UNFPA Forms Interfaith Alliance to Fight AIDS, Poverty

October 20, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Today's Zaman


The head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in Ä°stanbul yesterday that more than 75 religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations will come together to form a Global Interfaith Network on Population and Development.

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA executive director, said the network will include Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish, Christian and Muslim members and will work on critical issues, ranging from eliminating HIV/AIDS to ensuring women's equality.

"Is it moral to allow a woman to die every minute during childbirth when we know what can save her? Is it moral to extend the suffering of a woman who was raped and violated, making her endure a life of shame and stigma? Is it moral to forbid a girl from having the same chances in life as a boy simply because she was born a girl?" Obaid asked at the opening of the Global Forum of Faith-Based Organizations on Population and Development.

UNFPA has developed partnerships with more than 400 faith-based organizations in about 100 countries since the 1970s, and the forum in Ä°stanbul is the culmination of a journey that accelerated after a regional forum in Durban, South Africa, i