The Anglican Communion

I wrote a capital campaign case statement for Allen MAC client the Anglican Communion to support the Endowment for the Anglican Observer at the United Nations.

Capital Campaign Case Statement

The Endowment for the Anglican Observer at the United Nations

A Global Family United by Faith

The Anglican Communion is a global family of Christian churches in 164 countries. The communion is comprised of more than 75 million Anglicans who are, despite a broad diversity in language, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, united by history, theology, modes of worship and faith. The Anglican Communion is committed to—

  • Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world,
  • Upholding the Apostolic faith according to scripture and tradition,
  • Promoting ecumenical relations with other Christian churches, and
  • Building bridges to other faiths.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a central focus of worldwide Anglican unity. He calls and presides over the Lambeth Conference (a once-each-decade gathering of bishops), chairs annual meetings of the Primates (the senior archbishops or presiding bishops of the autonomous churches of the communion), and presides over the Anglican Consultative Council, an assembly of 76 bishops, priests and lay people representing all 38 provinces of the communion.

With the Archbishop of Canterbury—the “first among equals” of the Anglican Primates, the Anglican Consultative Council meets every two or three years to set the goals and directives for the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Consultative Council’s mission is—

  • To spread the Gospel
  • To baptize and nurture new believers
  • To respond to peoples’ needs through loving service
  • To break down unjust structures to maintain peace and justice
  • To safeguard the integrity of God’s creation and to sustain and renew the earth

The Secretariat of the Anglican Communion is the administrative staff serving the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates Meeting, and the Anglican Consultative Council. Headed by the Rev. Canon John L. Peterson, Secretary General, the London-based secretariat includes offices of communications, telecommunications, ecumenical affairs, ethics, finance and administration, liturgy, mission and evangelism, travel and networks for interfaith concerns.

Based in New York, the Anglican Observer at the United Nations serves the Anglican Communion as part of the secretariat. An international advisory council, also based in New York, and a liaison committee in Geneva support the Observer position on behalf of the communion.

The Anglican Communion’s relationship with the United Nations began in 1985 when the Anglican Consultative Council successfully applied for ongoing consultative status with the UN through its Economic and Social Council—a UN body primarily concerned with sustainable development, social development, the status of women, population and development, and human rights.

Today, the Anglican Consultative Council is one of about 2,500 non-governmental organizations, or “NGOs,” accredited to consult with the UN’s Economic and Social Council through the Observer’s office. As a Special Category NGO, the Anglican Consultative council can attend meetings of the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiaries, speak on behalf of the communion at council meetings, and circulate written statements. It is one of some 200 NGOs with a voice—not a vote—in all UN forums, including the General Assembly.

The Anglican Communion opened its UN office in 1991. The first Anglican Observer at the UN was the Most Rev. Sir Paul Reeves, former Archbishop and Primate of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. He was also the former Governor General of Aotearoa. The Rt. Rev. Jim Ottley, former Bishop of Panama, held the post from 1994 until early 1999. Both men were active in promoting human rights, including the special needs of indigenous peoples, and in interventions for cancellation of third-world debt—a major factor crippling the economies of developing countries. Bishop Paul Moore maintained the office for a short while in 1999, followed by the interim Observer, Bishop Herbert Donovan. Both were from the Episcopal Church USA.

The current Anglican Observer to the United Nations is Archdeacon Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatagaloa-Matalavea, who began work just before September 11, 2001. Working with her in the office is a full-time administrative assistant and a part-time consultant who focuses on helping build sustainable communities worldwide.

Archdeacon Tai is a native of Samoa and was Archdeacon of Samoa in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia for eight years. After serving as a consultant to the Anglican Consultative Council Province Six in Nigeria, she became a co-opted member for ACC Provinces Seven, Eight and Nine representing gender issues. Archdeacon Tai next worked for the United Nations Development Program for 25 years, first in programming in Samoa, the Philippines and Fiji, and later as operations manager in the Samoa field office.

