World Interfaith Harmony Week: an opportunity to promote common human values
(LWI) - A broad-based interfaith group mandated to work on human rights, sustainable development, peace and security issues has pledged its support to the United Nations particularly in enhancing collaboration on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is among the 32 members of the Faith Advisory Council, which wrote to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in January, thanking him for repeatedly referencing the importance of religion, intercultural dialogue and collaboration with the global body.
“We wish to offer you our collective wisdom, presence, and experience, such that we may uphold and advance together the values, principles and commitments to human rights, peace and security and sustainable development, as agreed to by the Member States of the United Nations,” the letter stated.
It was co-signed by the Council’s co-chairpersons Ms Tarja Kantola, (Finn Church Aid) and Faisal bin Muammar, (King Abdullah Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue) and vice-chairs Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati (Global Interfaith WASH Alliance) and Jonathan Duffy (Adventist Development and Relief) on behalf of the 32 organizations.
LWF’s commitment to the global community of states includes the 2018 launch of the ‘Waking the Giant’ initiative, with the goal of strengthening churches’ capacity to contribute to the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Commenting on collaboration with the UN as this year’s World Interfaith Harmony Week starts, 1-7 February, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge emphasized the role of faith-based organizations since the inception of the UN itself. “One of the pillars of LWF’s founding in 1947 is anchored in helping people in need achieve life with dignity and full enjoyment of their rights irrespective of race, gender or faith affiliation. Collaboration with the UN supports this mandate and has become an integral part of our work with the member churches and World Service country programs around the world.”
One of the pillars of LWF’s founding in 1947 is anchored in helping people in need achieve life with dignity and full enjoyment of their rights irrespective of race, gender or faith affiliation. Collaboration with the UN supports this mandate and has become an integral part of our work with the member churches and World Service country programs around the world.
The UN proclaimed the World Interfaith Harmony Week in 2010 to promote better relations among religions, faith groups and people of different beliefs. In 2011 the LWF Council endorsed the week to highlight the common values with the global community of states and the importance of interreligious dialogue and mutual understanding.
The Faith Advisory Council first convened in September 2018 alongside the UN General Assembly in New York, where it co-hosted briefings to showcase partnerships between diverse faith-inspired actors and different agencies of the United Nations.