PaRD Initiative

Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB)

The pledge to 'leave no one behind' is central to all SDGs.

Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) is a fundamental and universal human right articulated in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other international human rights treaties. FoRB cuts across all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The FoRB Initiative of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) took shape during the General Assembly of Members 2021 in South Africa. It operates within PaRD’s mandate on the positive role of religion and belief in sustainable development and humanitarian assistance. 

Promoting Good Practices, Success Stories, and Engagement

Sustainability is only achievable in a fair and inclusive society, where no one is subject to inequality, discrimination or left behind because of their religion or belief. Accordingly, PaRD's FoRB initiative, which is member-initiated as well as member-driven, is grounded on two thematic pillars: 

  1. Good Practices: Members share successful experiences and learnings through reports and presentations. 
  2. Engagement: Members proactively network and address FoRB infringements of individuals practising their religion and beliefs at the local and national level.

The efforts of PaRD members as part of the FoRB Initiative are inclusive of all religions and beliefs, promote dialogue, foster peace and mutual respect while addressing potentially critical FoRB issues and resulting limitations of individual human rights. The initiative supports conflict prevention where possible and avoids duplicating initiatives with other networks.

The Founding of the Initiative and Current Work

The PaRD Steering Group approved the FoRB framework in December 2021, the first constitutive online meeting having taken place in February 2022. The PaRD Secretariat supports the initiative by disseminating member-initiated FoRB related communiques with members. The initiative is currently supporting member projects which tackle FoRB issues in local communities on the ground through interfaith dialogue, workshops, and capacity building. 

Initiative Co-Lead
Filip Buff Pederson
  • PaRD's Initiative Co-Lead

  • Political Advisor, CKU (Centre for Church based Development) and Coordinator of the Danish Network on Religion and Development

Gaetan Roy
  • PaRD's Initiative Co-Lead

  • Permanent Representative for the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) to the United Nations in Geneva, Chairman of network-m and Board Member of the Association of Evangelical Missions (AEM)