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UN Bristol Meeting on Faiths and the Sustainable Development Goals

May 8, 2015:

Bristol, UK, September 7th – 10th, 2015

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ARC are organising the UN Bristol Meeting on Faiths and the Sustainable Development Goals, to be held in Bristol, UK, from September 7th to the 10th. This meeting has been initiated by UNDP as a key part of the United Nations’ post 2015 process.

What will the meeting achieve?

After the meeting, in late September, the UN will launch its next 15-year programme – the successor to the Millennium Development Goals launched in 2000. The new programme launches 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), building on the original eight Millennium Development Goals.

UNDP’s recognition of the potential for real religious engagement with the SDGs reflects the success of the religions’ long term plans to protect the environment launched in 2009 and 2012.

Religious delegates who have launched Long Term Plans (either at Windsor 2009 or Nairobi 2012) will prepare for the meeting by reviewing of how their faith’s long-term plan has progressed. This includes what has been most successful, what has been most difficult, what resources they have created and discovered, what further resources would be useful. And what stories are the most powerful to explain the process.

They will also consider which of the 17 SDGs are of specific interest to the work they already have in hand and will draw up by the end of July an outline of the key areas that their long term plans will extend into over the next 8 to 10 years.

These plans and review will form the heart of the Bristol Meeting and will be presented to the UN General Assembly in late September.

Why Bristol?

Bristol is the European Green Capital City for 2015. It has long been a leading city on ecological issues. It is the home of the Soil Association, Britain’s leading advocate for organic food and farming, as well as the International WildScreen Film Festival, Sustrans (creating and lobbying for an effective cycling network around the country) and was an early advocate of the Transition town movement in the UK.

It has a thousand year history of multi-faith partnerships. It has also in recent years taken seriously the legacy of its role in the Atlantic Slave Trade in the 18th century, and has created political and cultural programmes to face up to this period of its past.

Bristol is one of Britain’s leading arts centres. It is also the seat of two Bishoprics, one Anglican and one Catholic, as well as home to places of worship of all the major faiths.

About the Bristol Meeting

The Bristol Meeting follows on from both the Windsor Event in 2009 and the Nairobi meeting in 2012) at which a total of 72 long-term plans for a living planet were launched by the main faith traditions.

At the Windsor Event in 2009 Assistant Secretary General, Olav Kjorven of the United Nations, described the scale of faith action on the environment as “potentially the biggest civil society movement on climate change in history”.



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