Written by Pinhau Chiou & Chuyi Chou
Translated by Hong (Ariel) Chan
Edited by Adriana DiBenedetto
The Multi-faith Advisory Council (MFAC) was established in 2018, serving as a unique outlet for faith-based partners as advisors to the United Nations regarding international human rights, sustainable development, and more through multi-faith collaboration.
The annual Multi-faith Advisory Council under the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development (IATF-Religion) had been paused for two years due to the pandemic. On April 4, 2022, however, the conference was set in motion once again — this time in the heart of the Big Apple, at the Tzu Chi Center for Compassionate Relief in Manhattan. Representatives from over 20 organizations attended the hybrid event, either virtually or in person, to discuss topics from our changing climate, advocating for and strengthening the rights of women and children across communities, and physical and mental health in the post-pandemic era.
Established in 2010, the UN IATF-R also helps global partners achieve their development goals and aims to promote insightful exchanges between faith-based organizations (FBOs). At present, the council includes more than 20 United Nations agencies.
In December of 2021, The UN IATF-R selected Tzu Chi USA to serve two terms as one of four co-chairs of MFAC, starting January 1, 2022. The Multi-faith Advisory Council comprises more than 40 religious leaders and heads of faith-based organizations (FBOs) recommended by various United Nations departments. It likewise assists and integrates the direction and beliefs of FBOs in front-line services across the globe to provide crucial guidance and policies for the United Nations.
This year’s conference was held at Tzu Chi Center in Manhattan to allow members of fellow non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from various countries to become more familiar with Tzu Chi’s missions and spirit of service.
More than 20 organizations and over 50 representatives participated in the hybrid conference to discuss far-reaching topics and offer unique insights.
Caterina Tino, the Inter Agency Affairs Specialist at the United Nations Population Fund, expressed how touched she felt to be able to once again meet with so many representatives and work toward a collective goal. Tino also spoke about how far this interfaith collaboration has come in the post-pandemic era. Alice Wairimu Nderitu of Kenya, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, participated in the conference virtually and looked forward to making a difference through this meeting. In this room, stated Nderitu, there will surely be valuable ideas that propel our world to grow and advance with compassion.