About the GNRC Forums
Since the first forum in May 2000, when religious leaders, grassroots workers, and young people from around the world came together in Tokyo, Japan to inaugurate the GNRC, members and partners, like UNICEF and UNESCO, have continued to gather every four to five years. At the forums, which are supported by Arigatou International, GNRC members and partners take stock of the Network’s progress, share best practices, and chart the future course for global, regional, and national initiatives.
In each of the second, third and fourth GNRC global forums, a new global initiative emerged, growing to take on a life of its own with the continued support of GNRC members and Arigatou International. They are:
- Ethics Education for Children (Geneva, 2004)
- Prayer and Action for Children (Hiroshima, 2008)
- Interfaith Initiative to End Child Poverty (Dar es Salaam, 2012)
The initiatives together seek to fulfill the three commitments made by Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, President of the Arigatou Foundation, when he spoke on behalf of the GNRC at the United Nations Special Session on Children in 2002.
At the GNRC 5th Global Forum, held in Panama City in 2017, over 500 participants unanimously adopted the Panama Declaration on Ending Violence Against Children, making 10 specific commitments to end all forms of violence against children.
The First Forum of the GNRC
Brought together 297 men and women representing 7 major religions and 33 countries and regions to share their experiences and exchange views on how to address the various challenges facing children. Rev. Takeyasu Miyamoto, President of the Arigatou Foundation, opened the forum with the GNRC Inauguration Address. The participants went on to adopt the landmark GNRC Statement with four Study Group Reports and issued it to the world as their pledge to the future of children.
The Second Forum of the GNRC
Held in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum brought together 359 people, including 38 children and young people, from 68 countries and 7 major religions for in-depth discussions on practical actions to be taken in each world region. At the Second Forum, the GNRC formally announced the establishment of the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children and signed a program cooperation agreement with UNICEF to cooperate on a major joint study on, “The Child in World Religions.”
The Third Forum of the GNRC
Held in Hiroshima, Japan, the Forum brought together 353 religious leaders and others from around the globe, including 42 children and young people. Participants came from 63 countries and 8 world regions, representing the Baha’i faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and many other religious and spiritual traditions. Also present were top United Nations officials, including Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary General, and Ms. Ann Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF.
The Fourth Forum of the GNRC
Held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, it brought together about 470 participants, including religious leaders from around the world and United Nations officials and government leaders, including President Jakaya M. Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania, to address the theme: “Ending Poverty. Enriching Children: Inspire. Act. Change.” Young people had a central role in the forum, with about 40 youth attending the two-day pre-meeting and inspiring the participants throughout the Forum with their unique perspectives.
The Fifth Forum of the GNRC