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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: general assembly

October 1, 2015

YAV attends UN General Assembly

Matt Cowell, our YAV attended his first UN General Assembly this week. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is accredited to the United Nations and through the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations advocates and engages the United Nations. Read his blog below:


Greetings from the United Nations!  The General Debate of the seventieth session of the UN General Assembly is in full swing here.  During this pivotal week at the opening of the debate, every member state and permanent observer state makes speeches focusing on the various issues of the day—196 speeches over the course of six days ...

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September 29, 2015

Declaration of Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping

During the UN General Assembly meetings, world leaders gathered for a summit on international peacekeeping. Below is the declaration from 43 United Nations member states:


Declaration of Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping

The Governments of Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, Fiji, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Turkey, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Ukraine, United States, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vietnam jointly declare their support for the following:

As the United Nations marks its seventieth anniversary ...

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August 19, 2013

World Humanitarian Day

August 19 marks World Humanitarian Day.  Today the United Nations community joined together in celebrating and remembering the lives of those who lost theirs in humanitarian service and for those who continue to do humanitarian work.  To read a description of World Humanitarian Day, read the UN statement below.

In December 2008, the sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly decided to designate 19 August as World Humanitarian Day.

19 August is the date on which a brutal terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003 killed 22 people, including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

World Humanitarian Day ...

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August 6, 2013

New US Ambassador to the United Nations

Today, Ambassador Samantha Power presented her credentials to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. 

Below is a statement made by Ambassador Power prior to presenting her credentials:

Ambassador Power: Hello everybody. I'm Samantha Power. I'm totally delighted to be here-so honored, so thrilled to have started work as the U.S. Ambassador to United Nations. As many of you know, I'm going to meet with the Secretary-General so as to present my credentials. I've worked with the Secretary-General over the last few years at the White House-worked very effectively with him-and I'm looking very much forward to ...

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May 16, 2013

US remarks at high-level talks on trafficking

Remarks by Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the high-level meeting on the Appraisal of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.


Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I’m pleased to join so many partners and stakeholders today to discuss progress and the path forward on our shared commitment to combat modern slavery, what we also call trafficking in persons. We’re here today because modern slavery is a crime that hurts our countries and communities. It rips families apart, undermines the rule of law, creates instability ...

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April 2, 2013

UN Arms Trade Treaty passed

Today, the United Nations General Assembly passed the Arms Trade Treaty.  The final text of the treaty and a UN News articale can be read here

Below is a statement by US Secretary of State Kerry on today’s treaty.


Historic Outcome of the Arms Trade Treaty Conference 

The United States is pleased that the United Nations General Assembly has approved a strong, effective and implementable Arms Trade Treaty that can strengthen global security while protecting the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade.

The Treaty adopted today will establish a common international standard ...

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November 29, 2012

General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer State status at UN

Today, the United Nations General Assembly grants Palestine non-member observer State status at UN.  The vote passed with 138 members voting in favor, 9 against, and the remaining abstaining. 

I had the unique opportunity to spend the day starting with the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and then with the UN General Assembly for the vote.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was recognized as a leader on Israel-Palestine peace and justice issues. 

Below is a story from UN News Service:

29 November 2012 – The General Assembly today voted to grant Palestine non-member observer State status ...

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October 1, 2012

Presbyterian engagement at the United Nations General Assembly

Last week, New York City welcomed world leaders to the 67th United Nations General Assembly.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations was active in raising the voice of Presbyterians from here in the United States as well as those of our partners in the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

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September 25, 2012

President Obama addresses the UN General Assembly

President Obama and other world leaders are in town this week for the 67th United Nations General Assembly.  I had the opportunity to join the President and others in the opening of the General Debate this morning.  Below is President Obama's speech.


Office of the Press Secretary

Remarks by the President to the UN General Assembly

United Nations Headquarters

New York, New York

10:22 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentleman:  I would like to begin today by telling you about an American named Chris Stevens.

Chris ...

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September 13, 2012

UN visit from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria & Lebanon

Yesterday, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations welcomed our partners from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon to advocate with governments of the United Nations Security Council.  Each representative we met received a package including letters from the Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, stories of what is happening to Christians in Syria, the PC(USA)’s history in the region as well as a copy of the PC(USA)’s policy adopted by the 220th General Assembly (2012).  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance coordinates the PC(USA) response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

In each of ...

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July 1, 2012

Equipping the Church for Ministry with God's Diverse Family

Irene Pak and Mark KoenigSaturday morning, 30 June, brought Riverside Conversations (beside the Allegheny just above its confluence with the Monongehala) at the 220 General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The Riverside Conversations is a pre-assembly experience for commissioners and advisory delegates. Commissioners and advisory delegates will begin engaging the key issues before the General Assembly, encountering each other and listening for God’s Spirit of discernment as a gathering body.

Irene Pak and I (the photo of us is by Bruce Reyes-Chow) led the conversation on Equipping the Church for Ministry with God's Diverse Family. The description of ...

