Caring for the world is our duty. Multilateralism is about finding solutions to our shared problems.
We live in an interdependent world. To live out our faith, seek justice and pursue peace, we must collaborate with people around the world. Multilateralism is, simply, the collaboration and cooperation among peoples and nations.
We, as United Methodists, must build the conditions for peace through development of confidence and trust between peoples and governments.United Methodist Book of Resolutions, 6129
Multilateralism is an expression of our shared longing to secure peace and justice, promote human dignity and protect human rights, and prosper the world and its resources through just and sustainable development means and methods.
Multilateralism is about sharing the cost and burden of protecting the global commons, which we in the church call protecting of the integrity of God’s creation.
What The Bible And The United Methodist Church Say
The Bible speaks about the virtue of taking counsel from each other. The prophet Isaiah reminds us of what the said: “Come now, let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1:18a)
The Bible also speaks of human security: “but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.” (Micah 4:4)
Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
As United Methodists, we say in our Social Principles that we regard “the United Nations…as the best instrument now in existence to achieve a world of justice and law.” (Social Principles, ¶165.D)
In the same vein, we say, “We endorse international aid and cooperation in all matters of need and conflict,” urging the United Nations to “take a more aggressive role in the development of international arbitration of disputes and actual conflicts among nations.” (Social Principles, ¶165.D)
The United Methodist Church says, “We, as United Methodists, must build the conditions for peace through development of confidence and trust between peoples and governments…Peace and societal harmony are greatly enhanced when peoples and nations cooperate to address global concerns …” (Book of Resolutions, 6129)
Three Things You Can Do
- Inform yourself about global issues and act. How about starting with the Sustainable Development Goals? Urge your governments to meet the goal’s 169 targets.
- Organize a discussion group in your church. Identify an issue in your area and discuss how such an issue connects to bigger issues in your region (like Asia, Africa or North America) or in the world. Discover how different groups are finding solutions to these issues.
- Connect with the United Nations Office of Church and Society and find ways to be involved. Write to the Rev. Liberato C. Bautista, Church Center for the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, Suite 8G, New York, NY 10017 USA; or email him.
For more information on multilateralism, visit:
- Order a copy of the book Meditations and Devotions on the Millennium Development Goals from our United Nations Office. Meditate daily using the book’s 107 devotionals.
- There are many ways the UN affects you as a person and your community. Read about the 70 ways the UN makes a difference.