Monday, July 7, 2008

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL WELFARE

I have been attending this conference of people seeking social justice representing eighty countries. Attached to this has been a conference of Salvationists looking at the connection of Social Justice and Social Service. Some impressions

Some delegates and speakers from developing countries were not able to attend the conference because they were not given Visas. A case of a western country discriminating against those who are poor or of another colour. It will remain difficult to get any level of social justice if people cannot meet together to discuss and learn from each others

The new and exciting group of Salvationists who are starting to realise that a full proclamation of the gospel can only occur if we passionately and strenuously seek and live social justice.

The injustice within our own movement. Each financially able territory in the international Salvation Army has three partners in mission that they have a responsibility to care for. New Zealand Fiji and Tonga had 4 delegates but there were no delegates from the territories we support. They could not afford to send delegates.

The thirst that is growing for a well articulated biblical theology of social justice to be taught, preached and mainstreamed in our movement. Salvationist are wanting to have a discipleship that includes justice mercy and faith. "This is what I require of you Salvation Army, that you act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

In this international forum of 600 delegates representing over 70 countries you realise the respect and regard for the voice of The Salvation Army. This is a respect however we must not use for ourselves but on behalf of the world's marginalised and poor.

I understood for the first time that The Salvation Army as a founding NGO of the United Nations is required to annually report on the Millennium development goalsThe eight Millennium Development Goals are:
Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal healthCombat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development
How do we in New Zealand Salvation Army contribute to this International responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. I've gotta say with a lot of volume that I'm challenged and encouraged by your impressions of the international conference. The Salvation Army is global and has to learn to be a glopal movement (see earlier pons on The Reach of Salvation) if it is to add something of real value to our common future. Look forward to hearing more of what went down at the Conference.

    ReplyDelete