Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs

Securing Peoples’ Wellbeing and Planetary Sustainability

January 24, 2023

Accelerating planetary and social changes have given birth to a new generation of threats, which span borders and foster insecurity. The Inter-faith Symposium looked at these threats to human and planetary security, and at how religious, theological, ecumenical and interfaith groups have translated the theme of human security into actual advocacy on the ground. It facilitated the faith-based organizations, UN System entities and member states to contribute to the development of “unity, solidarity, international cooperation and global coordinated action” on the thematic focus on human security.
Much is needed in understanding human security. But much more is required to realize it in the day to day lives of peoples and their communities. The Symposium illustrated how both conceptual and practical convergences around human security are exhibited in actual projects, programs, advocacies and campaigns in the intersections of human security with sustainable development, durable peace, and gender justice. It bridged the disconnect between human development and human security, and demonstrated human security as shared security. Participants presented grassroots perspectives, and explored ways to better address threats through the discourse and practice of faith-based organizations and partners in the UN System, including member-states, civil society actors, and other international and regional organizations committed to human and people’s security.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) co-sponsored the 2023 Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-based Organizations in International Affairs, on behalf of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development. Co-sponsor for this symposium was the Human Security for All (HS4A) campaign, a joint initiative of the World Academy of Art and Science and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS).

The symposium was co-organized by ACT Alliance, General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, Islamic Relief, Religions for Peace, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Soka Gakkai International, United Religions Initiative, and World Council of Churches.

Conference Videos

Maria Espinosa

President, 73rd UN General Assembly, Ecuador; Fellow, WAAS

Garry Jacobs

President & CEO, WAAS; Executive Chair, HS4A Global Campaign

Mehrnaz Mostafavi

Chief, United Nations Human Security Unit, New York, United States

Jonathan Granoff

President, Global Security Institute; Co-chair, HS4A Global Campaign; Trustee, WAAS

Ganoune Diop

Director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Seventh-day Adventist Church

Amanda Ellis

Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Mission of New Zealand to the United Nations in Geneva; Fellow, WAAS

Liberato Bautista

President, CoNGO; Assistant General for United Nations and International Affairs; Fellow, WAAS

Live-streamed video of the conference