“Financing for sustainable development represents the expression of an ethic of solidarity and sharing, including with generations that come after us and who will inherit whatever good or evil we have wrought”, said Peter Prove, director of International Affairs at the World Council of Churches (WCC) in a symposium at the United Nations headquarters, in New York, on 29 January.
The fifth edition of the Annual Symposium on the Role of Religion and Faith-Based Organizations in International Affairs focused on the theme “Financing for Sustainable Development: Towards an Economy of Life”.
The Financing for Development process is centered around supporting follow-up to the agreements and commitments related to the outcomes of major United Nations summits in the economic and social fields, including the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Based upon recognition of the God-given dignity of all people and of our shared responsibility for caring for the wondrous creation of which we are a part, the WCC is committed to promoting a more equitable sharing of the benefits of development”, added Prove, who spoke at the event on behalf of Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC.
Financing for development is seen as a challenge that will require the full engagement of a wide range of stakeholders, each pursuing the same ultimate objectives albeit in different ways.
Reflecting on the theme of the symposium, United Nations chief economist and assistant secretary-general for Economic Development, Elliott Harris, stated: “Investments guided by overall impact, like investment guided by faith–based principles and values, look beyond the simple monetary return on an investment, to consider also its compatibility with the guiding principles or the basic values.”
The annual symposium has become a regular fixture on the international calendar, and an emblematic expression of the increasing quality and intensity of the partnership between religious communities, faith-based organizations and the United Nations.
The 2019 symposium was co-organized by the WCC, ACT Alliance, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Islamic Relief USA and the United Religions Initiative, in partnership with the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development and the NGO Committee on Financing for Development Conference of NGOs.