The G20 Interfaith Forum will convene in Riyadh on Tuesday to address crises; including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, disaster risk reduction, hate speech and racism.
The event will be virtual in the Saudi capital between October 13 and 17.
Sessions will also focus on ways religious leaders can work with governments to combat racism and hate speech; contribute to the advancement of migrants, refugees, women and youth; address the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking; protect shared religious and cultural heritage; and mitigate the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change, read a press statement.
An entire day of the program will be dedicated to discussing the COVID-19 pandemic as religious communities; uniquely affected by the pandemic; scapegoated for rising infection rates in many parts of the world, on the one hand. Yet also leading in the provision of aid for those affected by the pandemic and the social inequities it has exposed on the other.
More than 500 leaders and representatives from several of the world’s major religions and global policy institutions will participate and address the forum.
G20 Interfaith Forum
In addition to attracting leaders from most major world religions, denominations and interreligious organizations; the G20 Interfaith Forum will include representatives from the United Nations; the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID); the Organization of Islamic Cooperation); the World Muslim League, and the European Commission.
The G20 Interfaith Forum seeks global solutions by collaborating with religious thought leaders and political representatives and calls upon the world’s political leaders to include religious actors in the policymaking process leading up to November’s 2020 G20 Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh as well as to build policy based on shared values of solidarity, coexistence and respect.
Role of religion
Tuesday will witness the opening of the forum and three concurrent panel discussions on the role of religion in peacebuilding and conflict prevention; “Countering Hate Speech and Social Media”, “Religious Cultural Heritage and Human Dignity” as well as “Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery”.
Wednesday will also witness discussions on “Faith Communities in Partnerships to address COVID-19,” “Responses to COVID-19; Priorities and Accountability” and “Supporting Vulnerable Groups in Times of COVID-19.”
Thursday will also focus on empowerment of women, youth and vulnerable people. Panel discussions will tackle “Education, Religious Literacy and Cultural Diversity;” “Refugees and Migrants with Focus on Women and Youth” and “Inequality: Gender, Racism as well as Structural Discrimination”.
Friday will also cover climate change with panel discussions on “Rainforest and Protection of Environment;” “Practical Partnerships on Climate Change” and “The Rule of Law, Human Rights and Religious Rights.”