A new Bahá'í International Community statement on eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty has just been presented to the UN Commission for Social Development, and discussed at a UN panel session on 6 February 2012 (http://bic.org/home-stories/inequality-between-rich-and-poor-highlighte…). The statement provides initial considerations on a theme that should also be considered in the discussions on the green economy at the coming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.
The UN Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) released it's final report on 30 January with a launch event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The 99 page report and a 25 page overview of it, along with a press release from the launch event, can be found at: www.un.org/gsp/report. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's statement from the GSP launch event can be found at: http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=5831.
On 10 January the UNCSD Rio+20 bureau released the zero draft of the outcome document for Rio+20, "The Future We Want": http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=12&nr=324&menu=…. This draft is based on hundreds of submissions from governments and civil society, including IEF, compiled at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=115. It will serve as the basis for intergovernmental negotiations leading up to the conference in June, starting in New York on 25-27 January.
The IEF collaborated with the Baha'i International Community in the launching of action plans on climate change from the major religions at a celebration at Windsor Castle in 2009. One of the outcomes was a proposal from the Mayor of Jerusalem to create a network of pilgrimage cities, and this has now been launched with the aim of making pilgrimage a greener experience.
The Climate Ethics Campaign is aiming for 1,000 endorsements of its new climate change statement by November 30th, the day the campaign plans to officially release and circulate the statement on Capitol Hill.
A representative of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha‘is of the United States recently endorsed the statement, titled “Statement of Our Nation’s Moral Obligation to Address Climate Change”
The Brazilian government and the UN have just announced (4 November) a change of dates for the Rio+20 conference to 20-22 June 2011, with the 3rd PrepCom on 13-15 June. This will be confirmed by the Bureau at the end of November. The dates of the parallel IEF Annual Conference in Rio will be changed accordingly.
Ottawa, 27 October 2011 — The Bahá’í Community of Canada has joined dozens of other faith communities and leaders in calling for new approaches to address the challenge of climate change. This initiative is among the first to bring together such a large and diverse number of religious leaders to speak with one voice to an issue of social concern.
The IEF was again represented by its president at the 7th International Conference on Reconciliation, Tolerance and Human Security in the Balkans, in Milocer, Montenegro, on 21-22 October 2011. The conference with 180 participants was organized by the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) of the University for Peace established by the United Nations. Over 40 papers were presented on this year's theme “New Balkans and European Union Enlargement”.
Since 1997, IEF members have engaged and participated in civil society discussions within the international and United Nations framework. These opportunities have helped open up and expand the dialogue within the wider community to promote the application of spiritual and ethical principles to the challenges of the environment and sustainable development.
Wilmette Institute Course
Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind
Lead Faculty: Arthur Lyon Dahl, Faculty: Karryn Olson-Ramanujan, Melinda Salazar, Carole Flood
Duration of course: Three months, Thursday, September 15, 2011 - Thursday, December 15, 2011
Co-sponsored by the International Environment Forum