On 11th June 2019 Lord Robathan asked the Government “whether the Foreign Secretary’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet on 13 May represented a change in their policy on defence expenditure.” The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, as I am sure the noble Earl remembers, the Foreign Secretary, in his Guildhall speech, not only called for new capabilities and higher spending, but went on to set the point of these new capabilities when he said that,
“strength is the surest guarantee of peace”.
Furthermore, last week, in the D-day proclamation, 16 countries, including the United Kingdom, committed to,
“work together to resolve international tensions peacefully”.
Given those two aims, of strong defence as a sure base for peace and the proclamation, does the noble Earl agree that the formation of the joint reconciliation unit within the Stabilisation Unit in the Foreign Office is a major step forward, in that averting war through orchestrated means—including both hard and soft power—is much cheaper than fighting it?
Continue reading “Archbishop of Canterbury encourages Government to invest in peaceful resolution to conflict”
On 10th April 2019 the Bishops of Coventry and St Albans received written answers to questions on the war in Yemen: efforts to bring the conflict to an end, and the use of weapons made or sold by British companies –
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: (HL14938) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to facilitate an end to the war in Yemen.
Continue reading “Bishops ask Government about conflict in Yemen and use of British weaponry”
On 6th November 2018 the Earl of Sandwich asked the Government “what steps they are taking to help end the famine caused by the war in Yemen.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, what representations have Her Majesty’s Government made to the KSA and UAE about the use of British-built military hardware, which some people are really concerned could be used for, as is being alleged, war crimes? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about use of British-built military hardware by Saudia Arabia and UAE”
On the 22nd February 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan smith asked an urgent (Private Notice) Question in the House of Lords about the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta in Syria. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, also asked a question during the follow-up. Both the Bishops’ contributions can be found below.
Syria: Eastern Ghouta – Private Notice Question
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to respond to the crisis in Eastern Ghouta in Syria. Continue reading “Bishops of St Albans and Leeds question the Government about humanitarian situation in Syria”
On 5th April 2017, Baroness Northover asked Her Majesty’s Government “how they are intending to respond to the chemical attack seemingly carried out by the Syrian Government on civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.” The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question about future international efforts to rebuild Syria after peace is secured in the area.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough My Lords, as the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday, we on these Benches mourn with the people of Idlib and we pray for justice and an end to violence. However, if and when peace is finally secured in the region, the scale of suffering and damage experienced by the people of Syria over the past six years will demand enormous and costly international effort if Syria is to be rebuilt. Will Her Majesty’s Government commit not just to supporting the people of Syria in the short term but to supporting the decades-long process of restoration that will inevitably be needed once the present crisis is over? Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough asks about long term support to rebuild Syria”
“There is no doubt that someone who dwells on history can be somewhat tedious, but at the same time someone with a sense of destiny and no sense of history can be very dangerous.”- Bishop of London, 12/7/16
On 12th July 2016 the House of Lords debated a Government motion “That this House takes note of the Report of the Iraq Inquiry”. The Bishop of London, Rt Rev and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of London: My Lords, it is humbling to follow such a powerful and authoritative voice. I am also grateful to the Minister for the constructive way he introduced this debate and invited us to think about the lessons we can apply now. Sir John Chilcot recommends more thorough analysis before military action and a more collaborative approach to policy-making. I imagine that every one of your Lordships would probably agree that the case is well made, but politicians caught up in oppressive events, a rapidly changing situation and a 24/7 news environment, and with an ally who is losing patience, do not have much time for pondering decisions. Therefore—this echoes many of the remarks of the previous noble Lord—the culture and assumptions that leaders bring to the crisis are hugely significant. Continue reading “Bishop of London responds to the Chilcot Report on the invasion of Iraq”
On 6th July 2016, Earl Howe repeated a Government statement on the Chilcot Inquiry. The Bishop of Ely, Rt. Rev. Stephen Conway, responded to the statement.
The Lord Bishop of Ely: My Lords, I take the opportunity to draw out what has already been implicit in what has been said so far this afternoon about the deep moral dimension of what we are discussing. I agree with the noble Lord that our troops need not only the assurance of our support, through the covenant, that they have been doing their duty, but the right to believe that what they had been entered into was right and that, when they sacrifice their lives or their continued health, they understand that they were doing something that was entered into with great integrity in the service of others. Continue reading “Bishop of Ely responds to statement on Chilcot report on Iraq War”
On 26th November 2015 the Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Stowell, repeated in the Lords a statement given earlier in the day to the House of Commons by the Prime Minister about Syria and the possibility of military action. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, responded:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: I thank the Leader of the House for the repetition of the Statement, and particularly the publication of the Foreign Affairs Committee report, and welcome the seriousness of the emphasis in both the Statement and the report on a comprehensive approach—the seriousness of military action but also the integration of soft and hard power, support for jobs, education, family and community life and stability, and of communities flourishing in the neighbouring countries, which comes out very strongly. The test will obviously be the total mobilisation of effort in a focused way that recognises the long-term needs of security for indigenous populations, particularly the Christian populations, which are being harried out of the area. Continue reading “Syria and military action – Archbishop of Canterbury responds to Prime Minister’s statement”
On the 23rd and 24th September 2015 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received written answers to questions of Government about overseas aid to Syria and the protection of civilians from war crimes.
The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that targeted aid reaches civilians in communities and towns under siege in Syria.
Baroness Verma: The UK is deeply concerned that, according to UN figures, 422,000 people currently live in besieged areas in Syria. DFID works with trusted humanitarian organisations that endeavour to assist these populations and others in hard-to-reach areas.
The UK strongly condemns and calls for an end to the unlawful denial of access to impartial humanitarian partners. We have been instrumental in securing the passage of three UN Security Council Resolutions – 2139, 2156 and 2191 – demanding that all parties respect international humanitarian law and allow unhindered humanitarian access. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks Government about aid to Syrians and protection of civilians from war crimes”