We raise our voices to the governments represented at COP21 in Paris to utilize the special momentum given on this highly significant occasion: COP21 provides a critical opportunity to benefit the whole of the human community. For the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a global and comprehensive agreement on climate justice and climate protection – supported from all the nations of the world – can be reached.
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia Stuart McMillan has joined faith representatives and members of Parliament in Canberra today to support renewed efforts to restore some compassion to Australia’s asylum seeker policies.
Inequality and the power of imagining a different world
Rev. Elenie Poulos
Inequality is a growing problem in Australia. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening and it’s happening quickly. The latest report on inequality from the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), A Nation Divided, shows that the richest 10% of Australians hold 45% of all wealth (income plus property, shares, superannuation etc.) while the bottom 40% hold only 5% of the wealth. To take another perspective, a person in the richest 20% has 70 times as much wealth as someone in the poorest 20%. Between 2004 and 2012, the wealth of the richest 20% of Australians increased by 28% while the wealth of the poorest increased by only 3%.
Uniting Justice National Director Rev. Elenie Poulos and Uniting Church in Australia President Stuart McMillan were two of 230 signatories on a citizens manifesto calling for changes to Australia's asylum seeker policy. The statement seeks policies based on humanitarian principles, calls for an end to locking away innocent men women and children, and envisions a country that sees asylum seekers as an opportunity not a problem.
The Uniting Church in Australia is today calling on the Government to commit to a significant increase in Australia’s refugee intake as a response to the crisis in Syria.
“While we welcome the Federal Government’s commitment to increase our refugee intake from Syria, the scale of this crisis requires a much greater response,” said Uniting Church President Mr Stuart McMillan.