G20 Interfaith Forum 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

 In Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism

G20 Interfaith Forum 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Puente de la Mujer, Buenos Aires, Argentina

“Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development : Religious Contributions for a Dignified Future”

The 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum will take place 26-28 September in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Meetings will be held in the Auditorio Manuel Belgrano in the historic Palacio San Martín of Argentina’s Cancillería, the Ministry of Foreign and Religious Affairs, and in the nearby Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel and Convention Center. This is the fifth annual event in a series of G20 Interfaith Forums held in relation to the meetings of the international “Group of Twenty” (G20) Economic Summit. The G20 Interfaith Forum is pleased this year to partner with meetings of the Argentinian project Ética y Economía, an ongoing dialogue on religiously– and ethically–informed dimensions of the economy, development, and society. 


Previous Interfaith Forums have been held in Gold Coast, Australia (2014); Istanbul, Turkey (2015); Beijing, China (2016); and Potsdam, Germany (2017). The 2018 Interfaith Forum will be held in connection with the thirteenth G20 Summit, which takes place in Buenos Aires 30 November – 1 December 2018. (Summary videos and programs of previous events can be viewed here.)

Rationale. Practical and ethical insights of global religious communities make substantial if often unrecognized contributions to priority global agendas. The annual G20 Interfaith Forum aims to build a network of networks of faith and interfaith leaders from around the world, together with non-governmental organizations and other policy leaders. Through three days of discussion and dialogue, the culmination of extensive prior consultations, participants highlight the roles that religious communities can play in promoting the goals of successive G20 Economic Summits. The Forums draw on the expertise of a range of opinion leaders, including political leaders, academics, lawyers, and civil society leaders.  

Objective. The Forum helps to identify and showcase the policy and societal contributions of faith traditions and philosophies on leading global issues. It creates opportunities for communication and relationship building, and raises the profile of participating communities, groups, and organizations. The aim is to develop recommendations on priority issues that draw on interfaith insight and experience. Particular attention is paid to ways that religious communities can contribute to the host country’s priorities. Thus, the agenda of this year’s Forum reflects topics that the Argentine government has identified for this year’s G20 Summit and broader objectives of the continuing G20 Summit process. The long-term objective is to enhance the capacity of different groups to work together to strengthen human development, understood in the broadest sense. Dialogue and networking facilitated by the Forum aim to raise the level and effectiveness of religious input on major global policy issues with recommendations and action geared to the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a key outcome.

Forum Title and Theme

The overarching theme for this year’s G20 Interfaith Forum is “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious Contributions for a Dignified Future. Over three days, presentations, panel discussions, and working group sessions aim to build networks and develop concrete policy recommendations on the following sub-themes:

  • Inequality, Religion, and the Future of Work
    • Accommodating Religion in the Workplace and Schools of the Future
    • Changing Women’s Roles to Reflect Equal Rights and Opportunities: Religious Debates and Action
    • Religious Perspectives on Innovation, Labor, and Education
  • Religion, Environmental Change, and a Sustainable Food Future
    • Religious Contributions in Movements to Protect the Environment
    • Religion and the Fight against Hunger
    • Religious Action Regarding Extractive Industries
  • Urgent Priorities for Social Cohesion
    • Refugees, and Migration: Religious Insights and Action
    • Religious Perspectives and Action Regarding Violent Extremism, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding
    • The Role of Freedom of Religion or Belief: Practical Dimension
  • Religion, Good Governance and Sustainable Development
    • Sustainable Finance and Financial Inclusion
    • Debates and Action on Economic Policies including Financial Inclusion (Infrastructure)
    • Priorities for Equal Opportunities and Respect for Human Rights
    • Structural Inequalities and Development

The G20 Interfaith Forum Structure

The program in Buenos Aires runs from Wednesday 26 – Friday 28 September 2018. We are preparing for 200 or more participants and attendees. Participants coming from outside the Buenos Aires area should arrive on Tuesday September 25.

The program consists of presentations and panels drawing on leading expertise and global diversity.

Ties to the overall G20 process are informal but the Argentinian G20 organizers have displayed strong interest in the work emanating from the G20 Interfaith Forum initiatives, recognizing their potential to make a strong and independent, internationally-based contribution to the overall G20 process.

As in past years, several regional pre-meetings feed recommendations into the Forum and on to G20 leaders. Focused working groups are developing concrete policy recommendations around various G20 themes.

Forum organizers hope to work closely and synergistically with other developing programs and engagement groups in the G20 process.

Simultaneous translation of all sessions will be provided in English and Spanish. 

