The central committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), meeting in Geneva on 21-27 June 2023, received reports and appeals on a wide range of issues affecting the sustainability, security, peace, rights, dignity, life and work of churches, communities and people around the world, including but not limited to the following.

  1. Endorsement of Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, and preparation for COP28

The central committee is meeting in a time when we are experiencing record sea surface temperatures, record high air temperatures and record low sea ice extent.[1] Recalling the “Living Planet” Statement of the WCC 11th Assembly[2], the statement of the WCC executive committee on the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27)[3], and plenary presentations and discussions in our meeting, we acknowledge that while some measures for the alleviation of the impacts of climate change are ongoing, the primary root causes of the climate crisis, namely fossil fuels, are barely addressed. Accordingly, the nations most affected but least responsible for the climate crisis are seeking a negotiating mandate for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to lead us out of this crisis.[4]

The central committee:

Joins the growing chorus of faith voices calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to strengthen and codify legal obligations with respect to the global phase out of fossil fuels.

Requests the general secretary and staff, in consultation with WCC member churches and partners, to develop a statement for COP28 addressing urgent issues, including the need for Climate Financing for Adaptation and Loss and Damage; “climate colonialism”- the promotion of carbon trading, climate insurance,  ‘green’ and ‘blue’ and soft loans instead of grants; the current and emerging human health and livelihood crisis associated with the ecological crisis; and relocation and migration with dignity as a result of climate-induced displacement.


  1. Ecumenical Solidarity with Africa and People of African Descent

Recalling previous statements and actions by the WCC in relation to Africa and People of African Descent, and in this year of significant anniversaries, the central committee:

Observes and commemorates that this year also marks the 60th anniversaries of both the African Union and the All Africa Conference of Churches, and of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, as well as the 70th anniversary of independence for the Bahamas.

Draws attention to the fact that our meeting takes place concurrently with the 2nd Juneteenth Freedom Celebration in the USA.

Invites the continued solidarity and support of all members of the worldwide ecumenical fellowship for the churches and peoples of Africa, and for all people of African descent in their ongoing search for equal human rights.


  1. Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)

Recalling previous statements and actions by the WCC, and profoundly concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) due to the closure and blockade by Azerbaijan of the Lachin corridor, the only road connecting Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) to Armenia, the central committee:

Calls on Azerbaijan and other forces involved for the immediate lifting of the blockade and to re-open the Lachin corridor to allow for the two-way free and safe passage of civilians, transport, and goods along the corridor and to guarantee unimpeded humanitarian access to alleviate the suffering of the Armenian population of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

Requests the general secretary to explore the possibility of an ecumenical solidarity delegation visit to the region, and/or other timely measures to address the situation.

Calls on all member churches and ecumenical partners to remain engaged in Christian solidarity with the churches and people of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in their search for a just and sustainable peace.[5]


  1. Suspension of Food Aid to Ethiopia by USAID and WFP

In support of statements and letters from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and from the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia, the central committee:

Expresses its grave concern about the humanitarian consequences of the recent suspension of food aid to Ethiopia by USAID and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) due to allegations of corruption, misuse and diversion of the provided aid.

Appeals to USAID and WFP, while investigating these allegations, to resume urgently this essential assistance to Ethiopian communities and people whose lives depend on it.

Encourages the three churches (EOTC, EECMY and Catholic Bishops’ Conference), together with other ecumenical partners in Ethiopia, to continue to work together in addressing humanitarian and social challenges in Ethiopia.


  1. SAYFO1915 (Syriac-Aramaic-Assyrian) Genocide

Recalling the Minute adopted by the WCC 11th Assembly, the central committee:

Requests the general secretary to make preparations for observing the 110th anniversary of SAYFO1915 in 2025.

Encourages follow-up to the Assembly Minute’s request for information on this matter to be provided to WCC member churches for the purposes of education and awareness-raising.


  1. Environmental consequences of war in Ukraine

The central committee continues to monitor with great concern the dangerous, destructive and deadly consequences of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, including during the period of our meeting over these recent days. We express once again the international ecumenical fellowship’s grief and dismay at the escalating toll of lives lost and communities destroyed.

We also lift up on this occasion the vast environmental impact of this ongoing conflict, including resulting from the destruction of the Kakhovka dam on 6 June 2023. In addition to the widespread flooding of downstream communities, prompting an urgent need for population evacuation and humanitarian assistance, the destruction of the dam will have a significant environmental impact in the longer term on a much larger geographical area and population.

We also raise again the threats to the environments and communities of the region and the world that military actions targeting or in the vicinity of the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant pose.

The central committee therefore:

Asks the general secretary to exercise all possible efforts through the churches – including the proposed roundtable dialogue process - to bring this conflict and its appalling consequences to an end.


  1. Kosovo and Metochia

The central committee expresses its concern regarding the volatile situation in Kosovo and Metochia, and its effects on the legal and religious rights of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the region. The central committee:

Requests the general secretary to consult with the Serbian Orthodox Church and with ecumenical, inter-religious and other partners, to discern ways in which the WCC might contribute to reducing tensions and mitigating risks of further escalation and conflict in the region. 



[2] "The Living Planet: Seeking a Just and Sustainable Global Community", Statement by the WCC 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany,


[4] Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific (

[5] For references, see as well:;