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Eco-Justice Resolutions
from the Episcopal Church

Advocate for a Just Global Economy for International Trade

Final Resolution 2012-A012 for the 77th General Convention
of the Episcopal Church, USA, July 2012
For Original Version: click here

Final Resolution 2012-A012:
Advocate for a Just Global Economy for International Trade

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That all things in heaven and on earth belong to God alone, and that all worldly treasure is held in trust by human hands to the greater glory of God; and be it further

Resolved, That all global economy has moral dimensions and consequences for all human beings; and that global economies should be facilitated in consideration of the interconnectedness of all God's Creation; and be it further

Resolved, That all economic life within communities, nations, and the global family should contribute to the well-being of all persons, serve the poor, and promote the dignity and rights of all human beings; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church urges governments to adopt trade policies that prioritize the following principles:

(a) That every human being's right to the basic necessities of life, as well a right to work, to receive just wages and benefits, to experience decent and just working conditions, and to organize and join unions or other labor associations;
(b) That safeguards or improvements should be sought regarding food security, helath care, maternal and child health, humane working conditions, human rights, with particular attention to the right of Ingigenous peoples; and prevention of degratations.
(c) That mutuality between all persons should be promoted in the formation of trade rules and agreements, giving equal rights and voice to persons and institutions – governmental, commercial, labor, and civil society organizations – whether they be in developing or industrialized countries;
(d) That trade should respect and enrich rather than undermine local economies, cultures and peoples;

and be it further

Resolved, That the 77th General Convention urges the Office of Government Relations and Individual Episcopalians to communicate these principles to their elected officials.


Proposer: Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice Concerns

Explanation:

For decades, The Episcopal Church has supported global economic policies that seek to ensure the fair participation of all people in the worldwide economy and to ensure that all basic human needs are met. This support is rooted in our Baptismal Covenant in which we promise to "seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as yourself"and to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being." (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305) Through emphatic support of the Millennium Development Goals, and in particular Goal 8 ("…develop a global partnership for development") at the 74th, 75th, and 76th General Conventions, the Church has acknowledged implicitly that global trade policy plays a significant role in shaping the world economy and the manner in which economic systems do or do not contribute to the wellbeing of all people. To date, however, The Episcopal Church has not adopted significant policy addressing specifically how global trade rules should be shaped to further the common good. The 76th General Convention commended that matter to the study of this Standing Commission over the 2010-2012 triennium.

In approaching its task, the Standing Commission reviewed past General Convention resolutions on global economic life, inter-Anglican engagements such as the Lambeth Conferences, and the trade policies adopted by ecumenical partners.

Rather than seeking to address the virtues or limitations of free markets, the proposed resolution reflects the Commission's desire to speak to economic reality as it presently exists in the world. The free market itself is neither an intrinsic force for good or ill; it is simply the reality in which trade and the larger global economy exist. Accordingly, such simplistic formulations as "fair trade" versus "free trade" do little except create false dichotomies that ultimately are unhelpful in advocating for trade policies that serve the human family. Rather, the guiding principle for the Church should be to promote policies that, working within the present global economic realities, contribute to the wellbeing of all persons, serve the poor and the needy, promote the dignity of all human beings, and seek to maximize the participation of all people in the global economy.

For Original Version: click here
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The EpEN is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church. Members come from around the Episcopal Church USA. The activities of the EpEN are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action. 

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last update: 2013-02-18

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