns and opportunities for faith-based actors to engage at the national, regional and international level. Panelists will include:

    • Dr David Nabarro, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Food Security and Nutrition
    • Mr Martin Wolpold-Bosien, Right to Food Accountability Programme Coordinator, FIAN International Secretariat
    • Ms. Minnie Anne Calub, Program Secretary, National Council of Churches in the Philippines
    • Moderated by Mr Dennis Frado, Director, Lutheran Office for World Community, ELCA & Main Representative at UN Headquarters, The Lutheran World Federation

    For more information contact: Sara Speicher, sspeicher@e-alliance.ch, +44 7821 860 723.

    A full list of EAA members is available at: www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/about-us/members/

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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