2012 Asia-Pacific Workshops
Workshops Coordinator: Derek Duncan, Global Ministries (United Church of Christ / Disciples of Christ)
Session I – Saturday, March 24, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Philippines (US policy and human rights)
This workshop will address the persistent human rights abuses that have been tolerated, and at times perpetrated, by the Philippine military and government agents against civil society, church leaders and others who have sought to defend the rights of the poor, of laborers, and of the environment. Hopes have faded that new President Benigno Aquino, elected in 2010, would investigate and put an end to the arbitrary arrests, torture and killings have disappointed peace advocates, urging Philippine Church leaders and their international partners to press for an honest review if the Philippines when it comes before the United Nations Human Rights Council for its Universal Periodic Review in 2012.
Speakers: Members of a delegation of Church and human rights leaders visiting U.S., Canadian; UN officials in advance of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review in Geneva.
Session III – Sunday, March 25, 11:00 am—12:30 pm
Peace, Militarization and US Policy in East Asia and the Pacific
With the shift in US foreign policy focusing on Asia-Pacific comes an increasing attention to the structure of military power and balance of diplomatic relations in the region. The US is promoting a new strategy of increased militarization aimed at containing North Korea and challenging China’s sphere of influence. How are peace and human rights advocates, including key ecumenical partners, opposing this push toward increased military spending and mobilization in the region? Speakers will address growing international opposition to the construction of the controversial new naval base on Jeju Island, and how US pressure on Japan to strengthen US military bases around Okinawa and amend Article 9 of Japan’s “peace” constitution have intensified calls for policies of demilitarization instead.
Speakers: Rev. Kim Young Ju, General Secretary of the Korean National Council of Churches; Rev. Jokura Kei, Vice-Moderator of the National Council of Churches of Japan.