On 11 May 2020, the Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) launched its first session in a series of webinars focusing on key themes related to crime prevention and social justice. The initiative aims at raising awareness of the work and inform on the possibilities for FBOs to get engaged and make an impact, and is facilitated by the FBO Coalition, with support from UNODC`s Civil Society Team and KAICIID International Dialogue Centre(KAICIID).
The webinar featured an esteemed panel of speakers, including Jean-Luc Lemahieu (Director of Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs at UNODC), Ambassador Alvaro Albacete (Deputy Secretary General of KAICIID), Azza Karam (Secretary General, Religions for Peace), Saskia Schellekens (Executive Secretariat of the UN Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development), Bishop Munib Younan (Lutheran Bishop based in Jerusalem), and Michael Platzer (Co-Chair of FBO Coalition). Speaking to over 140 participants, the panellist highlighted current crime trends with a special focus on the changing patterns induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the involvement and relevance of FBOs.
In his opening remarks, UNODC Director of Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, noted that multilateralism “has become an essential component for how “we the peoples” of this world work together to find solutions to common threats and challenges that affect us all “.Citing 10 emerging crime threats emanating during the Covid-19 crisis, from the rise of domestic crime to opportunistic cybercrime, he added that human solidarity is of essence in facing this catalytic moment - and presents an opportunity to redesign our social contract and to set things straight.
The United Nations has long realized the importance of engaging with faith-based actors and organizations in the joint efforts to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and for building a safer world. With this in mind, the UNODC has expanded its collaboration with faith-based organizations in the prevention and fight against crime and in promoting of justice. Since 2019, UNODC’s Civil Society Team has worked to support the Coalition of FBOs on Crime Prevention and Justice through several joint meetings held at the Vienna International Centre.
The Coalition is an informal network of FBOs, academics and NGOs, devoted to topics broadly related to crime prevention and criminal justice. It is co-sponsored by the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, an umbrella network which UNODC has worked closely with over many years.
Going forward, the webinar series will focus on specific topics such as gender and justice, environmental justice, social justice and other relevant areas. The next webinar on environmental justice will take place in the margins of the World Environment Day on 4 June.
The webinars underline the importance of FBOs’ involvement with current issues that are at the core of our societies. Considering that more than 80% of the world's population identifies with a religion, faith-based actors constitute valuable partners for the UN. Their insights are an asset in the endeavour for justice, peace and development.
As we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the UN, we face ever new challenges. In order to continue the collaboration and joint efforts to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and for the current health crisis not to wear down global institutions, its people and their resolve, stronger “partnerships” are needed. These partnerships must go beyond states and intergovernmental bodies to include a diversity of stakeholders – including civil society, Faith-based Organizations, the private sector, women’s organizations and youth – all of whom make an important contribution to global international cooperation.
For further information, you may contact the FBO Coalition on: email@example.com