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 Salisbury welcomes Government backing for UN LGBT advocate

Bp Salisbury 2On 8th November 2016, Baroness Goldie repeated in the Lords a statement made in the Commons by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office supporting the role of the UN’s independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, welcomed the statement.

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury My Lords, I very much welcome the strength of the Statement. The rights of LGBTI people is often a very hot and contested matter, particularly on grounds of faith. It is significant therefore that the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury and most other primates in the Anglican communion have committed to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and to the support of the rights of all God’s children. I wonder whether the Minister would see faith as a resource that might be useful in addressing some of the issues raised on this matter. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury welcomes Government backing for UN LGBT advocate”

Bishop of Coventry argues for more humanitarian aid to be passed through local organisations

Bp Coventry May 2015On 12th April 2016, Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale asked the Government “who will represent the United Kingdom at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May.” The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, asked a supplementary question about the need to support local organisations when responding to a humanitarian crisis.

Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry argues for more humanitarian aid to be passed through local organisations”

Bishop of Worcester takes part in debate on relationship between children’s rights and internet use

“The Church of England schools’ commitment to this aim is seen in the breadth of our holistic educational vision. We seek to conceive of education as developing children’s creativity and awareness of the world around them—of course, we are not alone in that. To fit students for a life of active civic engagement, and not just to learn facts, is what education should be about.”

On 20th November 2014, Baroness Kidron led a debate in the House of Lords to take note of the impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on children’s and young people’s online and digital interactions. The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, took part in the debate, which was timed to mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention. The Bishop spoke about the ability of online education resources to release the talents of all children, noting the Church of England’s commitment to a holistic educational vision in its schools. He also highlighted some of the risks associtated with young people using the internet and supported calls for the government to review how the UNCRC can be applied to the context of these online and digital interactions.

WorcesterThe Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I begin by echoing the congratulations offered to the noble Baroness, Lady Shields, on an excellent maiden speech. I join her in applauding the wonderful work in this area of the noble Baroness, Lady Kidron, to whom I am also grateful for providing the House with an opportunity to take stock of the changes wrought over the past couple of decades by the growth of the internet and evolution of digital technologies—on this auspicious day, 25 years since the establishment of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which coincides, as she pointed out, with the beginning of the development of the internet. What a different world we live in now that the convention has come of age. It behoves us to consider the new cultural landscape in which we find ourselves, in which 81% of 12 to 15 year-olds use the internet every day. Continue reading “Bishop of Worcester takes part in debate on relationship between children’s rights and internet use”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government for update on international climate agreements (Written Question)

On 17th June 2014, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on climate change.

Climate ChangeBishop of St Albans

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in securing a deal on the European Union’s 2030 climate change reduction package, in advance of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): The European Council in March 2014 discussed the 2030 climate and energy framework and agreed to make a final decision on the Framework no later than October this year.

The UK believes that the EU should urgently adopt a domestic emissions reduction target for 2030 of at least 40% on 1990 levels, moving to 50% in the context of an ambitious global climate agreement.

I am determined to continue working closely and intensively with all my colleagues in Europe to ensure that the EU is in a position to play a leading role at the Ban Ki-Moon Climate Summit in September.


Archbishop of Canterbury Raises Concern About Conflict in Central African Republic, South Sudan

Updated: The Archbishop of Canterbury asked three written questions of Government, on conflict in the Central African Republic and on sexual violence and war crimes in South Sudan. They were responded to on 10th and 11th March 2014 by the Foreign Office Senior Minister of State, Baroness Warsi.  The questions and their replies are below.

Central African Republic


ImageThe Archbishop of Canterbury: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support the stabilisation of the conflict in the Central African Republic, particularly in ensuring that sectarian violence does not develop into inter-religious conflict.

 The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We are greatly concerned by the situation on the ground in the Central African Republic (CAR). The UK provided £15 million to the humanitarian appeal and a further £2million to the African Union to cover some of the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA)’s operation. Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury Raises Concern About Conflict in Central African Republic, South Sudan”

Bishop of Coventry receives answer to written question on Syria

On 11th December 2013, the Bishop of Coventry received an answer to a written question on Syria.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to participate in the resettlement programme for Syrian refugees administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The Government shares the deep concerns regarding the continuing humanitarian crisis in Syria. However, the Government has no current plans to resettle Syrian refugees either as part of, or in addition to, its annual resettlement quota. We continue to believe that the priority should be to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced people in partnership with neighbouring countries and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The UK has now increased its pledge for the Syrian relief effort to £500 million. This represents the UK’s largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis.


Written Answers – Civil Service, Freedom of Religion and the United Nations

Bishop of DerbyOn 17th October 2013 the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, received answers to written question on the topics of civil service corporate credit cards, freedom of religion and the United Nations.

Civil Service: Corporate Credit Cards

The Lord Bishop of Derby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the rules and criteria for the issuing of corporate credit cards to civil servants; and how the use of such cards is monitored and audited.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: The Government Procurement Card (GPC) is a payment charge card used for making low value purchases. Its proper use contributes to making efficiencies.

All Departments have a clear policy for card allocation. The GPC Steering Group, established after the last General Election, has developed minimum policy standards for central Government departments and their Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs). GPC Central Policy describes the roles and responsibilities for personnel that are required to govern and control local GPC programmes. These policies have been shared with the National Audit Office (NAO) and must be followed by all departments using GPCs. Before the last General Election there was no central oversight of Government GPC card use.

All Departments now operate compliance checking processes which include transaction logs that must be reconciled with bank statements and receipts each month; and the requirement for budget managers to reconcile GPC payment to ensure compliance with approved spend. The departmental controls, in accordance with GPC policy, include monthly compliance checking, including identifying off-contract spend and clear guidance for users on the correct route-to-buy.

All spend on GPCs over £500 is now published.

(via Continue reading “Written Answers – Civil Service, Freedom of Religion and the United Nations”

Bishop of Oxford asks Government for update on peace negotiations in Syria

On the 8th October 2013, Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the prospects for a United Nations-led settlement in Syria supported by the European Union, the United States, Russia and China.

Bishop of OxfordThe Lord Bishop of Oxford: It is well known that to have a peace process that works all the relevant parties must be gathered together, not just the moderates. Can the Minister assure us that, at Geneva II, the more extreme nations will be involved, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and so on, as well as the opposition groups, both internal and external? Will they all be there?

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The right reverend Prelate may be aware that the Geneva communiqué was for the first time adapted and supported by the UN Security Council as part of this resolution. That effectively means that the opposition and the regime have committed to being part of the Geneva II process. Which other states are part of that process depends very much on what they would be prepared to endorse, and whether they would be prepared to agree to the Geneva communiqué. At this stage, Iran has not done that.