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The Annual Kofi Annan Faith Briefings
July 15, 2019
| Ford Foundation, Center for Social Justice
“Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality: the role of UN and Multi-Faith Collaboration”
The UN Interagency Task Force involves 20 UN system entities, each participating at different levels of intensity within the Task Force. The one thing these otherwise very diverse UN offices share is their engagement with religious actors, and/or their awareness, and action, around religious intersections with their respective organizational strategic objectives.
Since 2010, the UN Interagency Task Force Members have been convening policy roundtables, workshops, seminars, and joint initiatives around key UN intergovernmental fora (CSW, CPD, HLPF, and UNGA), around religion and religious engagement, and several reports, policy outcomes and initiatives are produced as a result of these consultations.
In 2018, the UN Interagency Task Force convened the first-ever United Nations Multi-Faith Advisory Council (AC). The Council is composed of the CEOs of the UN’s top global faith-based partners. The AC is committed to “uphold multilateralism and international human rights through multi-faith collaboration around/for Agenda 2030”. The CEOs of the FBOs were selected according to nominations from across the UN system entities members of the UN Interagency Task Force. To date, each major faith tradition is represented on the Council.
Due to the combined rising relevance of religious actors on the geopolitical scene, and the systematic engagement of many FBOs around sustainable development and humanitarian related initiatives in, around and by the UN Task Force, a larger number of NY and US-based NGOs are also attending HLPF-related initiatives. In other words, these are human, technical, cultural and political resources “walking the UN’s corridors”, at this time.
The purpose of the Kofi Annan Faith Briefings is:
1. To provide a dedicated and ‘regular’ space, during a key intergovernmental moment (in this case the High-Level Political Forum/HLPF) capitalizing on the unique constellation of geopolitical and socio-cultural human capital, well-versed in religion and religiously related affairs, which is capable of informing, and being informed by, UN system deliberations.
2. To uphold the importance of strategic partnerships by the UN system with faith-based and faith-inspired civil society actors, around the world for specific SDGs;
3. To present and assess the diverse range of partnerships between different faith entities and between them and the UN and its member states, as a means to realising the SDG goals;
4. To thereby showcase the multi-faith civic support for multilateralism which is dedicated to the service of human rights, sustainable development and peace and security.
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