January 31, 2019 by Diane A. Sears
At the Plenary Session of the United Nations’ 65th General Assembly in New York on 23 September 2010, His Majesty Abdullah II bin Al-Hussain, King of the Nation of Jordan and the 43rd direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, unveiled his vision for interfaith collaboration and world peace. In a speech he delivered at the 65th General Assembly of the United Nations, King Abdullah introduced World Interfaith Harmony Week. On 20 October 2010, World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the United Nations’ General Assembly in United Nations Resolution A/RES/65/5. In 2019, World Interfaith Harmony Week will be observed globally by institutions, organizations, and individuals under the theme – assigned by the United Nations — “Sustainable Development Through Interfaith Harmony” – commencing on Friday, 1 February 2019 and concluding on Thursday, 7 February 2019.
To herald the forthcoming observance of 2019 World Interfaith Harmony Week, the United Nations recently issued a statement (http://www.un.org/en/events/interfaithharmony week/), an excerpt of which appears below:
. . . At the core of all the faith systems and traditions is the recognition that we are all in this together and that we need to love and support one another to live in harmony and peace in an environmentally sustainable world. Our world continues to be beset by conflict and intolerance with rising number of refugees and the internally displaced in a hostile and unwelcoming world around them. We are also unfortunately witnessing messages of hate spreading discord among people. The need for spiritual guidance has never been greater. It is imperative that we double our efforts to spread the message of good neighborliness based on common humanity, a message shared by all faith traditions . . .
The United States International Men’s Day Team endorses 2019 World Interfaith Harmony Week and will, throughout Calendar Year 2019, collaborate with organizations, individuals, and institutions to create and promote sustainable development and interfaith harmony. It is our view that churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples have always been – and continue to be the – the center of the Universe of communities throughout our global village. The Interfaith Community has not only attended to the spiritual needs of their congregations and the communities surrounding them – but also have addressed – and continue to address – poverty, hunger, homelessness, ethnic and religious intolerance, and social injustice. Additionally, the theme for 2019 World Interfaith Harmony Week – “Sustainable Development through Interfaith Harmony” is in alignment with the “United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” which seeks to, among other things, strengthen peace through a Plan of Action – an agenda which the United States International Men’s Day Team supports. The Plan of Action was adopted on 25 September 2015 at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit (United Nations Resolution A/RES/70/1). The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld) identifies 17 Sustainable Development Goals which will serve to eradicate many of the key challenges which marginalize Men and Boys and the communities in which they reside:
· Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
· Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
· Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
· Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
· Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
· Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
· Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
· Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
· Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
· Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
· Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
· Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
· Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
· Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
· Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
· Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
· Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development