[saymaListserv] YM Minutes Part 2

Willard Vaughan, PE teamenv at mail.premiernet.net
Fri Jun 16 09:27:28 JEST 2000


Dear Friends  here is part two of Yearly Meeting
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Yearly Meeting #30 of SAYMA
Warren Wilson College Swananoa North Carolina
 June Sixth Day (Friday), 2000 10:00 AMJune Sixth Day (Friday) Morning


  7.  Introduction of Minutes and Concerns  - Clerk Penelope Wright indicated that constituents
of SAYMA have been busy with many different concerns.  These concerns are being presented at
this time.

Population 

At Yearly Meeting ,1999, a minute on population was presented and Friends were asked take it
back to their monthly meetings and worship groups, labor with it, and suggest improvements as
they saw fit. The minute was also distributed by mail and email to each monthly meeting and
worship group.

While not all meetings and groups responded, a good number gave thoughtful and prayerful
consideration to the minute. Some approved it in the original version. Others suggested changes
in phrasing or tone. These suggestion were incorporated and the revised minute was presented at
representative meeting for further consideration. This minute has been on the agenda at each
representative meeting since last Yearly Meeting.

Minute on Population from Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association

     In accordance with Friends testimonies of equality, simplicity, and harmony, we recognize the
sacredness of all life, the interconnection of all living things, and the balance required to sustain
an acceptable quality of life for all inhabitants of our planet. We are committed to providing all
children with a safe, loving, nourishing, and habitable world in which to live.

     In October 1999, world human population surpassed 6 billion, having doubled since 1960. At
the present rate of growth, it is likely to double again within the new century. The effects of this
rapid population growth exacerbated by excessive consumerism, threaten all of earth's creatures,
placing insupportable demands on her finite resources, creating unmanageable problems of waste
disposal, and intensifying environmental degradation.

     While remaining sensitive to the needs and values of all cultures, we acknowledge our
responsibility to become informed about world population growth and the concerns it raises.
Through our leadings and sharings, we will seek knowledgeable, loving, and creative ways of
working towards effective and realistic solutions.  These include providing education on and
means of contraception for both sexes, encouragement of adoption as an alternative to having
biological children , and open support of those who choose not to procreate.  And it is essential
that those who have more than they need strive toward a simpler, less wasteful life-sytle.

     We also recognize that special emphasis must be given to measures to reduce poverty, 
provide security for people as they age and empower women.   Literacy, equal social status, and
the general education of women to broaden their life choices are measures that not only improve
their lives but help delay childbirth and limit family size.

     We urge our government to renew contributions to the United Nations Fund for Population
Activities, and we urge meetings to study further the problem of rapid population growth and to
discern how we are to act on this concern as individuals and as meetings in our own
communities, in our country, and in support of countries throughout the world.

Lifting Sanctions in Iraq

Minute on Economic Sanctions Against Iraq by Nashville MM

     "Nashville Friends Meeting expresses its deep concern about the effects of economic
sanctions on civilians in Iraq.

     "1)  Sanctions against Iraq have caused a great increase in the country's mortality rates,
especially among children.  The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports that rates of
childhood mortality in Iraq in 1997 were running 90,000 deaths per year in excess of rates of
mortality that prevailed in 1989 before the Gulf War.  (Situation Analysis of Children and
Women in Iraq, p. 42, 1998, UNICEF).  The report also states that large percentages of Iraq's
living children suffer from acute malnutrition, life threatening diseases, stunting of normal
development, and educational and social disruption.  The report attributes these increases in
mortality and severe health problems to the effects of the economic sanctions enforced by the
U.N. Security Council.

