Developments since 1993

In the years since 1993, the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions has attempted to see how the ethical demands articulated in the Declaration can affect the life of our whole society.

At the 1999 Cape Town Parliament ‘A Call to Our Guiding Institutions’ was issued. This called for the faith communities to dialogue with those institutions which play a decisive and influential role in society: government, agriculture, labour, industry and commerce, education, arts and communications media, science and medicine, international intergovernmental organisations and the organisations of civil society, with the aim of building ‘new, reliable, and more imaginative partnerships towards the shaping of a better world.’

Since 1993, UNESCO has held several conferences addressing the role of religion in conflict situations and at the 1994 conference in Barcelona issued a ‘Declaration on the Role of Religion in the Promotion of a Culture of Peace’…..(Read more)

In 1998 a meeting on ‘World Faiths and Development’ was held at Lambeth Palace, London, jointly chaired by James D Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, and by Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury. From this emerged World Faiths Development Dialogue. This has brought together two actors on the development scene, the religious communities and the multilateral development agencies, which until now have gone their own way with considerable mutual suspicion. Now the hope is to bring together those who possess expertise in technical issues and spokespersons for faith communities, which stand closer than any other organisation to the world’s poorest people. Such a conscious step to forge an alliance should lead, in the words of Dr Carey and James D Wolfensohn, ‘to inspiration and learning among people from all sides and to ways of making some real changes in favour of those who most need them.’ (Read more)

In 2001, for the first time, The World Economic Forum – an independent foundation that engages business, political and other leaders of society seeking to improve the state of the world – invited religious leaders to share in their deliberations on globalisation at Davos in Switzerland. It was recognised that ‘religious traditions have a unique contribution to offer… particularly in emphasising human values and the spiritual and moral dimension of economic and political life.’

The most striking example of the new seriousness with which international decision makers are taking the contribution of faith communities was the historic Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, which met in United Nations General Assembly Hall in August 2000. (Read more)

Reconciliation may lead us to discover and establish a global ethic. A global ethic for institutions and civil society, for leaders and for followers, requires a longing and striving for peace, longing and striving for justice, longing and striving for partnerships, longing and striving for truth. These might be the four pillars of a global ethic based system that leads to reconciliation and an answer to the vicious circle of endless hatred. (Read more)