Report on the We the Peoples Conference
On August 23,
TOU UN Representative Grove Harris presented at the UN DPI/NGO conference as part of a workshop entitled "
Interfaith Communities that Have Multilateralism Inherent in their Respective Structural and Operational Mechanisms." This year's conference theme was
"We the Peoples: Together Finding Global Solutions for Global Problems."
From left: Monica Willard, UN Representative, United Religions Initiative; Audrey Kitagawa, JD, Chair Elect, Parliament of the World's Religions; Bruce Knotts, Director, UN Office, Unitarian Universalist Association; Grove Harris, UN Representative, Temple of Understanding; Dr. Kusumita Pedersen, Co-President, Interfaith Center of New York
In her remarks, Grove describes the Temple of Understanding:
Our model is one of power with others, versus power over others.
We listen and include. We stand with our Muslim friends in protesting Anti- Muslim discrimination, and we admire and promote the social justice and environmental work of our Indigenous colleagues.
Just as all UN agencies and civil society actors at the UN have been called to ensure we are fit for purpose, so too the interfaith movement must ensure it is fit for purpose, by examining any ways in which we miss the mark of the human rights standards. "Leave no one behind" is the motto of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Is the Interfaith movement leaving anyone behind? Are we fully inclusive of women? Youth? Indigenous people? LGBTQI folks? People of color? All religious perspectives?
The world's religions are among the largest multinational organizations in the world. We must amplify our collective voice and demand action on crucial issues including climate change and social justice.