A NEWS RELEASE
From the Lutheran Office for Public Policy (LOPP)
Winnipeg, January 5, 2004 (ELCIC) -- In 1998 the ELCIC adopted a Public Statement of Pastoral Concern for People Living with HIV/Aids. At the ELCIC’s November 2003 National Church Council meeting, the Public Policy Advisory Committee agreed to encourage ELCIC members to sign the United Church of Canada’s "Beads of Hope" Petition. Much work is being done through international agencies like Lutheran World Service to address the crisis the pandemic has created in many communities, particularly in Africa.
The "Beads of Hope" Campaign is part of a broader United Church initiative. We are asking you to sign the petition that calls upon the Federal Government to;
- Cancel the burden of debt owed by developing countries that undermines their capacity to respond to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
- Continue to increase Canada’s Official Development Assistance to meet the goal of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income, while increasing support for the United Nations’ Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and
promoting sustainable development strategies prepared in-country with a high level of civil society input and involvement.
- Ensure that patents or trade-related intellectual property rights do not block access to life-saving medicines.
- Double the funding to the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS.
You can print a copy of the petition
to solicit signatures from people in your community. Or you can sign it directly on line at http://www.united-church.ca/beads/petition/home.shtm
. The objective is to obtain 100,000 signatures by February 28,2004. Before January 12 when Prime Minister Martin meets with his caucus, members are also being encouraged to contact their local Member of Parliament to ask them to support the call of the petition.
On the United Church "Beads of Hope" web site- http://www.united-church.ca/beads/home.shtm you will find quite a number of helpful resources if you wish to organize an educational program for your congregation or in your community.
Donations to the ELCIC’s Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA) support projects that help communities living with HIV/Aids. http://www.elcic.ca/ghda
Visit the LOPP web site http://www.elcic-lopp.ca/ for some further links and information. Please support this effort. Feel free to circulate this to your networks, to your congregation, or elsewhere in your community.
A blessed Epiphany to you all