The 2010 World Religions Summit drafted a statement urging leaders to curb poverty, end violent conflict, and protect the environment. Over 80 representatives from the world’s major faiths convened in Winnipeg, Canada from June 21-24 including, for the first time, representatives of the Baha’i faith. The summit convened in the days leading up to the G8 and G20 summits in Toronto with the conviction that the leaders of the G8 nations have the ability to enact these changes.
The conference was attended by both senior faith leaders and youth delegates, including former Faith Acts Fellows from the Tony Blair Foundation. Over 20 countries were in attendance representing Aboriginal, Buddhist, Baha’i, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Shinto religious traditions.
The statement called on leaders to take “inspired leadership and action”:
Acknowledging our common humanity and embracing the imperative to treat all persons with dignity, we affirm that no one person is more or less valuable than another. We urge the political leaders to consider first the vulnerable among us, particularly our children, and to work together to address the dehumanizing scourge of poverty and injustice, and practice and promote care for our common environment, the Earth.
In our diverse faith traditions we have rich histories and powerful dreams for ending poverty, caring for the Earth and being peace-builders. We acknowledge our own shortcomings and inadequacies, we commit to continuing these life-giving actions in the service of the common good. While recognizing efforts already made to address many of these challenges, we expect government representatives to set aside short-term agendas and work together for a future that allows all people on this planet to thrive.