FoRB and the UN SDGs
An inaugural co-sponsored High Level Dialogue Series was launched on 23 September, 2021, during this ‘Decade of Action’, a year on from the SDGs’ ‘Global Goals Week’ (18-26 September 2020). Participants will hear from leading international experts on SDG topics and FoRB. The Dialogues will provide space for participants to meet and reflect on the most urgent FoRB issues and how they relate to the SDGs.
The Series is organised by the Freedom of Religion or Belief Leadership Network (FoRBLN), International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB), Religions for Peace (RfP), African Parliamentarians for Human Rights (AfriPAHR), the Faith for Rights Initiative, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR).
To register for one or more of these events, please email: email@example.com
Programme of Events (ALL events online until further notice)
The UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief and other international and regional faith and non-faith-based partners working on the SDGs and their intersections with FoRB will share their experience in the webinars. The webinars will be moderated by the author of the DIHR reports on FoRB and the SDGs, Marie J. Petersen.
Thursday 23 September, 2021
Applying a Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) lens for the realisation of the SDGs.
At the core of Agenda 2030’s SDGs sits the pledge to ‘leave no one behind’, which SDG 10 confirms, including tackling religious or belief-based inequalities that FoRB seeks to address. The interrelation and interdependence of FoRB with all other human rights, including the over-arching right to ‘non-discrimination’, means ignoring FoRB issues risks undermining the SDGs. On the anniversary of ‘Global Goals Week’, this webinar will introduce and explore the SDGs and FoRB and ask why it is important to consider them together. It will also ask what the implications are of overlooking FoRB in relation to attaining the SDGs and vice versa? With the connections found, what is it that we need to do ahead of 2030?
- Dr Ahmed Shaheed – UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief
- Dr Marie Juul Peterson – Senior Researcher, the Danish Institute for Human Rights
- Prof Azza Karam – Secretary General, Religions for Peace and former Chair of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development
- Hon Nqabayomzi Kwankwa – South African Parliamentarian and founder and Chair of African Parliamentarians Association for Human Rights
Thursday 14 October, 2021
Gender and FoRB: opportunities for synergies and learning
Women make up over half of the world’s population, meaning that women’s voices and contributions to our societies, economies, policy, and political discourse is vitally important for realising SDG 5 and all other SDGs. Ahead of international Rural Woman’s Day (15 October), the webinar will examine how much progress is being made to overcome the barriers for women and girls to equally participate socially, economically, politically and culturally in society and reach their full potentials? What barriers, inequalities or harmful practices exist for women because of their particular religions or beliefs outside and within their communities? How do FoRB and gender considerations intersect and what opportunities are there for maximising both these rights?
- Lopa Banerjee – Director of Civil Society Divison, UN Women
- Dr Nazila Ghanea – Associate Professor, International Human Rights Law, University of Oxford
- Revd Bafana Khumalo – Co-founder and Senior Strategic Advisor, Sonke Gender Justice
- Anika Jane Dorothey – East Africa Coordinator, Amplfy Girls and Steering Board Member, Political Parties Comittee Kenya
Thursday 11 November, 2021
Education and FoRB: nurturing future generations for more inclusive societies
Educators hold the key to ensuring that children reach their potential as citizens, respect others, increase their social mobility and avoid the entrenchment of discrimination. Ahead of UNESCO’s International Day of Tolerance (16 November) and the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Declaration on the Elimination of Intolerance & Discrimination, this webinar will explore: How do we ensure SDG 4’s ‘inclusive’ and ‘equitable quality’ education? What work is needed to ensure the protections in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child? What prominence is given to children’s right to FoRB and their education within this right? What are the key challenges for education providers?
Thursday 9 December, 2021
Rule of Law and the SDGs: the role of religious / non-religious expression
Parliamentarians’ and religious and belief leaders’ role in upholding the rule of law is crucial for creating environments in which SDG 16+ can be realised. An important aspect of the rule of law is freedom of expression which includes the right to hold and express sometimes competing views and ideas based on one’s religious or non-religious beliefs. Ahead of International Human Rights Day (10 December), this webinar will explore: What are the challenges for upholding the rule of law in protecting freedom of expression and FoRB – in balance with each other and all human rights? What are the dangers of hierarchising rights? What guidance exists on restricting expression? What are the consequent limits to and responsibilities for individual actions and behaviour?
Thursday 20 January, 2022
Health and FoRB: pandemic, exclusion and marginalisation
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, including in access to healthcare, that SDG 3 seeks to overcome. Vaccine distribution has been uneven across and within countries. The pandemic has exposed the lack of health and safety protections for religious and other minorities, especially ‘key’ and ‘precarious’ workers, marginalised in society. This webinar will take a closer look at the relationship between health and FoRB: How do inequalities effect religious or belief communities’ work choices between illness and destitution? What impact has the pandemic had on existing FoRB issues?
Thursday, 24 February 2022
Adapting for climate change: how can FoRB help protect against climate impacts
Climate change not only harms the planet but drives inequality, conflict for resources and mass migration, which trigger and exacerbate FoRB violations. Ahead of World Wildlife Day (3 March), this webinar explores: Can there be sustainable growth that avoids competition for finite resources which creates winners and losers? How can diverse faith/no faith communities thrive if SDG 13’s ‘taking urgent climate action’ is not taken seriously? In what ways can the full and proper exercise of FoRB contribute to the protection of the natural world?