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Creating safe spaces and sacred spaces

Denmark welcomes partners on religion and sustainable development

PaRD General Assembly Denmark 2019 - Group picture
 
Globethics.net was among 150 participants at the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) 4th General Assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark from 1-3 May 2019. The Assembly, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark with the support of  Danmission and the ACT Alliance, gathered observers and representatives from almost all of the 105 members, composed of government, United Nations' agencies, NGOs and faith based organisations around the world. 
 
PaRD General Assembly Denmark 2019 - Keynote and Panel
 Rev. Dr Kenneth Mtata, General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, Keynote speaker
 
Shrinking space for civil society and the role of religious actors was on the agenda at the Assembly with keynote speaker Rev. Dr Kenneth Mtata, General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, talking about his experiences. Among the reasons and causes that he gave for the closing of space for civil society to speak and act, were the rise of nationalism, security concerns, changes in development aid, national interest and economic reductionism. "Creating safe spaces and sacred spaces are important … and solidarity visits and support are a matter of personal security in difficult situations", he said. To reopen the space for civil society he recommended that constituency, collaboration, competencies, consistency and continuity be strengthened in the governance and activities of faith based and civil society organisations.
 
The Assembly provided the opportunity to network as well as reporting on and developing the PaRD work streams and work groups related to achieving the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the areas of gender equality and empowerment, health, sustaining peace, capacity building and climate action. PaRD members meet once a year and cooperate in the meantime on concrete projects and initiatives. Globethics.net contributes as a knowledge and networking partner with its online library, publications, network and e-learning Academy and with PaRD advances the commitment to achieving the United Nations' SDGs.