Among the many noteworthy achievements realized under their leadership—

  • The Anglican Observer participated in the 1992 Earth Parliament, an international gathering of indigenous leaders to address global ecological concerns and human rights.
  • In 1996, the Observer’s office sponsored and organized “A Christian Response to the International Debt Crisis,” a roundtable conference of Christian theologians, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
  • The Observer was part of the policymaking team convened by the United Nations Environment Program that, in 1999, issued “Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity” to educate the global community about rising extinction rates and the urgent need for involvement by the world’s religions.
  • The Observer participated at the 2000 World Summit for Social Development and Beyond in Geneva, a five-year review of the Copenhagen Social Summit to address issues of poverty and development.
  • The Observer joined a team of experts who coordinated and contributed to the United Nations Environment Program’s “Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity,” a policymaking and educational manual mandated by the 1992 Earth Summit’s Biodiversity Convention and published in 2000.
  • The office co-sponsored and helped coordinate the 2001 Genetic Engineering and Food for the World conference at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.
  • The office was actively involved in better organizing the religious community of NGOs, especially through the formation in 2001 of the global Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance in Geneva. The primary objective of the alliance was to address root causes of poverty, conflict and injustice.
  • The Observer organized the 2002 Global Anglican Congress on the Stewardship of Creation in South Africa, the first international response to the environmental crisis convened by any church.
  • The Observer intervened with the government of Pakistan concerning the persecution of Christians and with the government of Rwanda concerning genocide in that country.

Currently, the Office of the Anglican Observer is organizing a March 2004 gathering in New York of women from across the Anglican Communion in conjunction with the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Priorities of the Anglican Observer’s Office

The Anglican Consultative Council’s Special Category accreditation formally recognizes, through the Anglican Observer, the council’s expertise and competence in these areas of UN Economic and Social Council activity:

  • Human rights and refugees,
  • Development,
  • Disarmament,
  • Freedom of faith and religion, and
  • The environment

The Anglican Office is currently concentrating on six areas, including—

  • Women
  • Children
  • Sustainable communities, especially environment issues
  • Human rights issues
  • The rights of indigenous peoples
  • Conflicts or security issues


Since 2002, the Observer’s office coordinated participation at the annual sessions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to draw attention to the UN plan of action to mainstream gender issues in all development initiatives. In 2003, the office delegation issued a statement focusing on violence against women and also chaired a related event on the same issue.

In September 2003, the office co-hosted a very popular program titled, “Women’s Stories of Inclusion and Exclusion from the Abrahamic Traditions’ Sacred Texts: Their Application to Contemporary Issues.” The three speakers were of Islamic, Judaic and Christian faiths. The office plans to repeat the event during the 2004 CSW sessions.

Preparations for the 2004 meetings are being pursued with help from the Episcopal Church USA’s Women’s Ministries. The special themes for 2004 will be women’s participation in conflict prevention, conflict management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building, and the role of men and boys in gender equality.


The United Nations has declared 2001 to 2010 the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. The Anglican office coordinated sending a delegation to the 2002 Special General Assembly for Children’s Issues at which children openly stated their need to develop “a world fit for children.” The office developed a plan of action that was adopted fully by the Anglican Consultative Council last year.

The Observer, who chaired the first meeting of the Inter Anglican Family Network for Africa in June 2003 made sure network members would be committed to monitoring their governments’ policies concerning children’s rights. Network members also committed to inform the Observer on issues requiring United Nations intervention in their respective countries.

The Observer addressed young people at the Episcopal Church USA General Convention, sensitizing them to the need to advocate for the Convention for the Rights of the Child (not yet ratified by the United States government) and encouraged the young people to be proactive in UN issues. More than 40 young people signed up for a 2004 UN visit and a related program under the joint supervision of the Observer and the Director of Youth Ministries. It is hoped that young people of other provinces will join the program to provide access, not only to the United Nations and other agencies in New York, but to the government missions and personnel who will address the contingent next year.

Sustainable Communities

In the 1970s, the urgency and global scale of environmental destruction—water and forest degradation, climate change, toxic wastes, the loss of soil and species extinction—prompted the United Nations to initiate a bold diplomatic and policymaking process to change how member states as well as UN departments and agencies would see their future work.