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July 1, 2012

220th General Assembly (2012)

The 220th General Assembly (2012) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) began yesterday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Find a variety of ways to follow the business of the General Assembly (the next few days are spent in committees - we are Presbyterian).

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June 21, 2012

War and peace in Afghanistan

Map of AfghanistanThe 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved an overture “On the War in Afghanistan.”

Through this overture, the General Assembly directed that “materials appropriate for studying the effects of the present war in Afghanistan and of non-combative actions the United States might take in pursuit of the region’s stability, prosperity, and peace” should be made available to presbyteries and congregations. Such materials and resources include:

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June 21, 2012

Seeking peace in Colombia

Map of ColombiaThe 219th General Assembly (2010) approved an overture “On Assisting with a Process for Negotiation of a Peace Accord in Colombia.”

The action directed “the Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) to write the administration of President Barack Obama and the Congress of the United States of America seeking the permanent suspension of the U.S. military use of seven Colombian bases initiated in 2009.”

The General Assembly further directed “appropriate offices of the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) to work with ecumenical partners to monitor and post periodic updates on the impact of United States military use of ...

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October 31, 2011

Launch of the International Year of Cooperatives

Today, the United Nations General Assembly will launch the International Year of the Cooperatives.  Mongolia has sponsored the resolution to designate 2012 as the International Year. 

Today, I join colleagues from the world governments and non-governmental organizations at this launch.  This afternoon, the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP will join H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Deputy Secretary-General , Dame Pauline Green, Cooperative Representative and member states will join for the launch.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will celebrate this year with the Presbyterian Ministry at the ...

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September 20, 2011

United Nations General Assembly is underway

The United Nations General Assembly continued today.  United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook met with religious leaders to dialouge about her work within the Obama administration.  I had the pleasure to meet with Ambassador Johnson Cook today.  The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations looks forward to working closely with Ambassador Johnson Cook's office to support religious freedom around the world.

President Obama made two statements today, one on partnerships and the other on the situation in Libya.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a statement on the role of women in ...

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September 19, 2011

UN General Assembly Begins

The 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is underway.  Today, delegates focused their attention on non-communicable diseases.  The President of Kenya explained to the General Assembly actions being taken to address these diseases in his country.  Over the next days, other heads of state including U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive in New York to address the General Assembly. 

For more information, visit:

United Nations News Service

CNN: UN General Assembly: A Viewers Guide

UN Webcast

Stay tuned to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations Facebook and Twitter accounts for up-to-date information.

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September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11


UN Sep. 11

Ryan Smith- Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Christine Mangale- Lutheran World Federation, Joseph Donnelly- Caritas Internationalis. Photo By Alisha Rodriguez

On Friday, the President of the United Nations General Assembly welcomed distinguished guests from around the world to commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Joining the President of the General Assembly were the Deputy Secretary General as well as the US Ambassador to the United Nations.  I joined ecumenical colleagues in prayer and remembrance that day at the United Nations. 

Today,  I had the opportunity to worship with First Presbyterian Church of  Brooklyn.  Moderator of the General Assembly of ...

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June 6, 2011

UN and religious freedom

The United Nations Human Rights Council and the General Assembly have encouraged the continuing efforts in all parts of the world of the Special Rapporteur [for religious freedom and belief] to examine incidents and governmental actions that are incompatible with the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief and to recommend remedial measures as appropriate (Human Rights Council resolution 6/37 and General Assembly resolution 61/161).

To expedite his work, the Special Rapporteur for religious freedom and belief has developed a model questionnaire that can be ...

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August 9, 2010

Nonviolent Peaceforce at 30th Anniversary Celebration

Mel Duncan, founder and special projects director of the Nonviolent Peaceforce, speaks at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of Peacemaking: The Believers' Calling sponsored by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program during the 219th General Assembly (2010). The Nonviolent Peaceforce received a small...

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July 11, 2010

Pastoral Letter from General Assembly

The 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has ended. A number of posts will follow with information about the various actions of the assembly related to peace, peacemaking, justice, and justice seeking. For a start, here's information...

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June 17, 2010

Prayer Partners for General Assembly

As in past years, the General Assembly Committee On Local Arrangements is recruiting Presbyterians to serve as prayer partners for each of the commissioners and advisory delegates. Several hundred more people are needed who will agree to pray each day...

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July 10, 2008

Talk, Not War with Iran

The dangerous climate created by the current tensions between the United States and Iran could lead to war. Both governments need to commit to diplomatic talks to ease the tensions and reduce the likelihood of armed conflict. Seymour Hersh reports...

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June 20, 2008

Many Knew the Way (to San Jose)

The Presbyterians are gathering. Many commissioners, advisory delegates, advocates, observers and others have arrived in San Jose. Meetings have begun. The exhibit hall looks ready to go. Registration begins in earnest in the morning (Friday 20 June). Friday afternoon will...

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