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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: Societal violence

January 8, 2014

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

January is human trafficking awareness month and January 11 is human trafficking awareness day. The year 2014 marks the 151th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. President Abraham Lincoln, upon signing the Emancipation Proclamation said, “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper.” Because of the groundbreaking work of our ancestors, slavery was outlawed in the United States.  However the legacies of chattel slavery continue to haunt our society even as we turn to face a new form of slavery: human trafficking.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A ...

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September 25, 2013

United States Signs Arms Trade Treaty

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry Signed the Arms Trade Treaty on behalf of the United States of America.  You can read his remarks below.


Secretary's Remarks: Remarks at the Arms Trade Treaty Signing Ceremony


John Kerry
Secretary of State

United Nations

New York City

September 25, 2013

Good morning, everybody. Good morning, all – Mr. Under Secretary-General and Mr. Legal Counsel, I believe. And thank you very much for the privilege of being here.

On behalf of President Obama and the United States of America, I am very pleased to have signed this treaty here today. I signed ...

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April 7, 2013

Peacemaking Travel Study Seminar in Northern Ireland: Reconciliation in the Celtic Context

Post by Andy Gans, pastor of Fort King Presbyterian Church in Ocala, FL

Today was our day to venture through the beautiful countryside of Ireland as we visited the historical sites of St. Patrick.
Patrick was born in Northern Britain around 400AD and grew up in a Christian family. As a teenager he was kidnapped from a privileged lifestyle by an Irish raiding party and sold off as a shepherd slave in Ireland.

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April 6, 2013

Peacemaking Travel Study Seminar in Northern Ireland: Reconciliation in the Celtic Context

Sharing messages of peace on the "peace wall"Sharing messages of peace on the "peace wall"

Post by Andy Gans, pastor of Fort King Presbyterian Church in Ocala, FL

Today was the day we hit the streets of Belfast! We got a first hand look at the physical differences between the two factions. I was very surprised to learn about a wall that divided Catholics and Protestants. This wall stands 20 feet higher than the wall around Bethlehem and has stood longer than the wall around East Berlin. This wall is called the Belfast "Peace Wall" and was built to keep the fighting factions apart and create an air of peace in the region.

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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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