Organized around the concept of sustainable development, their efforts culminated in the 1992 Earth Summit and its policymaking document, “Agenda 21.” Subsequent global conferences and summits emphasized the significance of sustainable development for poverty eradication, women’s rights, population, trade, urban growth, food and agriculture, and virtually all areas of critical concern to the UN and its member states.

The vision of sustainable development has assumed a central role in the overall purpose and vision of the UN. The spiritual, moral and ecological roots of human life as part of the larger web of life can no longer be ignored. Effective peacemaking requires solutions to escalating levels of poverty that, in turn, depend on resource management and environmental protection for future generations. To take up this challenge and monitor progress toward meeting goals, the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development meets yearly, with input from the United Nations Development Program, the United Nation’s Environment Program, and virtually every agency and principal NGOs.

The Office of the Anglican Observer has been an active participant in this policymaking process on many levels of the UN’s work since 1992. In 2002, the Observer convened the Global Anglican Congress on the Stewardship of Creation in South Africa—the first church-based conference to address the meaning and urgency of sustainable development and the environmental crisis on a global scale. The office is committed to educating and organizing leaders in all provinces of the Anglican Communion and to advocating on behalf of sustainable values as this critical debate continues at the United Nations.

Human Rights Issues

The Office of the Anglican Observer has joined the NGO Committee on Human Rights and will work closely with the Inter Anglican networks—especially Peace and Justice—to advocate for human rights issues through the United Nations or the Episcopal Church USA office in Washington.

The Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Many governments, especially in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia, have recognized that indigenous peoples have been denied many of their rights to their land, traditions and cultures. Many have now recognized that indigenous peoples’ practical knowledge of environmental conservation can save much investment in research. This area of focus is the legacy of the first Anglican Observer and needs to be revived and supported.

The current Observer supported and advocated for indigenous peoples in both the First and Second Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples in 2002 and 2003. The Observer shared with NGOs and government delegates some of the resolutions of the Inter Anglican Indigenous Network, including those from the Elders’ Caucus, the Youth, and the Wahine (women’s) Caucus. The office has hosted all meetings of the NGO Working Group for Indigenous Peoples, effectively making the Anglican Office the group’s home base.

Conflicts or Security Issues

On behalf of the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Observer at the United Nations has advocated for peace in the Middle East, including Iraq, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, West Africa and the Solomon Islands. The Observer advocated through discussions with personnel from the UN Department of Political Affairs and the Security Council, ambassadors, and permanent mission staff; news releases and news conference statements; and panel discussions with key government, UN and appropriate NGO personnel.

The office hosts meetings of the NGO working groups for the Middle East, Iraq and, at times, for the African groupings. The chairman of the Episcopal Church USA African team received a 2002-2003 UN pass through the Observer’s office to advocate for African issues, both directly and through the Washington office.

Anglicans Changing the World

When the Anglican Communion addresses issues of global importance or discovers a critical unmet humanitarian need in one of its parishes, the Anglican Observer is uniquely positioned to inform, to advocate, to motivate, and to make the vital connections needed to relieve suffering and save lives anywhere on the planet. Based at UN headquarters, the Observer interacts daily with the world’s most influential leaders. The Observer has direct access to official documents and ready opportunities to confer with colleagues about matters of critical, far-reaching impact.

For UN delegates, the Anglican Observer is a respected source of valuable information, unique perspectives and creative ideas. The Observer’s recognized standing as an official representative of the Anglican Communion lends authority to positions taken and opinions expressed. While, as representative of an NGO, the Observer does not have formal decision-making rights, the Observer exercises considerable influence over critically important outcomes.

Drawing on the commitment and wisdom of Anglicans all over the world, the Observer offers the expertise and creative proposals policy-makers need to make better, more enlightened decisions. Because of the many contributions the Observer makes on behalf of the Anglican Communion, world leaders shape policies and programs so that the hungry can be fed, the sick can be healed, and humanity can be uplifted, alleviating conditions that can cause instability and conflict.

