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Swords into plowshares

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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: united states

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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April 27, 2014

National Day of Prayer - May 1, 2014

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held in the United States on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for our nation. In some places, groups gather for prayer services, walks, or vigils. Here is a prayer to use or adapt:

A Prayer for Our Nation

Gracious God, in whom we live and move and have our being, we give thanks for your presence made known to us in the words, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

God of all truth, by whom all nations are judged and ...

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January 31, 2014

Support UN Peacekeeping efforts

From our partners in the Office of Public Witness

Tell Congress to support UN peacekeeping efforts

2013 was a tough year for the world — a year for the UN to prove itself more than ever.  It was a year in which the UN showed its ability to respond nimbly to unfolding crises around the globe, from the humanitarian response to Typhoon Hainan to the critical role that peacekeepers are playing in containing and even reversing conflicts in some of the toughest corners of the world.  However, just as peacekeeping is proving its worth, Congress and the Administration have decided to ...

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October 25, 2012

A revolutionary idea

Mamie Broadhurst and German Zarate“There is nothing more revolutionary than the idea ‘love your neighbor!’' Germán Zárate reminded the group who gathered at the Church Center for the United Nations on October 23, 2012. Germán, Director of the Diaconal of the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia and the Rev. Mamie Broadhurst, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker in Colombia, spoke about the ministry of the church in Colombia.

The Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia, supported by U.S.-based partners, ministers to our sisters and brothers who have been displaced in Colombia. This ministry involves working to address the human rights crisis ...

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August 30, 2012

The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded

Below is an op-ed from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.  Here, he states, "Massive military spending and new investments in modernizing nuclear weapons have left the world over-armed -- and peace under-funded."

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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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April 11, 2012

A prayer for peace as the Quartet meets

From Churches for a Middle East Peace:

In late April the United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold its quarterly open debate on the Middle East. The focus of discussion will likely be whether the Quartet—comprised of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States—has been able to achieve sufficient impetus to have the Israeli-Palestinian peace process move in a positive direction. In preparation for that discussion the Quartet meets today in Washington, DC.  

As people of faith, on this occasion we ask you to pray for peace and for God to make a ...

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August 18, 2011

Human rights and ageing

A reflection on the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing for the purpose of strengthening the protection of Human Rights of older persons  
August 1-4, 2011

Peng Leong
First Chinese Presbyterian Church of New York City
Volunteer Intern, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Picture of open forum eventI have been working with older persons for many years in my church as a member of the Board of Community Affairs Corporation running social and educational programs in my own corner of the world—New York’s Lower East Side. Our mission is to provide home care services to older persons so that they can remain ...

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August 17, 2011

Situation in Southern Kordofan

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Southern Kordofan, August 16, 2011

The United States welcomes the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the increasingly dire situation in Southern Kordofan.  We are deeply disturbed by the reports of extrajudicial killings, attacks on civilians, mass graves, arbitrary detentions, abductions, house to house searches, forced displacements, and other clear violations of humanitarian law.  We strongly support Commissioner Pillay’s recommendations, including immediate, unhindered access for humanitarian assistance and ...

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July 27, 2011

Official summary of UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East and Palestine

Below is the official summary from the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine held yesterday.


6590th meeting of the Security Council

The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

The agenda was adopted without objection.

The President, with the consent of the Council, invited the representatives of Bangladesh, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at their request, to participate in ...

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July 26, 2011

UN Security Council holds open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

The United Nations Security Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine today.  Below are links to background information and statements made in the Council:

Security Council Report: Israel-Palestine

Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry



Press Question and Answer- Palestine

United States

Links to additional statements will be posted when they become available.

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July 13, 2011

History in the making


SC Gathering

Photo: Ryan Smith

There are few times in one’s life where you can really say that you have witnessed history.  I believe today to be one such occasion for me.  

On Saturday, July 9, the world watched as South Sudan became fully independent from Sudan.  This occurred just six months after the historic referendum where over 98 percent of the population in South Sudan voted for independence.  The opportunity for the referendum was granted to the people by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, just years earlier.

Today, sitting in the chamber of the Security Council, I couldn’t help but ...

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July 6, 2011

North-South negotiations on Sudan

Below is a press statement from Victoria Nuland, Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson, Department of State, Washington, DC


The United States is encouraged by the July 4 meeting between Sudanese President Bashir and First Vice President Kiir at the Extraordinary Session of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development on Sudan in Addis Ababa. We welcome the commitment that Sudan’s leaders made to continue negotiations on outstanding issues following South Sudan’s independence on July 9. We urge the parties to set a firm deadline – no later than the end of July – for the resolution of these issues. Leaving key ...

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June 27, 2011

Trick-or-Treat Congress for UNICEF

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs (Matthew 19:14).’

Presentation with UNICEF boxIn response to Jesus’ concern for children, Presbyterians have Trick-or-Treated to raise funds to support UNICEF and its work for children around the world. I’ve encouraged Presbyterians to do so - even going so far as playing UNICEF Box Man.

Now we have a chance to Trick-or-Treat Congress when we ask the U.S. Congress to continue its funding of UNICEF.

Every fiscal year, the U.S. Congress must pass ...

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June 20, 2011

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Briefing on Sudan, June 20, 201

Below is a release from the United States Mission to the United Nations, a statement by Ambassador Rice to the Security Council on the ongoing situation in Sudan.  



June 20, 2011



Mr. President, we welcome the news that the parties have just signed an agreement on temporary administrative and security arrangements for Abyei and the withdrawal of Sudanese Armed Forces. We are encouraged by this news. We greatly appreciate the intensive efforts of former President Thabo Mbeki and the African Union High-level Implementation Panel over the past two weeks to assist the parties ...

