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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 category: Child soldiers

February 24, 2014

Red Hands continue to make a difference: two more member states ratify

On January 15, 2014, St. Lucia ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Estonia ratified on February 12, 2014 It is a great start to 2014, as we move forward in raising awareness internationally to protect children from being exploited as soldiers.

This raises to 28 the number of United Nations member states that have ratified the Optional Protocol since Presbyterians became involved in the Red Hands Campaign. There are still 39 United Nations member states left to ratify.

Every effort counts. Keep your Red Hands ...

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January 27, 2014

How we can make a difference

Reprinted with permission from The Messenger of Catonsville Presbyterian Church with slight editorial changes in relation to photos that appeared in the original article

“Children are children, not soldiers!”

“I liked the UN tour, especially seeing the conference rooms, where the action really happens.”

“I was amazed by the impact that an advocate can have in influencing policy decisions.”

“The Red Cup program impressed me the most because it accomplished three purposes at once: feeding people, providing education, and promoting gender equality.”

These were some of the reflections from the group that traveled to the United Nations on Friday, October ...

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November 20, 2013

The Growing Voice of the Red Hands

by Esther Lee

Red handsIt is our joy to announce that this year, Cameroon (4 Feb 2013) and Zimbabwe (22 May 2013) ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. The momentum continues to build. Thanks to all who participated.

The Red Hands made by Presbyterians all over the country are delivered to the permanent missions at the United Nations asking them to encourage their governments to sign and ratify the protocol. Though this treaty does not guarantee absence of children in the military forces ...

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June 17, 2013

Remarks by Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, U.S. Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs at the United Nations, at a Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict, June 17, 2013

This was originally posted by the U.S. State Department.

Thank you, Mr. President, for hosting today’s debate on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC). And thank you, Under-Secretary General Ladsous, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Brandt and Save the Children Associate Vice President Ramm for your remarks. We are also grateful to Ambassador Lucas for her leadership as Chair of the Security Council Working Group and deeply appreciate the devoted work of Special Representative Leila Zerrougi and her team to advance this agenda. And I thank her for her briefing this morning as well.

The United States remains determined to ...

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May 24, 2013

Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church follows Jesus into the public arena

Why do followers of Jesus work in the public arena - that part of our life where communities and countries and corporations and the nations of the world make policies that shape our common life? What theological principles and Biblical stories call us to and sustain us in such ministry?

How do we witness and work in the public arena?

Cutting out red handsOn Saturday, May 18, I had the privilege to explore these and related questions with an intergenerational group from Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church in Kensington, Maryland.

Certified Educator Jan Moody, Pastor, the Rev. Kirby Lawrence Hill, and Director of Music John ...

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