The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) recently submitted a brief together for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights in Canada.
The EFC stated:
Our 2023 UPR stakeholders report provides information to the international community on how Canada is meeting its human rights obligations and makes recommendations on how Canada can promote and protect human rights in Canada in the areas of:
- protection of persons with disabilities and Medical Assistance in Dying
- protection of women and girls from sexual exploitation, prostitution and human trafficking
- protection of children from pornography, and
- freedom of religion and non-discrimination on the basis of religion.
The EFC is one of many national alliances affiliated with the WEA, which describes its work at the UN in this way:
With several of its commissions, initiatives and task forces engaged at the UN, the WEA has formed a ‘WEA UN Team,’ a group of experts who oversee the WEA’s contribution within the United Nations.
It offers concrete proposals and advice, while also serving as liaison between the UN and the WEA’s networks, partners, and regional and national Evangelical Alliances around the world.
The WEA UN Team helps prioritize the work of the WEA in order to provide a prophetic evangelical witness and service within the UN and effective advocacy on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities.
A March 28 statement reported on ‘The WEA at the 52nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council’:
The World Evangelical Alliance was actively engaged during the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva.
The session, which began on February 27 for five weeks, was an opportunity for the WEA to organize a conference on the impact of sanctions on the humanitarian work of the churches, to publicly speak out against the deplorable situation of religious freedom and the rights of religious minorities in Iran, Sudan, Algeria and India, and also to call on Azerbaijan to cease the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh and urgently alleviate the suffering of the Armenian population living in that region.
Here is a summary with the corresponding articles and videos, of all that has been undertaken by our Geneva office during the last weeks:
Sanctions (Or Unilateral Coercive Measures in UN language)
On 10 March 2023, the World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, Caritas Internationalis, and WEA published research that provides systematic overview of the challenges sanctions pose to the humanitarian work of churches, and explores pathways for addressing these challenges.
The report was launched on the occasion of a side-event in conjunction with the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council, in Geneva.
- The World Evangelical Alliance | WEA and Partners Highlight Impact of Sanctions on Churches, Launch Impact Assessment Report in Geneva. March 13, 2023.
- The World Council of Churches | Report on sanctions impact launched at the UN Human Rights Council. March 10, 2023.
- Caritas Internationalis | Humanitarian exemptions are not enough to overcome the impact of sanctions on vulnerable people. March 15, 2023.
- Evangelical Focus | Christians denounce sanctions [which] prevented the arrival of aid to Syria after the earthquake, March 17, 2023.
Go here for the full statement, including comments about situations in specific nations.
Other recent WEA statements related to the UN:
- April 25: Water is Life – WEA Participates in UN Water Conference 2023
- February 14: A Voice at the UN (About Women)
- January 11: Can Human Rights Law Adequately Respond to Hate Speech across Diverse Political and Governance Contexts and Legal Traditions?
I wrote here about the unique role the EFC has had in revitalizing the WEA in recent years.