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PRESS RELEASE: Bristol's faith leaders ask people to pray for the success of the Bristol UN Faiths Meeting

September 6, 2015:

Daoist leaders are increasing their fasting calendar to encourage people to eat less meat (SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change & its impacts)

PRESS RELEASE: Faith communities in Bristol have asked people to pray for the success of the historic meeting between faith leaders from around the world and senior United Nations officials in Bristol this week.

The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Clare Campion-Smith, wrote to the city’s faith communities to ask them to hold the event, entitled: Faith in the Future, on September 8-9, 2015, Marriott Royal Hotel, Bristol, in their prayers.

A letter from Rt Rev Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton, asking people to hold the event in their prayers was read out in every Catholic church in the Diocese. Methodist churches also asked their members to pray for the event.

The Bristol UN meeting will look at how faith groups can help implement the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at lifting people out of poverty and creating a sustainable planet.

Muslim faith leaders are teaching sustainable agriculture through Islamic Farming (SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture.)
It is co-hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), which is based in Bath.

During the UN Bristol Meeting, the faiths will announce their own 10-year action plans which will be known as the Bristol Commitments.

Martin Palmer, Secretary General of ARC, said: "That the faith commitments will be known as The Bristol Commitments is a source of great delight to me. As a Bristolian whose family has been in Bristol for over 500 years, I am proud that this historic meeting between key sectors of the UN and the world’s major faiths is taking place in my home city – Europe’s Green Capital.

“The Bristol Commitments are specific, faith-related, detailed programmes of work by actual faith communities from around the world, each inspired by their own values and beliefs and finding common cause in working to make life better, not just for billions of people, but for all life on the planet.”

The Bristol UN meeting will be attended by 24 faith traditions and faith-based organisations as well as by representatives from the United Nations, the World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, WWF and the Governments of France and Germany.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for faith groups from around the world to work alongside senior UN representatives in the shaping of the new Sustainable Development Goals. In this, our European Green Capital year, there is no better time for Bristol to host such an event which will see the development of what we trust will be a truly influential dialogue."

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