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April 12, 2011

Arms Down on Global Day of Action Against Military Spending

Send an email to the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council asking their countries to take the lead in shifting spending priorities from military to development. The Religions for Peace Shared Security Campaign suggests this action for the...

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March 26, 2011

Madagascar: Route to Democracy Needs Revision

As people clamor for democracy across North Africa, the United States has an opportunity to support a return to democracy in Madagascar. The United States can do this by calling on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to revise the...

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February 19, 2011

Prayers for a Saturday morning . . .

and other times . . . Pray for the people of . . . Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya and other countries who call for change . . . Uganda who are vote . . . Palestine and Israel who stand...

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January 31, 2011

New START Treaty to enter into effect

The lower and upper houses of the Russian parliament have ratified the New START Treaty which had already been ratified by the United States Senate. The new Russia-US nuclear disarmament treaty will enter into force on February 5 during an...

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December 23, 2010

START approved by Senate

By a 71-26 vote, the Senate ratified the START treaty today. This treaty will lead to a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons held by Russia and the United States. Thanks to all who engaged in advocacy on this...

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December 22, 2010

Bringing START to a finish

Reports indicate that the Senate will vote tomorrow (Wednesday, December 22, 2010) on the new START treaty that would reduce the number of nuclear weapons held by Russia and the United States. It would also reestablish on-site inspections to monitor...

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December 2, 2010

Troika Statement on the Southern Sudan Referendum

Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC December 1, 2010 The following is the text of a joint statement by the Sudan Troika (United States, United Kingdom, and Norway) on the Southern Sudan Referendum. Begin text: We congratulate the Southern Sudan...

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November 19, 2010

A Season of Prayer with the People of Sudan

Prayers are always in order for the people of Sudan. Prayers are particularly in order as January, 2011 draws near. A referendum on self-determination for the people of South Sudan is scheduled for January 9. On that same day, a...

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November 11, 2010

Urge Senate to support START

Take five minutes to help get the new START treaty ratified. Contact your Senators! The Presbyterian Office of Public Witness writes: Our political leaders have put listening to the American people at the top of their agenda for the next...

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September 12, 2010

To inspect Russian sites, START is needed

Without START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), the United States cannot inspect Russian nuclear weapons sites. Encourage your Senators to support ratification of START. As well as allowing such inspections, the new START would reduce the number of U.S. and Russian...

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August 26, 2010

What do we have to show?

by Roger Scott Powers - posted with permission Thirty years of peacemaking, and what do we have to show for it? A lot, when you think about it! Thirty years ago, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were locked head-to-head in...

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August 9, 2010

Ask your Senators to START

Contact your Senators and urge them to give bipartisan support to the new START - the treaty that would reduce the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia. The Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Sample Email I urge you...

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August 3, 2010

START delayed

Our colleagues with the Friends Committee on National Legislation report that Senator John Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has announced that the committee vote on the START treaty has been delayed until September 15 or 16. This...

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July 31, 2010

Urge Your Senators to Support the START Treaty and Reduce Nuclear Dangers

We have been encouraging support for the START agreement between the United States and Russia. Here is another take on that topic from our colleagues in the Presbyterian Washington Office History of the START agreement The original START agreement between...

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June 19, 2010


Today marks Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. describes the occasion: "Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed...

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June 11, 2010

A prayer of hope for peace in Colombia

O God, how long will those who make war govern our countries? O God, how long will those who steal, kill and destroy have so much power? O God, how long will security be like a long night of terror?...

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May 16, 2010

Time for New START

Last Thursday, the Obama administration sent the new START Treaty to the Senate for ratification. Now we can ask our Senators to vote in favor of this important first step to reduce the global nuclear threat, prevent the further spread...

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May 15, 2010

Secretary Gates on START

The U.S. will be far better off if the new START treaty between the U.S. and Russia is ratified and goes into effect. That’s the position put forth in a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Secretary of Defense Robert M....

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May 13, 2010

Toward A Nuclear-Free World: Webinar on the New START Treaty

May 19 program with Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller To participate, go to on at 9 a.m. EDT on May 19. Please join the U.S. chief negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, who will discuss the recent...

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May 6, 2010

Observers arrive in Philippines

The Philippine Election Observer Team reports that there will be over 80 observers of the elections in the Philippines from over ten countries. Most of the observers come from the United Sates and Canada. Other countries include Australia, New Zealand,...

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May 4, 2010

Indonesia seeks ratification of the CTBT

Indonesia announced today that it will seek ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, dropping its demand that it would only do so after United States had ratified the landmark agreement. The announcement marks the most significant non-proliferation commitment by...

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April 8, 2010

It's a START

President Obama of the United States and President Medvedev of Russia will meet in Prague, Czech Republic, today to sign a new strategic arms control agreement. In the United States, the treaty will go to the Senate which must ratify...

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March 26, 2010


President Obama announced that the United States and Russia have agreed to a new treaty limiting each country "to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the Treaty enters into force." Plans are to sign the treaty...

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December 7, 2009

Toward a mine-free world

Good news from the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World! The summit closed with more than 120 governments adopting the Cartagena Action Plan (read the plan in draft form [pdf], a detailed five-year plan of commitments on all areas of...

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October 31, 2009

30 years working for rights for women

December 18, 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). A working group of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality...

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February 5, 2009

Major Cuts in Nuclear Weapons on the Table?

An article posted on the Times Online reports that President Obama plans to convene talks with Russia aimed at reducing each country's nuclear weapons' stockpile. And the reduction could be significant. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation provides an opportunity to...

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November 28, 2008

December Fast for Global Food Crisis

This month's fast to discern responses to the world food crisis falls on December 5 through 7. The theme focus is Agrofuels and the country focus is the United States and Guatemala.

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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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