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Vatican brings together representatives of religions to advance UN's Development Goals


Rarely are Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews and even Aboriginal Africans seen together in the Vatican at the same time. However, for three days, the world's smallest state welcomed a wide range of representatives from different religions and the United Nations to examine “Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

It was organized by the Dicastery for promoting Integral Human Development. It brought together more than 100 representatives to see what religions can do to help achieve goals such as ending poverty, education and access to health care for all.

BHAI SAHIB MOHINDER SINGH
Chairman of the Nishkam Group of Charitable Organizations

“We have all the religious and secular leaders coming together here. I find that progressively religion is being recognized, that it has something to offer. I have a lot of respect for the pope because he is a people's pope and he wants to swim sometimes against the tide.”

This International Conference aims to show how religious voices can contribute to achieving the UN's global conversation on human development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

CHRISTINA TOBIAS-NAHI
Islamic Relief USA

“Why we are here and why it is important is because around 80 percent of people across the globe adhere to some faith tradition. However, despite that the multilateral entities that have been set up to respond to global challenges such as the UN and others have not always listen to the faith voices.”

For the first time, the Vatican has helped create a debate on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals from a religious perspective.

MOST VEN. SOMBDEJ PHRA ARIYAWONGSAKATAYANA
Buddhist

“Religious leaders should be honest and sincere to come out and work together. We take this opportunity to work for the poor and to work for peace.”

MSGR. BRUNO-MARIE DUFFÉ
Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

“It was an opportunity to invite many representatives of religious communities to know one another, to develop a concept of partnership between religions; and social, political, economical as well as ecological actors in the world.”

On Sept. 25 2015, the United Nations succeeded in getting world leaders to adopt a set of global goals to eradicate poverty, protect the planet; and ensure prosperity for all. It is part of their new sustainable development agenda.

Each objective has specific goals to be achieved by 2030. However, the support of governments is not enough and requires the commitment of each person. The assistance of religions is also vital in achieving these goals.