Commissioners and Advisory Delegates serving on the International Engagement Committee will have at least 18 overtures or reports for their consideration when the committee meets later this month at the 225th General Assembly in Louisville. Approximately half of the items were referred from the 224th General Assembly (2020) for this year’s Assembly.
Four new overtures have been submitted by the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy ministry. They include:
- Jerusalem 3,2,1: Three Faiths, Two Peoples, and One Human Family, which includes a statement of concern for the peace of Jerusalem and affirms the right of all people to live and worship peacefully in the city.
- Seeking Hope and Despair in Central America, which calls for the PC(USA), the Office of Public Witness (OPW) and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations (PMUN) to advocate, defend and support democratic processes, elections and judicial accountability and independence in order to combat corruption in the region.
- A Resolution on Sanctions, which directs agencies within the PC(USA) to review all current and future sanctions policies to determine that those sanctions do not harm civilian populations and to withdraw support from any sanctions regimes that are determined to cause harm.
- Afghanistan: A Time to Mend, which instructs the OPW and the PMUN to advocate with the U.S. government and other non-Afghan governments to end all foreign military aid in the country, including military-like operations — especially air or drone strikes. They’re also advocating for the unfreezing of Afghan government assets held by the Federal Reserve.
Grace Presbytery, with concurrence by eight additional presbyteries, submitted an overture carried over from the 2020 General Assembly that urges the PC(USA) to recognize that Israel’s laws and policies regarding the Palestinian people fits the international legal definition of apartheid. The overture defines apartheid within the context of Israel/Palestine and urges members, congregations, presbyteries and national office units to seek out appropriate ways to end Israeli apartheid.
An overture to support the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from the Presbytery of Chicago is also being carried over from the last General Assembly. It affirms support for the U.S. to provide humanitarian assistance to sub-Saharan African countries that struggle to provide for people displaced by war, violence, epidemic or disease and natural disaster. It also calls for the U.S. to support the DRC’s efforts toward establishing peace and security in Eastern Congo by disarming militias in the region.
For a complete list of overtures being considered by the International Engagement Committee, search pc-biz.org and select “INT-International Engagement” from the Assembly Committee drop-down menu.
The 225th General Assembly runs from June 18 to July 9. The International Engagement Committee will convene June 27–29.