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Bossey, February 2012

Message to the Syrian churches
Members of the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches send a message to the Syrian churches expressing solidarity and concern over the violence and political turmoil in Syria from their meeting in Bossey, Switzerland from 14 to 17 February 2012
Statement on asylum seekers and human trafficking in the Sinai Desert
1. During the past years thousands of asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa and Northern Africa have disappeared in the Sinai desert region while crossing the border between Egypt and Israel. The Sinai desert is a traditional transit route for people from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Northern African countries escaping political turmoil, hunger and poverty and hoping to end up in Europe. The people of Eritrea have been facing deep political and human rights crises, due to which around 2,000 people are attempting to flee from Eritrea every month. They end up in the hands of human trafficking rackets or fall victim to organ theft. It is out of sheer desperation, in order to escape conflict, political turmoil and deteriorating human rights situations that people take such risky journeys. However, instead of safe passage to Israel, the refugees find themselves in desert detention centres in Sinai, where they are abused in the most dehumanizing manner.
Statement on the doctrine of discovery and its enduring impact on Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous Peoples have the oldest living cultures in the world. Three hundred to five hundred million Indigenous Peoples today live in over 72 countries around the world, and they comprise at least 5,000 distinct peoples. The ways of life, identities, well-being and very existence of Indigenous People are threatened by the continuing effects of colonization and national policies, regulations and laws that attempt to force them to assimilate into the cultures of majoritarian societies. A fundamental historical basis and legal precedent for these policies and laws is the "Doctrine of Discovery", the idea that Christians enjoy a moral and legal right based solely on their religious identity to invade and seize indigenous lands and to dominate Indigenous Peoples.
Statement on the need for a strong and effective arms trade treaty
The WCC affirms an arms trade treaty as a legal instrument that has three complementary tasks. It must prevent arms transfers to states where the government poses a threat to its own people or to other states. It must improve trade controls so that, where there is a high risk of re-export or diversion to organized criminals or armed groups, arms smuggling and black market sales are reduced or stopped. The ATT must also serve to protect communities and save lives.
Statement on the Situation in Tanah Papua (Indonesia)
The WCC Executive Committee expresses its deep concern for the deteriorating situation regarding human rights violations in Tanah Papua.