Saturday, September 29, 2018

G20 Interfaith Forum 2018: 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 2018 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. This year’s Forum takes place in anticipation of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires to be held 30 November-1 December.

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 (2016). (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. 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.

Attendance is by invitation, but the organizers welcome all interested persons to request an invitation by sending an email with name, institutional affiliation, and email address to Please understand that, due to high interest and limited space, the organizers may not be able to accommodate all requests.

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.

See list of Collaborating Institutions below.

Collaborating Institutions 

A Common Word Among the Youth (ACWAY), United Kingdom
African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ACLARS)
Alianza de Iglesias Presbiterianas y Reformadas de América Latina (AIPRAL)
Amity Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, New Delhi, India
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University
Brunel Law and Religion Research Group, United Kingdom
CARITAS - Secretariado para América Latina y el Caribe de la Pastoral Social (SELACC)
Center for Reflection and Social Action (CREAS) / ACT Alianza, Argentina
Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue, Griffith University, Australia
Center for Research and Training in Interfaith Relations, Morocco
Center on Religion, Law and Economy in the Mediterranean Area, Insubria University, Como, Italy
Centro de Diálogo Intercultural Alba, Argentina
Christian Aid
Comisión de Pastoral Social Conferencia Episcopal, Argentina
Comisión Nacional Justicia y Paz, Argentina
Conferencia Episcopal Latinoamericana (CELAM - DEJUSOL)
Consejo Argentino para la Libertad Religiosa (CALIR), Argentina
Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa
Department of Law and Religion, Complutense University, Spain
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), GmbH, Germany
Ética y Economía
Institute for Policy, Advocacy, and Governance, Bangladesh
Instituto Argentino Jacques Maritain
Instituto para el Diálogo Interreligioso, Argentina
International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS), Brigham Young University, United States
International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), Milan, Italy
International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD)
International Religious Liberty Association
International Shinto Foundation
Islamic Relief USA
KAICIID Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue
Ma’din Academy, India
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany
NALSAR (National Academy of Legal Studies and Research) University of Law, Hyderabad, India
Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights
Oxford Society of Law and Religion, United Kingdom
Peres Academic Center Law School, Rehovot, Israel\
Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarollo (PNUD), Argentina
Programa Internacional sobre Democracia, Sociedad y Nuevas Economías de la Universidad de Buenos Aires (PIDESONE), Argentina
Project Ploughshares, Canada
Purdue University Fort Wayne, United States
Regents College, Oxford University, United Kingdom
Religions for Peace
Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy, University of Winnipeg, Canada
Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation—Section on Law and Religion and Canon Law, Spain
Sant’Edigio Community, Italy
United Religions Initiative
World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC)
World Faiths Development Dialogue
World Jewish Congress


Ganoune Diop – United States G20 Interfaith Forum Organizing Committee; General Secretary, International Religious Liberty Association Dr. Ganoune Diop is Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. Before his election in July 2015, he served as the church’s liaison to the United Nations, and as its representative within the international community of civic and political leaders. Dr. Diop has a Masters in Exégèses and Theology from Collonges, France, a Master’s degree in Philology from the University of Paris, and a PhD in Old Testament Studies from Andrews University. He is currently a PhD candidate in New Testament Studies. Recently, he was honored with a Doctorate Honoris Causa for
his contributions to developing a global culture of human rights and respect for human dignity. Dr. Diop is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister, and has served as a local church pastor. His other positions include conference departmental director, and professor of Biblical Languages, Exegesis, and Theology at Saleve Adventist University in France, and later at Southern Adventist University and Oakwood University in the United States. Before joining the General Conference PARL department in 2011 as an associate director, Dr. Diop was Director of the five Global Mission Study Centers of Adventist Mission. He is a concert flute soloist.


G20 Interfaith Forum

2018 Collaborating Institutions 

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