In his opening address to the fiftieth Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organization Conference in 1997, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan acknowledged NGOs as essential partners of the United Nations. “The relationship is complementary, as in the best human relationships,” said Annan. “Each contributes something unique, producing a result that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

At a dinner for Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, held in New York City in December 2001, Annan—himself an Anglican—underscored the importance of the Anglican Office and its ability to have a positive effect on the work of the United Nations. “People can do what governments can’t,” said Annan.

The unique contribution of the Anglican Observer at the United Nations is among the most powerful tools Anglicans possess for fulfilling their shared mission and achieving their most cherished humanitarian goals. The Observer fulfills the mission and ministry of the office using a variety of strategies, acting—

  • As the eyes, ears and voice of the Anglican Communion at the United Nations
  • As a host to deliberations on major world issues, providing an Anglican perspective in responding to injustice in the world
  • As a resource to inform and support the prophetic ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican Consultative Council
  • As a convener, facilitating dialog and forging creative solutions among decision makers at the UN, its agencies, and other related bodies
  • As a witness, working to create a network of prayer throughout the Anglican Communion for particular Christian issues.

The Observer maintains close cooperative relationships with many other non-governmental organizations at the UN, both informally and through active participation in NGO working groups. The Observer is a currently a member of the working group on Iraq, the working group on Israel and Palestine, the NGO Human Rights Committee, the Committee for the Commission on Sustainable Development, the NGO support group for the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the NGO/Commission for the Status of Women. These relationships with other NGOs—particularly those representing other worldwide denominational groups—are an integral part of the Anglican Communion’s efforts to promote ecumenical relations with other Christian churches and to build bridges to other faiths.

In addition to her ongoing interactions with the advisory council, the liaison committee, the secretariat and the Anglican Consultative Council, much of the Observer’s interaction with the Anglican Communion is through direct participation with networks recognized by the Anglican Consultative Council to address particular themes and concerns.

From time to time, the Archbishop of Canterbury asks the Anglican Observer to intercede with a specific government or UN official over a specific issue, human rights concern, or an Anglican Church concern brought to the attention of the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Anglican archbishop of the area in question. An example would be the threat to life or limb of a church official, religious, ethnic or political group.

Although the missions and methods used by the networks clearly reflect the values of the Anglican Communion, many of the issues with which they concern themselves share common ground with those addressed by the UN’s Millennium Goals—migrants and refugees, indigenous peoples, women, young people, families, peace and justice, and the environment. The Observer’s continuing direct contact with UN delegates as well as representatives of other NGOs working toward solutions to these same problems makes her an invaluable network resource.

‘Problems Without Passports’

Just as United Nations has no authority over its autonomous member states, the Anglican Consultative Council’s consultative status to the United Nations as a non-governmental organization brings with it no authority to make decisions or enforce laws and directives. The power of NGOs as representatives of civil society lies in the information and ideas they contribute to policy-making, their vigorous advocacy for the people they represent and their willingness to voice concerns, articulate ideas and acknowledge realities that might be difficult or inappropriate for diplomats to confront directly.

NGOs represent people, and people can often do what governments cannot. UN NGOs represent the people of the world who may be voiceless in the power corridors of their own governments. NGOs push governments to do what is right.

The burgeoning global influence of NGOs as representatives of civil society also reflects the world’s growing concern with what Annan refers to as “problems without passports.” Under-Secretary General Shashi Tharoor describes these transnational issues as “problems that cross all frontiers uninvited—problems of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, of the degradation of our common environment, of contagious disease and chronic starvation, of human rights and human wrongs, of mass illiteracy and massive displacement. These are problems that no one country, however powerful, can solve on its own, and yet which are the shared responsibility of humankind.”

These are precisely the sorts of problems the Anglican Communion is committed to address through the Office of the Anglican Observer at the United Nations.

