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{Webinar} Faith Speaks to UN75

21 October 2020 @ 10:00 - 11:30 EDT

Free

You are cordially invited to participate in the webinar Faith Speaks to UN75, scheduled to take place onWednesday October 21, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.(New York time) and facilitated via Zoom.

Please register by October 20th via this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu2uqD4uEtWStFEaMfMn1TeZJaAes3vZ.

Concept note

The UN is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic with severe economic and social impacts creates increased challenges for the UN. Faith-based organizations (FBOs) have a history of inspiring people to act and are often the first responders, and longest sustainers, in times of global crisis. Our communities and partners on the ground ensure that basic needs are met for all people, regardless of religion or belief, in the communities in which we live and serve. We reach out to communities that are often the most vulnerable and are left behind. Faith-based actors fill the service gaps usually without government assistance. FBOs continually engage in projects on the ground that specifically further the objectives of the UN Charter, implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as advance other UN mandates that promote the common good.

These long-term commitments to the UN Mission serve to accelerate our constructive partnership in negotiations and reviews of UN frameworks. We must ensure that throughout the UN processes and respective consultations at all levels, FBOs are not only present but also have the opportunity for meaningful engagement earned by protecting fundamental freedoms of assembly, association, worship, and expression.

The continued support and actions of faith-based organizations are essential as we forge ahead to “build back together.” These are also equally essential as we accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals for all people, especially for those left furthest behind. For, as the Golden Rule states “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This is a guide for people of all faiths or beliefs. Our core values are largely aligned with the 2030 Agenda. FBOs are well placed to carry innovations and lessons learned across communities and national borders. The UN can benefit from the breadth and depth of faith-based organizations.

We all share a common objective: a future of dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet. This is true regardless of what religion or belief one practices. We need to continue working together through partnerships and strengthened collaboration among faith-based organizations and civil society in general, national governments, the international community, the private sector and other actors.

The panelists and participants in this webinar will discuss the opportunities for creating the space to leverage such partnerships in common cause to build a better world despite the vast challenges we currently face. They will also explore the pathways to make the constructive role of the faith-based organizations in the UN processes more central and impactful, in the context of the UN75 discussion on the future of the UN. Some argue that global leadership in multilateralism is lacking “political will”. In this regard, religious values can inspire people to act, locally, nationally and internationally, at whatever position they are, and deliver results beyond any material consideration.

Panelists:

  • Joop Theunissen, Deputy Chief, Intergovernmental Policy and Review Branch, Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, UN DESA
  • Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
  • Sr. Sheila Kinsey, FCJM – Executive Co-Secretary, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission, Union of Superior Generals and International Union of Superior Generals
  • Rev. Protopresbyter Dr. Nicolas Kazarian, Director, Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Saphira Rameshfar, Representative to the UN, Baha’i International Community
  • Rana Yurtsever, Member of Advisory Board, Islamic Society of Midwest
  • Teresa Blumenstein, New York Coordinator, Justice Coalition of Religious,
  • Marvelous (Marvie) L. Misolas, MM, NGO Representative at the UN, Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.

Moderator: Dr. Despoina Afroditi Milaki, NGO Representative at the UN, International Presentation Association

14 faith-based organizations/sponsors of the webinar: Baha’i International Community, Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus, Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, International Presentation Association, Islamic Society of Midwest, Justice Coalition of Religious, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, UNANIMA International

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, please visit rngos.wordpress.com. For more information on the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-New York, please visit csvgc-ny.org.

Organizer

Baha’i International Community, Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Fondazione Proclade Internazionale-Onlus, Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Loreto Generalate, International Presentation Association, Islamic Society of Midwest, Justice Coalition of Religious, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, UNANIMA International