Credit By: ZAWYA
On the fourth day of COP28 in Dubai, world leaders from various realms convened for a groundbreaking event—the inauguration of the first-ever Faith Pavilion. This monumental gathering brought together religious leaders, scientists, and global political officials to deliberate on the pivotal role of faith communities and religious institutions in addressing the pressing issue of climate change.
Patronage and Distinguished Attendees
Held under the esteemed patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the inauguration witnessed the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, representing Pope Francis.
Virtual Addresses by Religious Icons
The Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Pope Francis delivered virtual addresses, emphasizing the urgency for immediate action against climate change. Their messages resonated with the global audience, highlighting the moral responsibility of faith communities in combating environmental challenges.
Faith Pavilion: A Collaborative Initiative
Co-hosted by the COP28 Presidency, the UAE Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, the Holy See, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Muslim Council of Elders, and a coalition of faith partners, the Faith Pavilion is a pioneering space dedicated to engaging faith communities. It will feature panels with religious leaders, scientists, and political figures, fostering intergenerational dialogue involving youth and indigenous representatives.
Critical Statements from Religious Leaders
Pope Francis advocated for alliances that benefit everyone, emphasizing the need for religious representatives to set an example for respectful and sustainable lifestyles. The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar commended the initiatives of the Muslim Council of Elders, highlighting their efforts to make the voices of religious leaders heard in addressing global challenges.
UAE’s Commitment to Peace and Environmental Stewardship
Minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan welcomed participants to the Faith Pavilion, underscoring the collaborative initiative’s significance. He affirmed the UAE’s dedication to peace, tolerance, and environmental protection under the wise leadership of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
COP28 President’s Perspective
Dr Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President, emphasized the transcendent nature of climate change, stating that it transcends politics, borders, and religious differences. He highlighted the vital role of global faith communities in instilling an awareness of shared social responsibility toward environmental protection.
Global Faith Communities Unite
The Faith Pavilion builds on the success of the Global Faith Leaders’ Summit in Abu Dhabi, where 28 faith leaders signed ‘The Abu Dhabi Interfaith Statement for COP28.’ This historic document expresses shared concerns over escalating climate impacts and a joint commitment to address the crisis. The statement is prominently displayed in the Faith Pavilion, symbolizing the unity of faiths in the face of environmental challenges.
Promoting Climate Action and Paris Agreement Goals
Recognizing that over 84 per cent of the world’s population identifies with a religion, the Faith Pavilion seeks to unite religious representatives, communities, and institutions in supporting climate action and the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.
A Beacon of Hope and Unity
The inauguration of the Faith Pavilion at COP28 stands as a beacon of hope, peace, and optimism. In this historic moment, faith communities join hands to address climate change, transcending boundaries and fostering a shared commitment to protect our planet. The event underscores the importance of collective global efforts in creating a sustainable and harmonious future.
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