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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Regional G20 Interfaith Forum was held in Istanbul on 28th & 29th August

Interfaith leaders unite at Istanbul's G20 Forum to tackle global challenges, forging a path to a harmonious future

In a world facing an array of challenges, the power of interfaith collaboration has once again come to the forefront. The recent Regional G20 Interfaith Forum stakeholder meeting, held in Istanbul on the 28th and 29th of August 2023, showcased the immense potential of faith communities uniting under a common banner to address pressing global issues. The gathering, aptly themed “Partnerships in Action: towards One Earth, One Family, One Future,” convened senior Christian and Muslim faith leaders, along with representatives from faith-based organizations, to delve into critical topics centered around the four C’s: COVID, Climate, Conflict, and Children.

Global Convergence

The meeting marked a significant milestone in the advancement of interfaith dialogue within the context of the G20 process. With a laser focus on echoing India’s G20 Presidency themes of “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” participants engaged in profound discussions that will resonate beyond Istanbul and lead into the forthcoming G20 India Summit in September 2023 and beyond.

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Confronting the Four C’s

The Regional G20 Interfaith Forum took up the mantle of addressing the most pressing global challenges through the lens of the four C’s – COVID, Climate, Conflict, and Children. The discussions encompassed a wide array of topics, from the development of child-centered visions and ensuring food security, to urgent humanitarian and peacebuilding actions, and strategies to combat climate change. This comprehensive approach was driven by the core principle of safeguarding the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Words to Actions

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, an eminent voice in interfaith dialogue, emphasized that dialogue must translate into tangible actions. The meeting stressed the importance of moving beyond mere reminiscence of shared history and towards forging practical projects, uplifting communities, and safeguarding the environment. This transformative journey, he noted, demands deep respect, mutual understanding, and collective action, echoing the teachings of numerous scriptures that champion unity, respect, and cooperation.

Vision of Unity

His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon echoed the call for unity, asserting that by embracing the wisdom of the past and the energies of the present, interfaith communities can guide the world toward a brighter and greener future. In an interconnected world where actions have global repercussions, the collaboration of Christians and Muslims presents an unprecedented opportunity to nurture peace, respect, and environmental stewardship.

From Gathering to Impact

The Chief Executive of the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities (IAFSC), Dana Humaid, expressed her gratitude to the distinguished faith leaders and partners for orchestrating the successful meeting in Istanbul. Humaid emphasized the need to translate the dynamism and determination witnessed during the event into concrete initiatives that reverberate throughout society. As preparations for the G20 India Summit continue, the recommendations stemming from the meeting are set to inform the global advocacy efforts shaping the G20 agenda not only in 2023 but also beyond.

Global Platform for Interfaith Collaboration

Beyond this regional meeting, the IAFSC has been actively cultivating interfaith collaboration on a global scale. With two major forums held in India in support of its G20 Presidency and forthcoming events in Brazil for 2024, the IAFSC is effectively providing a platform for faith leaders, representatives from faith-inspired organizations, and stakeholders from government, academia, and civil society to share experiences and formulate actionable recommendations.

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The IAFSC’s establishment underscores its commitment to empowering faith leaders to address critical issues affecting communities worldwide, from child protection and extremism to human trafficking. By facilitating collaboration between faith communities, NGOs, and domain experts, the alliance aims to build bridges and equip leaders with the knowledge needed to play an active role in enhancing community safety.