Statement on the Launch of a New Global Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty at the GNRC Fourth Forum

“Mobilizing Faith-Based Resources to End Child Poverty”

Poverty is the gravest global injustice of our times. There is enough in this world for everyone, but it is unjustly distributed. It is the worst and most extensive form of violence in the world.  Therefore, there is an urgent ethical imperative that we commit ourselves to a vision that no one, especially children, should live under conditions imposed by poverty. With the resources of our religious and spiritual traditions, we can take action to foster conscience, increase empathy, promote just structures and make governments responsible to their people in eradicating poverty.

Partnerships specifically addressing child poverty must go beyond the 2015 target year of the Millennium Development Goals. They must go beyond conventional economic approaches for addressing poverty. For these partnerships to be sustainable and effective, they must address not only the systemic structures but also the roots of the problem in the human heart—greed, ignorance, hatred and fear.

The overall objective is to establish a long-term global initiative that will contribute to ending poverty by addressing economic injustices at their core.

And so today, at the Global Network of Religions for Children Fourth Forum, we launch a global initiative that will emphasize spiritual awakening to address the root causes of poverty. This initiative will challenge the unequal distribution of resources, war and violence, poor governance and corruption. It will utilize interfaith advocacy and grassroots action to overcome poverty.

As we launch this global campaign — which seeks to bring together children and young people, religious leaders, faith communities, civil society organizations, United Nations agencies, educators, governments, development banks, businesses, media, and all people of good will — we rededicate ourselves to building a world where no child will live in poverty.

Dar es Salaam, June 18, 2012

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