Colombia Resolution (Mennonite Church Canada, 2001)

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Colombia Resolution

WHEREAS the delegate body of Mennonite Church Canada passed the resolution during the July 21-25, 2000 Assembly in support of the Colombian Mennonite Church's call for solidarity and opposition to the vast monetary sums appropriated for military use in Colombia by the United States, and

WHEREAS the delegate body of Mennonite Church Canada passed, at the same Assembly, a resolution urging the Canadian government to "stop all sale of arms, munitions and implements of war to foreign countries, whether ’allies,’ members of NATO, or others,"

WHEREAS the delegate body of Mennonite Church Canada, at the same Assembly, called for the Government of Canada to review its own foreign policies and Canadian investments in Colombia and how they may contribute to social unrest and injustice in Colombia,

NOW BE IT RESOLVED that the delegate assembly of Mennonite Church Canada 2001 re-affirm its commitment to the Lethbridge 2000 Resolutions and the Colombian church through:
1. Committing ourselves to learning about the Colombian context and praying for our Mennonite sisters and brothers in Colombia.
2. Participating in the Sanctuary Sister Church proposal by the Colombian Mennonite Church which cultivates relationships of mutuality between Colombian churches and churches abroad to share in prayer and action.
3. Calling the Canadian Government to accountability in its $18.2 million (US) loan from Canada's Export Development Corporation (EDC) for the URRA DAM multinational hydroelectric megaproject that has brought devastation upon the Embera Katio indigenous people.
4. Condemning the sale of 33 military helicopters by the Canadian Department of National Defense to the United States as part of the $1.3 billion aid plan entitled Plan Colombia.
5. Calling the Government of Canada to close the loophole which restricts the export of military equipment from Canada to governments engaged in armed conflict or gross human rights violations, yet has no restrictions on the sale of such equipment to the US regardless of the "end-user" of military equipment.
6. Urging the Government of Canada to make a clear pronouncement condemning further military aid as the answer to the conflict in Colombia, and to place its energies in the enactment of the Canadian Plan Colombia and its peace-building efforts.
7. Working in partnership with MCC Canada to investigate opportunities for peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts in Colombia which include exploring access to funds made available by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Canada Plan Colombia.

Context of the Statement

As a follow up to the Call from Colombia to MC Canada resolution passed at the 2000 assembly, the Resources Commission of Mennonite Church Canada brought this resolution to the delegate body. Marilyn Houser Hamm, as Director of Peace and Justice Ministries for MC Canada, would have provided the text of the statement.

Although not implicitly stated, the 2000 statement and this statement reflected the growing partnership between MC Canada and the Mennonite church in Colombia.

The Mennonite Church USA assembly at Nashville 2001 also approved a statement on Colombia, directed more at the policies of the U.S. government.