Welcome to Uppsala and to the 3rd ACT General Assembly! We have finally arrived to celebrate our achievements, but also to raise a new parameter for our Alliance. We have a big responsibility to define new scopes and perspectives for our work together. That will be an exciting exercise due to our diversity and what we represent together.
In this Assembly we want to acknowledge the uniqueness of every participant and make every possible effort to nurture their full participation in all sessions, which is crucial to promote the holistic dimension of our coming together. It will include moments of celebration, deliberation, decision and affirmation of our further journey as an alliance.
One of the major topics for this Assembly is the affirmation of the new strategic direction for the Alliance. To begin another journey of enthusiasm and achievements, it is important that we celebrate the fact that we are the world´s biggest Protestant and Orthodox humanitarian, development and advocacy network. This status already puts a lot of responsibility on our shoulders.
Our Assembly occurs in a moment in which the world is facing division, polarization, populism and attacks against democracy, where values are being questioned and human dignity undermined. As ACT, we are not free from these world dynamics, and as with any other organization or sector, we are exposed to situations that may undermine our Christian principles and values.
As we start our assembly, it is important that we have in mind the founding values and principles of our Alliance, which all members subscribed when they became part of ACT. I urge all participants that all our discussions, deliberations and decisions during the Assembly prevail on these principles. It is important that we are bound together by several core values that are grounded in our Christian faith and which guide our work.
We believe that all persons are created in the image of God. Therefore, we act in ways that respect dignity, uniqueness, and the intrinsic worth and human rights of every human being, irrespective of race, gender, belief, nationality, ethnicity or political persuasion, and that make us to commit ourselves to listening to, learning from, and sharing experiences with other members in order to improve the quality of our work and draw on the rich diversity of our alliance.
The Assembly days are not enough to embrace all the richness of our work, nor to go deeply into the topics that require our attention as members and as alliance. However, this is the beginning of a new phase, which is the start of our deep engagement in the life of the Alliance and our response to the situations that the people of the world expect from organizations like ours.
Let´s put our efforts and commitments together to shape a new and innovative way to work together in order to promote our values, beliefs and proposals.
The new time starts now!