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Towards an Interreligious Council at the UN

Towards an Interreligious Council at the UN



Topics for discussion at consultations regarding the proposal for an interreligious council at the United Nations.

Topics for discussion at consultations regarding the proposal for an interreligious council at the United Nations.



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  • See “Renewing the United Nations to Build Lasting Peace”: http://www.upf.org/interreligious/1952
  • See “Peace Council Elected in Albania”: http://www.upf.org/upf-news/144-europe-eurasia-/198-peace-council-elected-in-albania
  • See “Consultation in London on an Interreligious Council”: http://www.upf.org/upf-news/144-europe-eurasia-/3009-consultation-in-london-on-an-interreligious-council
  • See “Africa Day in Amsterdam”: http://www.upf.org/upf-news/144-europe-eurasia-/2814-africa-day-commemorated-in-amsterdam
  • See “Interfaith Intercuultural Alliance at the UN in Geneva”: http://www.upf.org/programs/global-peace-tour-2009/1847-interfaith-intercultural-alliances-at-the-un-in-geneva
  • See “Religious Youth Service Project at Thai School”: http://www.upf.org/upf-news/145-asia-oceania/2766-youth-service-project-at-thai-school-begins
  • See “People to People Diplomacy in the South Caucasus”: http://www.upf.org/upf-news/144-europe-eurasia-/1439-people-to-people-diplomacy-in-the-south-caucasus”“Visiting South Caucasus Ambassadors for Peace”: http://www.upf.org/component/content/article/238-south-caucasus-peace-initiative/2764-south-caucasus-peace-initiative
  • See “International Day of Families Symposium in New York”: http://www.upf.org/international-day-of-families-2010/2780-day-of-families-symposium-at-un-in-new-york
  • See “Day of Peace in Uruguay”: http://www.upf.org/international-day-of-peace-2009/2256-upf-uruguay
  • See “Twenty Years after the Fall of the Wall”: http://www.upf.org/upf-news/144-europe-eurasia-/2412-20-years-after-the-fall-of-the-wall

Towards an Interreligious Council at the UN Towards an Interreligious Council at the UN Presentation Transcript

  • Toward an Interreligious Councilat the United Nations
    Consultations organized by the Universal Peace Federation
  • Vision for an Interreligious Council
    • The existing United Nations structure, composed of national representatives, may be regarded as a congress where the interests of each member nation are represented. However, I submit that serious consideration should be given to forming a religious assembly, or council of religious representatives within the structure of the United Nations. This assembly or council would consist of respected spiritual leaders in fields such as religion, culture, and education.
    Dr. Sun Myung Moon
    Remarks at the United Nations, August 18, 2000
  • Mission of an Interreligious Council
    Promote interreligious dialogue, understanding, and cooperation for peace
    Draw on spiritual and religious wisdom to address global issues of conflict, war, poverty, hunger, and disease
    Address conflicts with religious and ethnic bases
  • Guiding Principle
    Affirmation of the sacred value and rights of all human beings, regardless of religion, nationality, ethnicity, and race
    The Albania
    Council addresses issues faced by Balkan nations.
  • Benefits to the UN
    Complement the UN’s work with additional dimensions for assessing and resolving global problems
    Give insights on moral and spiritual issues
    Help counter religious extremism
    Help prevent religious differences from being exploited to stir up conflict
    Ensure that development aid is culturally and religiously sensitive
    Serve as a recourse for minority communities
  • Benefits to Religions
    Help build bridges between liberals and fundamentalists in the same faith
    Challenge the misuse of religion as a cover for politically or economically-motivated violence
    Expand the potential of religion to change people’s hearts and deepen relationships
    Provide a model of how spiritual and religious groups can rise above differences and work together for the common good
  • Progress in Interreligious Dialogue
  • Proposed Scope of Activity
    Work in close cooperation with UN member states, UN agencies, governments, regional organizations, faith communities, and other institutions of civil society
    A consultation at the House of Commons in London
  • Proposed Activities of the Council
  • Dialogue and Deliberation
    Promote interreligious dialogue, understanding and cooperation in support of peacebuildingefforts
    UPF’s Dialogue Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands, offers a setting for conversation among people from around the world.
  • Assess Global Issues
    Analyze, review, and report on global issues
    Bring together experts in various fields fromdiversereligious traditions to recommend solutions
    Consultation on religious perspectives on human rights in Geneva, Switzerland
  • International and Grassroots Action
    Invite consultation and collaboration with civil society, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector
    People from different religions work together in Thailand to renovate a school building.
  • Conflict Intervention
    • Cultivate connections between opposing sides through citizen diplomacy
    Building bridges between warring nations, Russians meet with Georgian officials at the International Center for Negotiations in Tbilisi.
  • Post-Conflict Resolution
    Draw on additional perspectives and resources to address social issues
    A seminar at the UN headquarters in New York on the impact of migration on families
  • Challenges to Consider
    • What areas or issues should be the primary focus of the council?
    • How to ensure a balance of representation both geographically and religiously?
  • Challenges to Consider
    How to ensure that smaller religions, minority branches of a religion, women, young people are represented?
    Delegates at a UPF interfaith assembly in New York
  • Challenges to Consider
    How to ensure that religious leaders do not try to usurp government roles?
    How to prevent nations from using religion to give a cloak of respectability to questionable policies?
  • Challenges to Consider
    • How to ensure that narrow, self-centered concerns do not undermine an interreligious council?
    Uruguayan religious leaders discuss their religions’ potential contributions to peace.
  • Challenges to Consider
    How to build the capacity of faith communities to translate lofty ideas into practical policies?
    Eyewitnesses report how religious leaders in East Germany mediated between public officials and protesters, opening the way to the fall of the Berlin Wall and peaceful reunification of Germany.
  • Next Steps
    Ongoing consultations
    Working with experts to prepare a draft resolution establishing such a council
    Presenting a draft resolution to the General Assembly
    Garnering support
  • How to Get Involved
    • Reach out to garner support from government leaders, religious leaders, NGOs, etc.
    • Participatein a consultation or submit input and recommendations.
    For more information see
    Email editor@upf.org