Germany’s government supports the participation of religious leaders in the UN World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. Terrorism, displacement and lack of safe access to nutrition and health care are on the agenda.
Many religions proclaim their miracles. But is faith capable of driving economic development in poor countries, helping refugees start new lives and denying terror groups a foothold?
Donors and world leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel among them, will be asking that question when they meet in Istanbul for the UN World Humanitarian Summit on May 23. In convening the unparalleled global gathering, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said civilization was facing the largest humanitarian catastrophe since World War II.
Religion is at the top of the agenda. At a special session on Monday, selected faith leaders will tell world leaders and NGOs just what role they can play in dealing with a number of humanitarian crises. German Economic Development and Cooperation Minister Gerd Müller will be among those participating. “Religious leaders enjoy great respect in many countries,” Müller told DW. “We have to use this potential without losing sight of the fact that religion is also used to justify violence and terrorism.”
[…] Another summit participant is the Aga Khan Development Network, which has about 80,000 employees and an annual budget of $625 million (550 million euros). It has been led by the Nizari-Ismailis Shiite cleric Aga Khan for the past 60 years.