The impact of global crises on the mission to protect children’s rights

A Child-Center Vision for 2030 Building on the 4CS: Climate, COVID-19, Conflict, And Children in a High-Level Political Forum Side-Event

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Photo: Partnership Representatives, speakers, and invitees gather around the table for a full discussion.

The interlinked crises of violent conflict, widening inequality, the ongoing climate crisis, and diminishing trust in global and local public institutions demand new partnerships and leadership that link an ethical and pragmatic vision, nuanced by global and local insights, to deep multisectoral engagement. 

The Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities and partners organized a high-level side event during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York City on July 11, 2023. This year, the HLPF focused on the thematic reviews of Sustainable Development Goals #6 on clean water and sanitation, Goal #7 on affordable and clean energy, Goal #9 on industry, innovation, and infrastructure, Goal #11 on sustainable cities and communities, and 17 on partnerships for the Goals. This side event highlighted the thematic areas, specifically SDG 11 and 17, as they protect children and vulnerable populations and highlight the critical role of faith communities.

The side event engaged representatives of faith-based organizations, government representatives, international organizations, and civil society to come together to share experiences and provide concrete and formulate actionable recommendations. These recommendations formed the basis of global advocacy efforts to engage on the HLPF thematic areas for 2023, the 2023 SDG Summit, and the implementation of a larger global roadmap towards the UN Summit of the Future in 2024.

This meeting included international voices and local leadership to ensure that the recommendations and future advocacy efforts adequately captured diverse perspectives and challenges. The outcomes of these meetings across the globe will be included in developing a more extensive roadmap for advocacy in the year ahead.

The Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities, in partnership with the Baha’i International Community, the New York Board of Rabbis, the United Church of Christ – UN Office, and Arigatou International/NY, jointly organized this side event on July 11, 2023, at the Baha’i International Community office in New York, NY. 

The meeting focused on the four C’s – COVID, Climate, Conflict, and Children, and covered several topics at the intersection of faith-based engagement, such as:

  • Developing a child-centered vision for the 2020s;
  • Galvanizing action to mobilize resources for recovery and social protection;
  • Post-COVID action: pandemic preparedness and health system reform;
  • Food security;
  • Urgent humanitarian and peacebuilding action;
  • Action on climate change;
  • Making sure that the most vulnerable are not left behind.

About The Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities

It was established to empower faith leaders to work for the safety and security of our communities, tackling issues such as child sexual abuse, extremism, radicalization, and human trafficking. The IAFSC aims to build bridges between key stakeholders, including faith communities, NGOs, and experts in various domains. The IAFSC is conscious of the importance of empowering faith leaders at the institutional and grassroots levels with knowledge and mobilizing them to play a more active role in community safety.

About The Baha’i International Community

The Baha’i International Community represents the worldwide Baha’i community, whose members come from every national, ethnic, religious, cultural, and socio-economic background, representing a cross-section of humanity. Active in various global fora, the Baha’i International Community maintains United Nations offices in New York and Geneva and regional offices in Addis Ababa, Brussels, and Jakarta. The Baha’i International Community registered with the UN as an NGO in 1948 and currently has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as well as accreditation with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and United Nations Department of Global Communication (DGC). The Baha’i International Community collaborates with the UN and its specialized agencies, member states, inter- and non-governmental organizations, academia, and practitioners. 

About The New York Board of Rabbis

For over 140 years, it has importantly impacted Jewish life in New York, educated rabbis and the public, and responded to the changing needs of Jewish communities. They are a non-government organization representing more than 750 rabbis, making The NYBR the world’s largest rabbinic inter-denominational body. They provide a unique opportunity for rabbis of different denominations to come together for study and professional development. The NYBR is concerned about the welfare of the entire community, both Jewish and non-Jewish. They believe it is imperative to be a moral voice regarding global concerns of our world. They proudly serve as a bridge of strength and promise between individual rabbis, the greater Jewish community, and other faith constituencies. They are stronger when we stand together. 

About Arigatou International

The organization was founded in Japan in 1990 by the late Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, a member of the Myochikai Buddhist organization. He was a leader and visionary who dedicated his life to promoting peace. Today, its members continue to support the only global interfaith organization exclusively focused on the protection of children’s rights and well-being. With its headquarters in Tokyo and offices in Geneva, Nairobi, and New York City, the organization has developed and sustained multi-stakeholder initiatives designed to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect and that their rights are protected. Its network comprises diverse religious leaders, faith communities, international agencies, civil society organizations, and governments. Operating in more than 80 countries in partnership with more than 1,700 faiths and spiritual organizations, Arigatou International employs an interfaith and intercultural approach to bring positive change from the grassroots to a global level. As such, it holds special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and it has recently become affiliated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UNDGC).  

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