Bishop of Southwark says underlying causes of Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be addressed

On 20th May 2021 the Bishop of Southwark asked a question in the Lords about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: Some of your Lordships may be aware that I returned from Jerusalem yesterday evening, where I attended the very joyful installation of the new Anglican archbishop there. From an earlier answer given by the Minister, I take it he agrees that, until the underlying causes that gave rise to the clashes on Temple Mount, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood where I was staying, and the conflict between Hamas and Israel, are addressed, Israelis and Palestinians will not enjoy security, experience justice or build a relationship of mutual respect and regard? Does the Minister agree that, for violence to permanently end, Israel’s occupation must also end?

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Queen’s Speech – Archbishop of Canterbury on need for reconciliation as priority in foreign policy

On 19th May 2021 the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke in the House of Lords on the fifth and final day of the debate on the Queen’s Speech.

My Lords, it is a privilege to speak in this debate on the Gracious Speech after the Noble Lord, Lord Hannay with his vast experience and knowledge, and I have learned much from his speech and agree with what he’s said.

The Integrated Review of Global Britain in a Competitive Age has much to be welcomed, including especially the thoughtfulness about the security implications of climate change, the strong commitment to Freedom of Religion and Belief and the commitment to restore the 0.7%. However, to speak of security, defence, development and foreign policy without a developed section on peacebuilding and peace-making, especially with competitors, is like speaking of the pandemic without mentioning vaccination.

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Bishops asks about cluster munition use, protection of refugees, cultural and religious sites in Nagorno Karabakh

On 7th December written answers were published to questions from the Bishops of Coventry, Leeds and Southwark on the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh:

Nagorno Karabakh: Cluster Munitions
The Lord Bishop of Leeds:  To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the use, if any, of cluster munitions during the recent conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. [HL10621]

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Bishop of St Albans calls for nuclear weapon prohibition

On 25th November Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked the Government “further to the ratification by 50 countries of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, what plans they have to review their policies towards nuclear weapons.” The Bishop of St Albans asked a further question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, recently I and a number of other Bishops issued a public letter welcoming the important ratification of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Can the Minister comment on the moral inconsistency, whereby we have rightly taken a stand on outlawing cluster bombs and landmines but not outlawing nuclear weapons, which, as we know, are far more destructive when they are used? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans calls for nuclear weapon prohibition”

Bishop of St Albans asks about protection of cultural sites, monasteries and churches, in Nagorno-Karabakh

On 23rd November the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on protection of cultural sites, including monasteries and churches, in the Nagorno-Karabakh region:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Azerbaijan about (1) the rights of Armenians, and (2) the protection of cultural sites, including monasteries and churches, in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. [HL10377] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about protection of cultural sites, monasteries and churches, in Nagorno-Karabakh”

UK Internal Market Bill – Archbishop supports amendments on Northern Ireland impact

On 9th November 2020 the House of Lords debated and voted on the Government’s UK Internal Market Bill during its Committee stage. A cross-party group of Peers had tabled motions that all the clauses of Part 5 of the Bill, which covered Northern Ireland, international law, and executive powers,  should not remain in the Bill. These successfully passed by large majorities across two votes.

The Archbishop of Canterbury had also sponsored an amendment with Lord Eames that Ministers report on the effect of the Bill’s provisions on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, which he spoke to during the debate:

The Archbishop of Canterbury [V]: My Lords, I will speak to Amendment 161*, to which I have added my name, alongside the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Eames, the noble Lord, Lord Hain, and the noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie of Downpatrick. The previous speeches have all been both moving and deeply eloquent, and I shall therefore be very brief.

As the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Eames, so powerfully explained, the purpose of our amendment is simply to put on the record a concern that this Bill in its current form fails to take into account the sensitivities and complexities of Northern Ireland, and could have unintended and serious consequences for peace and reconciliation. The noble and right reverend Lord spent 20 years as Archbishop of Armagh, between 1986 and 2006, and the force of his words was most remarkable. He has experience of everything from the funerals in small churchyards of those caught up in the Troubles through to negotiations behind the scenes for the Belfast agreement. He speaks with the integrity and authority that those 20 years have earned him, and I trust that the House will listen carefully. Continue reading “UK Internal Market Bill – Archbishop supports amendments on Northern Ireland impact”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government if it will mediate in conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan

On Wednesday 30th September the House of Lords put questions to Government on violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and what representations they have made to the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]:  Does the Minister agree with the interventions made by Pope Francis and the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury that call on all parties in the conflict to take concrete steps to resolve this latest clash? Specifically, have Her Majesty’s Government offered to be part of that mediating process? I ask this because we need to find new partners who can offer that mediation if we are to find a way through after so many years of deadlock. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government if it will mediate in conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan”

Bishop of Southwark asks Government about dialogue and peace prospects in Israel and Palestine

On 27th July the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, received written answers to three questions on Israel and Palestine.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: HL6801 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what diplomatic engagement they have had with the Middle East Quartet since 31 January.

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Archbishop of Canterbury asks about support for UN call for global ceasefire

On 6th May 2020 Lord Oates asked the Government “what support they are providing to African countries in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd Justin Welby, asked a follow-up question:

The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I declare an interest as a member of the Secretary-General of the UN’s High-level Advisory Board on Mediation. What specific steps are the Government taking to support the very successful call for a global ceasefire as it applies to sub-Saharan Africa, particularly among those countries that already have some kind of ceasefire in place, to support the mediation and peace process? I am of course referring to the Secretary-General’s call. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury asks about support for UN call for global ceasefire”

Bishop of Southwark asks Government about Israel, Palestine

On 11th and 13th February 2020 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received written answers to five questions, on Israel & Palestine.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: HL1278  To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they had with the government of the United States about their proposal Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of Palestinian and Israeli People prior to its publication on 28 January.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The US Administration shared details of their proposals with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in advance. The Prime Minister discussed the United States’ proposals during a call with President Trump on 28 January and the Foreign Secretary has also spoken to Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Pompeo.

 


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