Over 80% of people worldwide follow a religion, which shapes their thoughts and actions. Religious groups significantly impact sustainable development, reaching even the most remote areas through global and local networks. The International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) brings together government and multilateral entities, civil society organisations, especially faith-based organisations, to harness faith communities’ social capital and capacities for sustainable development and humanitarian aid. PaRD aims to improve communication and coordination between secular and non-secular actors, creating new synergies through collaboration. It also works with existing networks to promote a more coherent and inclusive international agenda on religion and development.
This vision aligns with EU-CORD, and we have been members of the PaRD network since 2019.
In 2022, we started to explore how we could deepen that engagement. We contacted the PaRD secretariat, who met with network members to explain PaRD and engagement opportunities. This led to Mission East and PMU contributing to the forthcoming PaRD publication ‘Promising Practices on Gender Equality.’
Following the PaRD General Assembly in Bali, where LM International General Secretary Josephine Sundqvist represented EU-CORD, CEOs agreed that we should offer to fill one of the co-lead spaces for the Water, Climate, and Environment workstream (WECARE for short).
This led to Ruth Faber, from the EU-CORD Secretariat, participating in the 2023 PaRD Leadership Meeting just outside Frankfurt, Germany, at the end of March.
‘This was a great opportunity to meet the other WECARE Co-Leads and many of the Work-Stream Co-Leads and PaRD Steering Group members. I was encouraged to hear from the various invited UN agencies on their approaches to faith engagement. By way of example, the Faith for Earth Initiative hosted by the United National Environment Programme’.
Working with PaRD is embedded in EU-CORD’s 2023 workplan, and Tabeth and I will seek to link you (our members) with PaRDs work in the months ahead.
PaRD’s website: www.pard.international