     "Denis Halliday, a veteran of 34 years of service with the United Nations, resigned in protest
in October 1998 after thirteen months as the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq.  In an
interview with The Progressive (February 1999, p. 28).  He said that as a result of sanctions
'...Thousands are being killed right now, under U.N. auspices. We are killing 6,000 or 7,000
every month.'  "These conclusions are consistent with reports of the United Nations humanitarian
agencies and observations by numerous non-governmental human rights delegations.  One of
these consisted of a delegation of six pediatricians and child welfare specialists who visited Iraq
in November 1998 on behalf of Americans Friends Service Committee.  (Child &Maternal
Health & Nutrition in Iraq under the Sanctions, 12/98, AFSC, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia
19102)

     "2)  These severe effects on the life, health, and social structure of civilians constitute a
violation of the fundamental principles of international law, the peacemaking principles and
intent of the United Nations Charter, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the
Child.

     "3)  The government of the United States, because of its dominant power and influence in the
Security Council, shares with the government of Iraq great responsibility for the political
deadlock that has caused these deadly conditions to continue for nine years.  We, as citizens of
the U.S. bear a grave responsibility for the actions of our government.

     "4)  It is urgent that an alternative solution be found that will end the United Nations
economic embargo and allow Iraq to restore its economy and social structure through normal
trade and economic activity, with supplementary help from U.N. humanitarian programs and
other available resources in the world community.

     "5)  Such a settlement could be tied to a United Nations program that would monitor and limit
future accumulation of weapons by Iraq.  We also believe that reductions in the weapons arsenals
of all governments in the Middle East would reduce tensions in the region.  The United States
and other countries involved in the arms trade would need to be involved in such reductions.

     "Nashville Friends Meeting authorizes its Peace and Social Concerns Committee to:

     "1) Transmit our concern and supporting evidence to our senators, congressional
representatives, and president, and urge them to support these recommendations for changes in
policy toward Iraq.
     
     "2)  Authorize the Meeting's representatives to the Nashville Peace and Justice Center to
support this issue as a priority concern for action by the Center.

     "3)  Transmit our concerns, along with supporting evidence, to monthly meetings and worship
groups with the request that they consider the concern and respond by bringing it to the yearly
meeting level, and by contacting Friends Committee on National Legislation, their federal
representatives, and the president of the U.S.

     "4)  Transmit our concerns and supporting evidence to SAYMA for consideration of approval
of a minute to be shared with wider Quaker organizations and other yearly meetings."

Minute on Ending the Economic Sanctions against Iraq from Atlanta (GA) Friends Meeting


     "Moved by our belief that every human life is sacred, Atlanta Friends Meeting of the
Religious Society of Friends calls on elected officials to support the end of economic sanctions
imposed by the United Nations and to continue pursuing arms control with Iraq.  The economic
sanctions began as a temporary measure in August, 1990, after Iraq's military invasion and
occupation of Kuwait. The sanctions were to be lifted when Iraq terminated its weapons of mass
destruction under international supervision and submitted to ongoing United Nations monitoring.

     "However, it has been clear for some time that the economic sanctions have not had their
intended effect, and have instead created devastating conditions for the Iraqi people. More than
one million civilians, mostly children, the sick, and the elderly, have died in the ten years since
sanctions were imposed. Broken-down water treatment and sewage systems have led to
outbreaks of typhoid, polio, and hepatitis. Hospitals have inadequate disinfectants, medicine, or
antibiotics to treat diseases that would be cured routinely under normal circumstances. 
Agricultural production has collapsed for want of fertilizers and machinery. Atlanta Friends note
with compassion the suffering of Iraqi civilians at this painful time.

     "It is time for a change in policy, to focus more clearly on disarmament. For example,
sanctions specifically affecting the leaders of the Iraqi government should continue, including
travel bans, freezes on assets, and an embargo on luxury items and military materiel. The
international community should maintain and develop devices to control arms manufacture and
purchases for Iraq and the region, and exports of military technology and weapons to Iraq should
be more tightly controlled. Broad economic sanctions against Iraq, however, have shown
themselves to be both immoral and ineffective, and should be stopped."

  


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