United Methodist Agencies’ Task Force on Human Rights and Investment Ethics—UPDATE

Contacts:
 
 
Phone #:
E-mail:
M. Colette Nies
Managing Director, Communications
General Board of Pension and Health Benefits
847-866-4296
cnies@gbophb.org

Melissa Hinnen
Director, Public Information
General Board of Global Ministries
212-870-3833
mhinnen@umcmission.org

For Immediate Release
July 8, 2013

Glenview, IL—The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) and the General Board of Global Ministries today provided an update on the second meeting of the Human Rights and Investment Ethics Task Force as it began to explore foundational approaches in responding to human rights violations.

The task force, chaired by Bishop Ken Carter, Jr. (Florida Episcopal Area) with 12 other members representing GBPHB, Global Ministries, Church and Society, UM Women, UM seminaries and conferences, the Georgia UM Foundation, the Carter Center and Boston Common Asset Management LLC, developed a “purpose statement” against which their work will be evaluated and which will be used to guide others in policy considerations.

Human Rights and Investment Ethics Task Force—Purpose Statement

  To identify resources, principles and procedures that express our commitment to human rights taking into account fiduciary responsibility and ministry priorities consistent with the global mission of The United Methodist Church.  


The task force has begun examining case studies that illuminate the aspects of human rights situations that evolved into ethical considerations influencing investment decision-making. Impact assessments are also being reviewed to provide an understanding of human rights situations from the viewpoint of each entity involved: corporations, local communities, civil society, governmental organizations, churches and individuals. These exercises are intended to help lay the foundation for a process approach to the work of the task force.

The Human Rights and Investment Ethics Task Force will release periodic updates as the members address and finalize various aspects of their work.

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About the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) is a not-for-profit administrative agency of The United Methodist Church, responsible for the general supervision and administration of the retirement, health and welfare benefit plans, programs and funds for more than 91,000 clergy and lay employees of the Church.

GBPHB invests over $18 billion as the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States and ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country. As a socially responsible investor, GBPHB is actively involved in shareholder advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing.

About the General Board of Global Ministries
The General Board of Global Ministries is the global mission agency of The United Methodist Church, its annual conferences, missionary conferences, and local congregations. Its purpose is to connect the Church in mission; its vision is to equip and transform people and places for God's mission around the world.

Global Ministries has Four Mission Goals:

  1. Make disciples of Jesus Christ;
  2. Strengthen, develop, and renew Christian congregations and communities;
  3. Alleviate human suffering; and
  4. Seek justice, freedom and peace.
 

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