BWA General Council Resolution 2007.3
The General Council of the Baptist World Alliance Annual Gathering, meeting in Accra, Ghana, July 2-7, 2007:
Renews its decision made at the General Council in Seoul, Korea, 2004, to strengthen the capacity of aid and development agencies, such as Baptist World Aid, to make a biblically- shaped response to the needs of the poor and oppressed in line with the Micah Challenge campaign to support the UN initiative of 2000 on the Millennium Development Goals to halve the level of world poverty by 2015;
Applauds what progress has been made so far at the half way mark of the UN initiative through the commitment by the world community, following advocacy campaigns by the Micah Challenge and others, including
- more than 135 million people lifted above living on $1 a day;
- more than 34 million additional children attending and completing primary school;
- increased donor focus on HIV, and to some extent on malaria and other diseases, resulting in a reduction in tuberculosis infection rates in all regions and a ten-fold increase in distribution of insecticide-treated nets in Africa;
- improvement in the ratio of girls enrolled in school compared to boys, as demonstrated in South Asia where it has increased from 69 to 87 girls for 100 boys;
- increase in the number of women receiving assistance in childbirth in most regions;
- increased flows of aid to the poorest nations, with debt cancellation forming the bulk of the increased aid.
Laments and is convicted by the lack of progress towards some of the Goals to reduce poverty in God’s world, finding it totally unacceptable that:
7. 10 million children still die each year, primarily from preventable diseases;
8. 500,000 women die each year from complication in pregnancy and childbirth, with 1 in 7 women dying in some countries of Africa (e.g. Niger);
9. 90 million children still do not have access to primary school education;
10. HIV prevalence rates rose in every region of the world in 2006, and tragically, AIDS deaths in Africa roughly matched the number of new infections; water and sanitation funding, critical to public health, productivity and
11. education, is one third of the estimated $23 billion needed for the 1 billion people without these facilities;
12. the poor are the most vulnerable to the threat to environmental sustainability caused by the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and the current and projected impact of global warming;
13. the collapse of the Doha World Trade Organization negotiations has left many of the injustices in the global trade system in place, primarily affecting the poor nations.
Recognizes that an increased commitment is needed by the churches and members of the Baptist World Alliance by
1) increasing our personal and corporate financial sacrifice on behalf of the poor;
2) vigorously advocating to and lobbying our national leaders on their moral responsibility for the needs of the poor;
3) teaching a more authentic holistic Gospel to our faith communities;
4) acting as agents of hope with and for the poor, and so see that the Millennium Goals are achieved, in order that all, created in God’s image, may live life as God intended.
Calls upon the nations of the world to take seriously their commitments to the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations to halve the current level of world poverty by 2015. Further calls upon the richest nations to take urgent action to ensure that at least 0.7% of the national GNP is used to this end, and so secure a more just and merciful world.
Original Source Bibliography: Callam, Neville, editor. Baptist World Alliance 2007 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory. Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2007.
Original Source Footnote/Endnote: Neville Callam, ed., Baptist World Alliance 2007 Yearbook: Minutes of the General Council Meeting and Directory (Falls Church, VA: Baptist World Alliance, 2007), pp. 94- 96.
Online Document Full Citation: BWA General Council Resolution 2007.3 Baptist World Aid and the Poor in God’s World; https://www.baptistworld.org/resolutions.
In-text Online Document Citation: (BWA General Council Resolution 2007.3).