Economic Globalization and Trade
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
Globalization and Common Global Ministries
Economic globalization profoundly impacts local communities, cultures and ways of life. While increased private investment and trade may grow markets, our global partners witness the challenges it often poses in their communities – wider economic disparity and exploitation. Communities of faith are called to consider what the church can do to ensure that international trade policies better serve the interests of human rights and security, justice and peace, and the dignity and integrity of creation.
Global Ministries is committed to restoring the environment and economics to the service of God. At its November 2004 meeting the Global Ministries Board engaged in a process of reflection on globalization with its international Board members and partners. This process enabled our global partnerships to provide a context for identifying ways of responding faithfully to economic globalization.
Part of the dialogue included inviting global partners and the mission co-workers who serve with them to reflect on the impact of globalization, both positive and negative, in their region. These reports were compiled in a booklet called Globalization: Faith and Economic Justice, Partners and Missionaries Reflect on Globalization. This resource is available to local churches and individuals to help understand our global relationships and the implications of international trade policies and thereby to enable informed decisions as consumers, investors, citizens and people of faith.
The Global Ministries board in November 2004 also passed a Resolution On Globalization and Just International Relationships. This policy complements the 2003 UCC Pronouncement “A Faithful Response: Calling for a More Just, Humane Direction for Economic Globalization“, and together they guide Global Ministries as it engages with other advocacy groups, international ecumenical bodies and faith coalitions campaigning for just trade and more a responsible global economic system.
UCC 24th General Synod Pronouncement “A Faithful Response: Calling for a More Just, Humane Direction for Economic Globalization”
The 2003 UCC General Synod 24 Pronouncement found “that economic globalization has yielded some positive outcomes for society as a whole. But seen through the lens of faith, it has also produced great economic and social injustice. The rules and institutions that shape economic globalization must be fundamentally changed if God’s creation and all God’s children, in both the global south and north, are to benefit.”
Trade and U.S. Border Issues
In February 2005, the UCC Globalization Coordinating Committee met in Tucson, AZ at Borderlinks, a cross-border experiential program that takes residential groups and students to Nogales, Mexico to learn about the desperate situation of Mexican migrants who have flooded the northern border with the U.S. to find work in the maquilladores (factories). Since many factories have closed or laid off workers as companies have moved operations to cheaper labor markets, or as work and living conditions simply prove intolerable, many of these migrants make the hazardous and illegal trip through the desert to the U.S. The Coordinating Committee heard about the work of church and community service groups like Humane Borders that advocate for the rights and humane care of these migrants both in Mexico and once they have arrived in the U.S. The group heard in particular about the innovative work of the staff and congregations of the Southwest Conference, UCC in these migrant ministries.
Fair Trade Coffee
In 2004 the UCC entered into partnership with Equal Exchange to form the UCC Fair Trade Project to encourage congregations to drink fairly traded coffee for justice at fellowship hour. Through the project small coffee farmers in some of the poorest countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia earn a fairer share of income, have access to credit and technical support, and gain a trading partner they can trust. UCC congregations learn about the impact of our consumer habits and how to advocate for more just global economic policies.
For more go to the Economic Justice Ministry of UCC Justice and Witness Ministries