UNGA 78 High-Level Side Event
Obstacles to the realization of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) slow progress and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For instance, SDG 10 (Reduced Inequality) calls on States to “empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status”.
Advancing FoRB not only strengthens open and pluralistic societies, it also addresses inequalities and discriminatory practice upheld by religious institutions. UN Member States carry the primary responsibility for implementing the 2030 Agenda. The expertise of diverse religious or belief members and communities, however, can contribute richly to putting forward innovative solutions needed to achieve the SDGs.
Innovative intra- and inter-religious work at the grassroots level, especially where women and youth are included, can offer important perspectives and localized solutions for realizing FoRB, and by extension, the SDGs’ goals to strengthen communities and promote sustainable development and peace.
This hybrid, interactive panel discussion will bring together policymakers, government officials, UN experts, diverse faith leaders (including women and youth) from around the world to reflect and share their experiences on the interlinkages between FoRB and the SDGs, lessons learned, and gaps and future opportunities.