PaRD Second Annual Meeting: Faith in the Sustainable Development Goals
Reaffirming their commitment to continue and strengthen their cooperation, PaRD members and partners gathered in Wilton Park/Wiston House, UK for the 2nd PaRD Annual Meeting on November 12th to 15th 2017.
70 participants from members and partners followed the invitation of the co-hosts UKAid/DFID and Wilton Park to review the last year and discuss the way forward for the multi-stakeholder-partnership. PaRD is a growing partnership with 60 partners and 19 members as of November 15, 2017. During the meeting, members and partners welcomed the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the latest governmental member of PaRD. At the same time, the secretariat was able to announce that AU-CIDO has sent its letter of intent to join as an intergovernmental entity.
The meeting began with a welcome by the hosts Gary Wilton (Wilton Park) and Mike Battcock (UKAid/DFID) and a panel discussion featuring Sharon Rosen (Global Director, Religious Engagement, Search for Common Ground), Dr Azza Karam (Senior Adviser, UNFPA) and Mohammed Abu-Nimer (Senior Adviser, KAICIID) on “Ethics of the 2030 Agenda – a vision for a new global partnership for religion and development”. This discussion was followed by a session reviewing the past year and providing an outlook over the discussions to be held during the annual meeting.
The ensuing working sessions focused on the activities in the three PaRD work-streams “Sustaining Peace/SDG 16”, “Gender Equality and Empowerment/SDG 5” and “Health/SDG 3”. Various areas of joint engagement were identified, such as the organisation of a joint global advocacy event as well as closely cooperating with the Interfaith-Summit and other engagement groups on the occasion of the G20 Summit in Argentina. Moreover, the Strategic Learning Exchanges, which were pioneered and established by UNIATF, are now planned to be decentralised through PaRD in a collaboration between UNIATF and several ROs in 2018. Two sessions allowed members and partners to present their own work, exchange knowledge and draw on the expertise of the other participants. Last, but not least, members and partners discussed the vision for PaRD thoroughly and jointly agreed to establish a governance structure that will suit the needs of both partners and members. Reflecting the spirit of a multi-stakeholder partnership in line with the 2030 Agenda and SDG 17.16 in particular, it was agreed by all participants that this process will be structured in a participatory and inclusive way.
Overall, the second PaRD Annual Meeting was deemed a great success by the participants. Significant progress was made in various areas of joint engagement and in regards to the way forward for PaRD and its governance. Following the meeting, the majority of participants followed UKAid/DFID’s invitation to join the conference on "Current challenges in Freedom of Religion or Belief" at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on 15 November 2017.