Projects overview
Americas projects
Asia projects
China projects
Education and water
Faith in food
Faiths for Green Africa
Green pilgrimage network
Living churchyards
Long-term plans
Major ARC events
ZUG: Faith in Finance meeting Oct/Nov 2017
Faith in Conservation: Lambeth Palace, Nov 2015
Faith in the Future: UN Bristol Meeting Sept 2015
Paris WhyDoICare Summit July 2015
Ise, Japan, 2014
Trondheim GPN, 2013
Nairobi 2012
Assisi 2011
Windsor 2009
Religious forests
Sacred gifts
Sacred land
Other projects
ARC Home > Projects > Major ARC events :
Faith in the Future: UN Bristol Meeting Sept 2015 | Programme, talks and presentations | Bristol Faith Commitments | List of Bristol Commitments | What are the SDGs? | Background to Bristol

Faith in the Future: UN Bristol Meeting Sept 2015

Micro credit and livelihood schemes for the poor, increased access to education, tree-planting on a massive scale, investments in clean energy and initiatives to green pilgrimage...

These are just some of the pledges announced by faith groups at Faith in the Future, a meeting of faith leaders and UN officials in Bristol in September 2015. The faiths also declared their support for the new Sustainable Development Goals aimed at lifting millions of people out of poverty and creating a more sustainable planet.

Read more about this historic meeting below.

The Bristol Commitments

Download the book of The Bristol Commitments to find out more about the plans launched by the faith representatives at the Bristol UN Faiths meeting. The book contains 23 of the 24 plans launched in Bristol.

You can also download the individual faith commitments here.

Read the letter from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly supporting the work by faith representatives at the Bristol event to support the UN SDGs


And for more information about the event, including the programme, delegates' biographies, and speaker's talks, visit our event page. Talks will be added as they are collected.

Practical action to help the world's poorest people

Bristol, UK
8-9 September 2015

Faith leaders have pledged far reaching practical action over the next 10 years to help the world’s poorest people at a meeting with senior UN officials in Bristol, UK, to discuss the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The action plans, called the Bristol Commitments, were presented to Paul Ladd, Director of the United Nations Development Programme’s Post-2015 Team, at the two-day Faith in the Future meeting.

The faith leaders, who represent 24 faith traditions from around the world, also declared they would do all they could to support the new SDGs, aimed at lifting millions of people out of poverty and creating a more sustainable planet.

The 17 goals will set the direction of development work worldwide for the next 15 years and will be adopted by the UN Member States during the Sustainable Development Summit on September 25 in New York. They replace the Millennium Development Goals.

ARC Secretary General Martin Palmer said sustainable development was not a new idea to the faiths: “They have been working on many aspects of the SDGs for centuries, whether that’s feeding millions of people, caring for them through schools, managing the land, or simply seeking to be a compassionate presence in a world that for many is extraordinarily tough.

“For the faiths it is very important that our contribution has been recognised, we are being asked to help and we are also being challenged to live up to our own words. The UN and national governments should know that we will work with you to deliver these goals.”

UNDP Director Paul Ladd added: “More than 80% of the world’s people express a religious affiliation. Knowing this, it becomes clear that the UN needs to work closely with faith communities over the next 15 years if the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development are to be achieved.”

About the event

Colour artwork to represent the SDGs, created by St Bernadette's Catholic School, Bristol.
The meeting was co-hosted by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ARC and was initiated by UNDP as a key part of the UN's post 2015 process to create follow ups to the Millennium Development Goals of 2000.

What are the SDGs?

The SDGs will be announced in late September 2015 as the successors to the Millennium Development Goals that were launched in 2000. The 17 SDGs, build on the original eight millennium goals.

With aims of ending poverty, bringing in education for all, equality, justice and a sustainable future in terms of energy, environment, oceans, forests, climate change and lifestyles, there needs to be strong civil society support... in real actions and intentions. One of the areas of discussion are a nominal 18th and final goal, of celebration, something that the faiths have always built in to their annual calendar and process.

What are the Bristol Commitments?

The Bristol Commitments are 100 commitments to action that were formally presented to the United Nations by leaders and representatives of Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Daoist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto and Sikh traditions.

Read more about them here.

  • Download a PDF copy of this press release.

    More information:

    Visit our programmes, talks and presentations page.

  • < to previous page to top of page to next page >
    ARC site map

    Related information

    May 8, 2015:
    UN Bristol Meeting on Faiths and the Sustainable Development Goals
    UNDP and ARC are cohosting a major meeting on Faiths and the SDGs in Bristol, UK, September 7-10. This is a key part of the United Nations’ post 2015 process.
    Paris summit of Conscience for the Climate July 21 2015
    Why do you care about the environment? A groundbreaking summit, advised by ARC, hosted by the French Government in Paris on July 21st, will bring together major religious and moral figures ahead of the December COP21 to ask exactly that.
    Windsor 2009
    In November 2009, ARC and UNDP joined together to create an extraordinary event. The celebration, titled Many Heavens, One Earth at Windsor Castle in November 2009 launched 31 long-term commitments to environmental action by nine major faiths worldwide.