KAICIID takes part in United Nations High Level Political Forum   

16 Jul 2019

The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) took part in the United Nations High Level Political Forum in New York to advocate increased engagement with faith-based organizations on sustainable development and humanitarian initiatives. 

Kicking off on July 15, KAICIID participated in the Kofi Annan Faith Briefings to discuss systematic partnerships with religious actors and institutions on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking to participants at the side event, KAICIID Secretary General Faisal Bin Muaammar affirmed that many of the SDG targets – eradicating poverty, providing equal access to education, protecting vulnerable or marginalised communities, etc. – are already of key importance to faith communities around the world. 

“Everything we discuss here is based on the premise that the world’s religions, despite their differences and imperfections, promote the dignity and freedom of the human individual as the keystone of their belief systems,” he said.  “We need to find more and better ways to communicate this in first establishing common ground with policymakers.”

As co-chair of the Faith Advisory Council of the United Nations Interagency Taskforce on Religion and Development, Secretary General Muaammar also called for more concrete engagement from both faith-based and secular organizations, including increased contributions to evidence-based research and targeted programming at local, national, and international levels.

“We see a need to move away from faith-based organizations acting mainly as petitioners, seeking a place at the policymaking table without first having moved beyond the theoretical and anecdotal with proposals and solutions based on rigorous research, record-keeping and grassroots consultation,” he said.

“While policymakers cannot ignore the language of religion, the reverse also applies.  There is much more space for collaboration around these issues between faith-based organizations, UN agencies and KAICIID,” the Secretary General added.

Faith communities play critical role in protecting children

KAICIID joined UNICEF, Arigatou International and other partners for an additional side event, to discuss findings from an interfaith study on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which is the most comprehensive treaty in existence on the rights of children.

The event provided an opportunity for faith-based organizations and UN agencies to offer feedback to the “Multi-Religious Study of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child” and develop joint strategies for further implementation of the CRC in religious communities around the world.

The study addresses issues such as non-violent child rearing and education, child protection at places of worship, preventing child marriage and female genital mutilation. It will be officially launched on November 20 at the 30th anniversary celebration of the adoption of the CRC.

Study identifies opportunities and challenges for international partnerships with local faith actors

KAICIID also joined a launch event, as co-sponsor of a new study which examines the opportunities and challenges for international cooperation with local faith actors on the implementation of the SDGs.  

Conducted by the Joint Learning Initiative, in close cooperation with the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), the study forms part of the PaRD SDG-16 workstream, which includes over 40 organizations from the international community.

Study results presented at the July 16 event included recommendations for intergovernmental organizations to capitalize on partnerships with local faith actors, as well as ways for faith actors to serve as effective intermediaries between humanitarian agencies and governments.