 Tentative Schedule of Events

Day One (September 26):

  • Inaugural Session with Keynote, Political, and Religious Leaders, to be held in the Auditorio Manuel Belgrano, Cancillería Argentina, Esmeralda 1212-CABA 
  • Forum reception
  • Plenary session on “Inequality, Religion, and the Future of Work”
  • Parallel sessions on labor-related issues, refugees, and other religion and human rights issues

Day Two (September 27): 

  • Plenary session on “Religion, Environmental Change, and a Sustainable Food Future”
  • Parallel sessions on religion and the environment, food security, and anti-corruption efforts
  • Plenary session on “Religion, Urgent Global Priorities, and the G20 Agenda”
  • Parallel sessions on the future of education, addressing religious violence, religious freedom and anti-discrimination norms, global health challenges, and conflict resolution 

Day Three (September 28):

  • Plenary session on “Advancing the Work of Religiously Affiliated Humanitarian Organizations”
  • Plenary session on “Religion, Good Governance, and Sustainable Development”
  • Concluding Plenary 

The program is subject to adjustment. 

The G20 Interfaith Forum in Buenos Aires will emphasize linkages between Argentinian priorities and other urgent global issues including highlighting Latin American and emerging country perspectives on the various subthemes.

Perspectives of indigenous peoples will be reflected. Argentina is not currently facing a major refugee issue however migration challenges are pertinent and religious voices are an important contributor. Similarly, issues regarding sustainable food supplies are tightly linked to broader environmental issues and creating opportunities for dignified labor holds the key to solving many of the problems of youth unemployment and radicalization. The Forum will explore perspectives on human development deriving from religious sources: how can these dimensions be integrated synergistically with broader strategies for facilitating achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Participants: Participants from a wide range of religious, national, academic, and policy backgrounds will come together to raise the level of discourse on the relevant issues and to develop practical recommendations. Working groups are being commissioned to cultivate continuing reflection on specific topics where religious voices are particularly well-positioned to make recommendations and to encourage implementation. The aim is to explore ways that religious communities can assume responsibility and contribute distinctive ideas and solutions that can interact with and reinforce the efforts of public and civil society institutions.

Participants in the various Forum working sessions are encouraged to confer in advance to identify key issues and to develop concrete policy recommendations. The Forum will bring together youth leaders from various religious backgrounds to contribute insights on various Forum themes. 

See the List : Delegates : Attending the G20 Interfaith Forum 

 Extracurricular Programs

  • Specially arranged tours to important historic and religious sites in the area may be available. 
  • Meetings with religious and governmental leaders. 
  • Possible special meetings can be arranged by various collaborating institutions or religious communities.

Venue: Auditorio Manuel Belgrano, Cancillería Argentina, Esmeralda 1218-CABA, Buenos Aires and Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel and Convention Center

The annual G20 Interfaith Forums have attracted increasing numbers of government, academic and interfaith leaders. For information on these events, see our website of past Forums here. This site contains leads to the official web pages for past Interfaith Forums that include programs, speakers, videos of many of the Forum speakers, and so forth. 

Conference Background

Worldwide, recognition is increasing of the vital roles that faith and religion play in promoting peaceful and harmonious relationships within and between nations. Few examples are widely recognized, however, of positive contributions faiths and religions make to social well-being and to policies that impact national and international communities. The G20 Interfaith Forum has been conceived as an annual event where such contributions can be shared, highlighted, and advanced. 

The Forum is designed to bring together opinion leaders—including scholars, lawyers, and political leaders—with faith and interfaith leaders from around the world for three days of discussion and dialogue, as a substantive and symbolic contribution to the annual G20 Leaders Summit. 

In showcasing academic, political, and social contributions of various faith traditions and philosophies from around the world, the G20 Interfaith Forums can fill important gaps in the discussions of the G20 Summits, strengthening social cohesion through opportunities provided for communication and relationship-building among participants and raising the profiles of faith and interfaith communities.

Objectives of the G20 Interfaith Forum include

  • Exploring  through informed, scholarly discussion the links between economic development and religious freedom.
  • Facilitating constructive dialogue between leaders of multiple sectors in society, including faith, government, business, media, education and other social institutions, on how faiths can help to enhance social, economic and cultural policies and programs for the well-being of all.
  • Demystifying and fostering communication channels between the different faiths.
  • Sharing ideas, experiences and “best practices” in building peace and harmony.
  • Exploring and affirming common values, virtues and principles among diverse faith and philosophic traditions.

Courtesy : https://www.g20interfaith.org

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