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Major Religion and Development Conference scheduled for Oslo

July 25 2006:

The Norwegian government is working with ARC, UNDP and the World Bank to host an important conference on religion, environment and development in Oslo later this year.

It is an important first step in a two to three year programme to explore the implications of a closer and more structured relationship between secular and religious groups in a mutual effort towards sustainable development.

The conference is part of the world-wide recognition of the increased attention paid to religious communities on development issues, and the 70 or so delegates – from the major religions, governments, multi-lateral bodies such as the UN and key financial organisations - will explore the potential for creating partnerships, addressing both the opportunities and challenges linked to such partnerships.

The meeting will be held on November 7 and 8, 2006. The theme is: the relationship between the secular and the religious approaches to the environment and development.

“We believe it’s time for the traditional suspicion of religion by secular bodies and the fear of secular bodies by religion to be replaced by a recognition that all around the world it is the faiths who are primarily holding this world together,” said secretary general of ARC, Martin Palmer.

For more details, please see our project section.

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