46th General’s Consultative Council meets
Council renews commitment to accountability and reform
The 46th meeting of the General’s Consultative Council (GCC) convened in London with Chief of the Staff Commissioner William Roberts presiding.
Commissioner Silvia Cox, world president of women’s ministries, opened the council with words from Psalm 119 and with the reading of a letter of thanks and encouragement from General André Cox as he recovers from surgery.
Delegates to the GCC included 29 international leaders from the five Salvation Army Zones—Africa, Americas and Caribbean, Europe, South Asia, and South Pacific and East Asia—and International Headquarters (IHQ), and an additional 14 IHQ team members, who are part of the accountability working group.
In his keynote address, read by the Chief of the Staff, the General addressed the importance of The Salvation Army’s “accountability movement, which includes four pillars: governance, safeguarding (including child protection), impact measurement, and finance.” Cox wrote, “Our leadership certainly only discovers its true sense and purpose as we are able to empower others and mobilize our people fully.”
Prior to arriving in London for the GCC, each delegate was required to read and consider detailed papers on each subject, including a theological reflection on the issue. Working groups discussed rigorous questions in preparation for, and in response to, plenary presentations, aided by the support of a group facilitator and recorder. The diverse group of delegates realized the significant and realistic opportunities and challenges of implementing the proposed initiatives across the Army world, and recognized that true reforms within the organization must start with them.
In keeping with the General’s “Accountability Movement,” a “Reminder Presentation” reviewed the Army’s international positional statements on corruption and the use of power. The exercise, led by International Secretary to the Chief of the Staff Commissioner William Cochrane, gave the international delegates an opportunity to reflect on the importance of these statements and consider how they have been implemented and received within their territories and commands.
The end of the GCC signals the official “next steps” in the effort toward renewed accountability and impact measurement, including presentations to the International Management Council at IHQ and strategic and intentional phased roll-out of specific pilot sites for study purposes.