Third Meeting of the Coalition will be again in Maryknoll, now on 7-9 March 2011

Main purpose of this meeting will be discussing, finalizing and eventually adopting an alternative strategic approach to face the delay in having the proposed Decade proclaimed by the UN General Assembly. The new strategy would allow moving to action and start implementing the Decade hopefully on the 2011 International Day of Peace.

While keeping the core elements of this initiative (DECADE, interreligious cooperation, partnership with the UN around some UN goals, seeking for sustainable peace), the new strategic approach means shifting from a “United Nations Decade of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace”, which needs to be proclaimed by the General Assembly and with the UN as main actor, to an “Interreligious Decade for Peace in cooperation with the United Nations”, in which the initiative would be mainly in the hands of the Coalition and the cooperation with the UN would be agreed through MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with the UN Secretary General and individual UN agencies on specific partnerships aimed at achieving shared goals.

This less formal and more flexible approach is being considered as alternative path because the UN General Assembly through its resolution (A/RES/64/81) labeled “Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace”, adopted in December 2009, postponed any decision on a possible UN Decade in this field until its 66th session (Sept. 2011). Furthermore, it is uncertain that the consensus among the UN member states needed for having such a UN decade proclaimed by the GA may be attained in the near future.

The Steering Committee has been working since its Geneva meeting on May 2010 designing this new approach and drafting a new proposal, which will be shared with the Coalition members in October in order to be finalized in December 2010.