Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious contributions for a dignified future
26-28 September, 2018
About 300 interfaith experts gathered for 3 packed days of exchange in preparation for the G20 Summit to be hosted at the end of November in Buenos Aires. The Argentine government, religion, academia and NGOs were well represented, led by VP Gabriela Michetti. The Forum was funded by International Shinto Foundation, Brigham Young University, Islamic Relief USA, KAICIID and others, and organized by Katherine Marshall, Cole Durham BYU, Juan Navarro Floria, Argentine National Peace and Justice Commission, Brian Adams Griffith University, and Christina Calvo , University of Buenos Aires, to name a few of the principals.
The topics on the program (LINK) were diverse, reflecting in part the G20 agenda: Decent Work, Human trafficking, Refugees and Migration , Children, Climate Change ,Hunger, Governance and Corruption, Religion and Violence. Freedom of Religion was a strong topic, with large representation of experts from that area of work. An excellent extended session was on Ethics and Economics featuring Rowan Williams, Christina Calvo, Co-Chair High level Dialogue on Ethics Economics, and Augusto Zampini, Dicastery for Integral Human Development, Humberto Shikiya from CREAS ACT Alliance, and Amanda Mukwashi new Christian Aid CEO. JLI was honored to be an invited guest, and contributed to the panel on Modern Exodus- Refugees and Migration, drawing on the RFM Learning Hub’s new policy brief on Faith Actors and the implementation of the Global Compact.
So what did the Forum accomplish?
Introduction to religious diversity and tolerance of Buenos Aires, the “City of Interreligious Dialogue” and “City of Encounter”, supported by a 20 person municipal Office of Religious Affairs under the direction of Frederico Pugliese.
Excellent interfaith community building and learning exchange among international participants, especially providing connections to diverse voices from all over Latin America.
A helpful opportunity for discourse across the ubiquitous divide between religious freedom experts and the development and humanitarian ‘worlds’
Plans were shaped for the next G20 Interfaith Forums in Japan 2019 and Saudi Arabia 2020 , with a likely continuing focus on Climate Change, Children and Humanitarian issues.
However : the message and messengers for inputs to the G20 process were still uncertain at the conclusion of the Forum. A Summary containing specific recommendations on selected themes is being prepared for submission to the G20 by the organizers—thanks to Katherine Marshall and others for this big job! JLI has provided for inclusion a series of recommendations regarding refugees, drawn from its new policy brief (to be released publically shortly).