The argument in a nutshell: among all
the global trends today and their
regional, national and local ramifications there are developments
could provide a sound foundation for a peaceful, just, environmentally
sustainable world. They are evident in the process of UN Reform
interreligious encounter. For these developments to achieve their
potential, a profound shift of mindset is required by most of humanity,
above all the decision-makers among us. Instead of jealously defending
interests of whatever part of the whole we perceive to be Ours we
recognition of our increasing interdependence and its implications"
Annan, July 2005).
UN Renewal: especially since September 2002, the UN
Secretary-General has through his own reports and speeches and the
reports of High Level Panels appointed by him, encouraged the now
191 member states to "strengthen the UN system". The Outcome
Document of the World Summit preceding the 60th Anniversary General
Assembly (14-16 September) shows where we have got to: confirmation
of the Millennium Declaration and its Development Goals, a
commitment to mainstream Human Rights throughout the UN system including
the acceptance of an international Responsibility to Protect citizens;
and the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission of all talents
to give hard-won peace agreements a better success rate by helping
states emerging from conflict to achieve stability.
Interreligious Encounter has an important role to
play and is well placed to do so. For example, a UN Conference on
Interfaith Cooperation for Peace (22 June) was co-sponsored by eight
religious NGOs, UNESCO, the World Bank, the UN Department of Economic
and Social Affairs, and sixteeen countries.
Conclusion: humankind must bring the best of itself
to bear on the challenges of our time, and for many of us, religious
faith is the inspiration that sustains our best efforts.