I want to mention a few things about Assembly…I’ll talk about some highlights soon. However, I had to leave early with a flare up of an old back problem. It should be ok soon, but I’m just taking it easy.
I was happy to see that UnitingWorld’s Trade Justice paper was adopted yesterday. It challenges free trade, neo-liberalism and “market fundamentalism” and provides a biblical and theological basis for the church’s education, representation, advocacy and action. It says the benefits and burdens of increased economic interdependence have not been equally shared. “Globalisation has had uneven effects: while some have enjoyed increased prosperity, the poorest are often left behind.”
The Uniting Church’s Pacific partners, including churches in Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji and Rotuma, Nauru, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, had expressed concern that their communities were being harmed by globalisation and marginalised in the international trade system.
In March, UnitingWorld joined other civil society leaders to meet with Australian parliamentary and government leaders in Canberra to ask for a fair go in trade talks with Pacific nations. UnitingWorld Director the Rev. Dr Kerry Enright said the Australian and New Zealand governments were operating like free trade evangelists and it appeared that only civil society groups such as the church were presenting alternative views. He said, “UnitingWorld supports economic development but believes it needs to have its place within the wider Pacific Christian cultural context, not undermining it.” Pacific culture had powerful adversaries, he said. The Australian Government agenda was dominating negotiations, undermining a Christian worldview.
Here is the document: