On 2nd March 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered oral and written questions in the House of Commons, covering wi-fi in churches, art exhibitions in churches, the Anglican Church in South Sudan, the House of Bishops’ Report on Human Sexuality, and church building repairs. A full transcript follows:
On 13th July 2016 Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the resurgence of violence in South Sudan.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a follow up question:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I have been in South Sudan twice in the past two years and in Kenya a week ago. Is the Minister encouraging the Government of Kenya to use the powers they have in their area, as most of the leaders of South Sudan have their families, farms and education of their children in Kenya, to encourage them to observe their ceasefire? What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to support the work of the peace and reconciliation commission led by the Anglican Archbishop of South Sudan and Sudan?
On the 4th March 2015 Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of recent developments in Sudan, with particular reference to the continuing aerial bombardment of civilians in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a supplementary question:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, during two visits to South Sudan last year, both in Juba and in the fighting area, it was evident that there was widespread belief and evidence that the Government of Sudan were not only interfering in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur with these terrible acts, but seek further to destabilise the already terrible situation in South Sudan. What steps do this Government believe should be taken and what steps are they taking with the international community to stop this cross-border interference?
Baroness Northover: The cross-border area is again a very difficult area to be working in. Our sense of things in terms of South Sudan is that we have huge challenges there in trying to get the parties to some kind of agreement. The Government of Sudan themselves are playing a non-obstructive role generally speaking. However, given all the instability on the border that the most reverend Primate talks about, it is exceptionally difficult.
On 1st December 2014, the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, received an answer to a written question on South Sudan.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with other donor countries about the case for innovative funding arrangements to meet long-term humanitarian needs in South Sudan. [HL2868]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover): The UK has led conversations with other donors on improving linkages between humanitarian and development programmes, and ways to increase self-sufficiency and resilience among populations who are in need of humanitarian assistance. With our partners we are looking to fast track and implement innovative ways to stimulate markets to address food insecurity and build livelihoods, link development programmes in health and education with humanitarian provision of these services, and improve co-ordination in-country between humanitarian and development planning and provision. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby – South Sudan (Written Answer)”
On 27th November 2014, the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, received answers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to four written questions about South Sudan.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to encourage greater and co-ordinated regional political pressure being put on all parties to the conflict in South Sudan to cease fighting and to respect agreements signed to date.[HL2864]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns): The UK is actively supporting regional efforts, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to resolve the crisis in South Sudan. We raise the need for continued regional engagement through our Embassies in IGAD capitals, contacts between Ministers and through the UK Special Representative’s engagement in the peace talks. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby – South Sudan (Written Answers)”
On 30th July 2014 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, received a written reply from Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi to a question about human rights in South Sudan.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they are having to ensure that allegations raised in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan human rights report of 8 May are being addressed.[HL1307] Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans raises human rights abuses in South Sudan”
On 29th July 2014, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on humanitarian assistance in South Sudan.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they are supporting the role of churches and other civil society groups in the peace and reconciliation process in South Sudan, and in the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Baroness Northover: The UK is one of six donors funding the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Community Security and Arms Control (CSAC) Project, which includes provision of technical support for national and community-level community reconciliation process, including working with faith-based partners. Furthermore, under the Africa Conflict Pool Programmes, the UK is funding civil society organisations to build the capacity of local populations to identify and resolve conflicts that affect them.
Through the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), the UK has supported work by national civil society to provide health, education, food security and livelihood, water and sanitation and mine awareness services for the most vulnerable. In addition, some United Nations agencies supported by the UK (such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP)) work in close collaboration with local partners. To improve basic services the UK funded Girls Education South Sudan (GESS) project is working through Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) in two of South Sudan’s 10 States, and the UK-led Health Pooled Fund (HPF) will support faith-based county hospitals as well as government ones.