Source: World Council of Churches
Some forty-five religious, interfaith, and value-based organizations from five continents agreed to form a coalition to advance a "United Nations Decade for Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding, and Cooperation for Peace." Coalition members expressed the hope that the UN Sixty-Fourth General Assembly, which will begin its deliberations in September 2009, will approve a resolution establishing such a decade from 2011-2020.
The meeting took place at Maryknoll, New York, on 2-4 March. Participants included Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Sikh, Zoroastrian as well as indigenous traditions.
A provisional steering committee promoted the decade with UN member states during 2008. The UN General Assembly took the first step on 14 November 2008 by adopting resolution 63/22 which calls for exploring the feasibility of such a decade. The resolution was co-sponsored by 78 states.
On Monday, the president of the UN General Assembly, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, reiterated his previous calls for a "new spirit of solidarity and a powerful injection of moral and ethical values into our business and political lives." He urged the religious leaders to work together with the United Nations since these concerns require "life-long commitment" and religious institutions have the "staying power in the face of these challenges."