The Compass Rose Society Endowment Campaign

While the Anglican Communion’s primary funding comes directly from the 38 autonomous Anglican Provinces comprising its membership, additional support comes from the Compass Rose Society, formed in 1997 by the Anglican Consultative Council. The society’s name comes from the communion’s compass rose symbol, at the center of which is the cross of Saint George surrounded by the Greek inscription, “The truth shall set you free.”

Each member of the Compass Rose Society, whether an individual, parish, diocese, province or organization, makes an initial gift equivalent to $10,000 in United States currency. In subsequent years, members are asked to make annual gifts. Currently, the society funds about 20 percent of the Anglican Consultative Council budget.

The Compass Rose Society recently launched an appeal to build a $25 million endowment (U.S. funds) to generate annual income of $1 million to support Anglican Communion programs for mission and evangelism, communications, meetings for special conversations, liturgical consultation, and ecumenical relations.

A portion of endowment income will be designated to support positions within the Anglican Communion Secretariat, including the Anglican Observer at the United Nations. Other positions to be endowed are the Secretary General, the Director of Communications, the HIV/AIDS Coordinator, the Director of Finance and Administration, and a new post, the Director of Telecommunications. Funds received will be overseen by the Inter Anglican Finance Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and placed in a specially designated deposit account. Investment oversight will be done through the Anglican Investment Agency.

The endowment goal for the Anglican Observer to the United Nations is $6 million to generate an annual income of $300,000.

Your Response

For nearly two decades, the Anglican Observer at the United Nations has served as the voice and conscience of 75 million Anglicans to all the nation states of the world. The Observer’s ongoing presence at UN headquarters—the meeting place for the world—is among the Anglican Communion’s most powerful, most pivotal ministries. Through the Anglican Observer’s office, the Anglican Communion interacts with the world. For Anglicans in 164 countries, the Observer’s office is a direct link to the world’s governments and to other, like-minded organizations seeking in their way to work together to promote positive change.

Your gift to support the Endowment for the Anglican Observer at the United Nations makes you an integral, indispensable part of this vital international mission of the Anglican Communion. By securing the future of the office through your endowment, you help secure the future of humanity and the planet that sustains us.

With your support of the Observer position, you affirm ideals of universal validity that transcend the interests of any government or religious body. These ideals relate to individuals, not in their capacity as citizens of a particular nation or followers of a particular faith, but as part of humanity. Because an endowment continues to generate income over time, your gift also represents your concern for the wellbeing of future generations of the human family and your enduring commitment to making the world a better place.

As a contributor to the Endowment Appeal, you will receive all the benefits of membership in the Compass Rose Society, including an invitation to the annual meeting in London, a highlight of which is a visit to Lambeth Palace for a working session, and a luncheon or dinner, with the Archbishop of Canterbury. As a society member, you may also take part in mission visits to individual dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion, where you can live and worship in church communities and unite spiritually with fellow Anglicans living in very different circumstances from your own.

Ways of Giving for United States Taxpayers

The Anglican Communion Compass Rose Society, Inc., is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization established under U.S. law which, as part of its fulfillment of its charitable purposes, funds grants to the Anglican Consultative Council. In compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations, the Board of Trustees of the society maintains complete discretion over allocation of gifts to the Anglican Consultative Council.

Donors may make one-time gifts or may fulfill their pledges over a period of several years. Gifts of cash as well as gifts of stocks, bonds, real estate and other assets of value are welcome. All gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Various options for giving are outlined below.

Current Giving Opportunities

Cash. Money by check is the easiest and most common way to make a gift. Cash gifts may be used annually as charitable deductions on your federal income tax return to offset up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income if you itemize your deductions. You may carry forward any unused deductions over the next five years.

Appreciated Securities. Gifts of appreciated securities such as stocks, mutual fund shares and bonds, which you have owned longer than six months, are fully tax-deductible charitable contributions, including the difference between what you paid for the security and its market value when donated. Such gifts are deductible annually up to 30 percent of your adjusted annual gross income on your federal tax return with the same five-year carry-over deduction provision as cash gifts. Remember that you must give the security itself, rather than selling it first and giving the cash, in order to avoid paying tax on the capital gain.

