Faith-Based Organisations at the United Nations: 'Religious' Values and the Sustainable Development Goals

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jeff Haynes (London Metropolitan University)

The focus of the lecture is on faith-based organisations (FBOs) and their attempts to seek to influence debate and decision making at the United Nations (UN), in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs; 2015-2030). There are hundreds of FBOs registered at the United Nations, and some of the most significant, such as the US-based, Christian FBO, World Vision, regularly interact at the UN with both state and non-state entities in order to pursue shared goals in relation to the SDGs.

The lecture is structured as follows. The first section introduces the issue of FBOs at the UN and explains that the SDGs are a foal point of their activity. The second section examines World Vision’s activities at the UN, explaining how it seeks to pursue its development goals. I will illustrate this by briefly examining World Vision’s central involvement in two SDG-linked projects: (1) 'The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health', and (2) 'The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children'. The final section sums up the arguments of the lecture. I conclude by noting that World Vision's strategy of involvement at the UN - that is, working closely with both state and non-state actors - is increasingly seen at the UN. The previously dominant state-centric model is being replaced by a new one, where states are willing to work with a variety of civil society actors in pursuit of the SDGs, including significant FBOs, such as World Vision.

Venue: Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Weyertal 59, 50937 Köln, 17.45-19.15