Real Estate. The same tax advantages that apply to stocks and bonds also apply to real estate. You may give acreage, a farm, a lot, a house, a commercial building or any other kind of real estate held longer than one year and receive a charitable deduction for the full market value and also avoid taxes on the profit.

Tangible Personal Property. You may give any other asset of value—for example, an automobile, a painting, a coin collection, a piece of jewelry or equipment—and receive a charitable deduction.

Corporate Gifts. Corporations are permitted by law to give away to qualified charitable organizations up to 10 percent of their pre-tax profits in any given fiscal year. This provision is a double tax saving in that neither the corporation nor the individual is taxed on the gift.

Deferred Giving Opportunities

In addition to current pledges to the Compass Rose Society Endowment Appeal, alternate giving strategies should be considered. Listed below are several planned or deferred giving opportunities that will enable you to make an even larger overall response.

Charitable Gift Annuities. A gift annuity is a contract between you as the donor and the Compass Rose Society where, in exchange for a gift of cash or marketable securities, the society will promise to pay you a guaranteed income stream for life. The annuity can be for one life or two, which means you and your spouse can enjoy this income stream at a percentage based on your life expectancy.

Charitable Remainder Trusts. Individuals most often use a charitable trust with low basis assets that produce little or no income. Selling the asset and reinvesting for income will generate an unacceptable capital gains tax. When the asset is given to a charitable remainder trust and then sold by the charity, no capital gains tax is paid so the full amount can be reinvested to provide lifetime income to the donor or the donor and spouse.

Charitable Lead Trusts. A charitable lead trust is the opposite of the remainder trust. It provides an income stream to the society for the term of the trust. Trust assets then revert to family members—typically children or grandchildren. The primary benefit to the donor of a lead trust is that it can produce significant gift tax as well as estate tax savings while shifting assets to heirs outside of the estate.

Life Insurance. By giving an insurance policy already in force, you will receive a charitable deduction for the cash value of the policy. You may take out a new insurance policy on your life or assign one already in force, naming the Anglican Consultative Council or the Compass Rose Society as the owner and beneficiary. The premiums will be tax-deductible.

Retention of Life Interest Gift. You may give a personal residence or farm and retain lifetime use of the property. You will receive an immediate charitable deduction for the remainder value of the gift based on your age. The property is removed from your estate for tax purposes. The donor is responsible for taxes, insurance and maintenance. At your death or the death of the surviving spouse, the gift becomes the property of the society.

Retirement Plan. You may name the Anglican Consultative Council or the Compass Rose Society as the beneficiary of all or a portion of a retirement plan such as an IRA or Keogh plan. The trustee of the plan will help you make that beneficiary designation. Upon your death, the gift will come to the society without probate. Or, if you choose, you can name a charitable remainder trust the beneficiary of the retirement plan. Then your heirs can receive the income for life or a term of years with the remainder going to the Anglican Consultative Council or the Compass Rose Society.

A Living Trust. You may name the Anglican Consultative Council or the Compass Rose Society as a co-owner with right of survivorship of any savings account. Upon your death, that account becomes the property of the council or society automatically and without probate.

A Bequest Through Your Will. You may name the Anglican Consultative Council or the Compass Rose Society or the Anglican Consultative Council in your will, or in a codicil to your will, for a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate or as a final contingent beneficiary.

Gift Acceptance

The Compass Rose Society Board of Trustees must approve all gifts, other than cash and marketable securities. While the Compass Rose Society does not provide legal or tax, advice, the society will be happy to assist you by providing additional information about making various types of gifts for your greatest tax advantage. Donors are strongly urged to consult with their own tax advisors regarding potential contributions.

Contributions should be sent to:

Anglican Communion Compass Rose Society, Inc.
c/o Robert Biehl, Treasurer
3213 West Alabama
Houston, Texas 77098-1701

For more information, please contact:

The Rt. Rev. Herbert Donovan, Jr., Executive Director
Anglican Communion Compass Rose Society
74 Trinity Place, Suite 608
New York, New York 10006-2088
Telephone 212 602-9603

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