International Affairs

Religions for Peace, Justice, and Prosperity

I was first exposed to the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) by my AP English teacher in high school, when one of our class assignments was to write an essay to the UN proposing methods to achieve these goals. Many years have passed since, and the MDGs have not yet been achieved.


Recently, a dear sister of mine mentioned that she is working with a group of youth from different countries, petitioning to the UN to add “the Missing MDG” – to “ensure interfaith collaboration for peace.” This is an important proposal as the MDG’s do not acknowledge the role of religion, and religious leaders, in fueling or solving conflicts, establishing justice, and furthering the other MDG’s. Please take a moment to read more about the Missing MDG, and see how you can support this cause.

Below are excerpts from the Official Report for the Missing MDG – Ensure Interfaith Collaboration for Peace

A poll of over 15,000 youth aged 18-27 years old from 34 countries in every continent on the planet highlighted the need for Interfaith Dialogue as one of the top six priority issues on the minds of youth, alongside the Environment, Media, Business, Global Health and Leadership. These issues were discussed as resolutions at the inaugural One Young World summit in London in February, 2010.

The initiative for the Missing Millennium Development Goal “Ensure Interfaith Collaboration for Peace” came as a result of a deliberation on the One Young World Interfaith Resolution. “In the belief that war must never be carried out in the name of religion, we call upon: Leaders and followers of all faiths to unequivocally commit to deliver peace amongst nations, races and creeds.”

The progression in the achievement of the MDGs is even slowed, especially in regions of the developing world torn by war and conflict. The majority of armed conflicts are motivated by and excused with religious differences. Thus, Interfaith Dialogue becomes key to the success of our shared vision of a more just and equitable world.

For a Millennium Development Goal to be adopted, it must be presented to the General Assembly of the United Nations. The United Nations and its agencies cannot make a proposal – it has to come from one of the member-states. Next corner-stone event for the Millennium Development Goals is the UN summit that is focused on the review of progress towards the MDGs that is to take place in New York on September 20th-22nd. Therefore, the main focus between now and September is to ensure support of a group of the UN member states to propose the Missing Millennium Development Goal to the summit.

The Nobel Laureate, Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu himself has also endorsed this initiative, and professed his support in a message to the UN Alliance of Civilizations,“Interfaith Dialogue and Tolerance is an important and integral part of our being, and I support the young people and their efforts in making this missing MDG a reality.”

What Can You Do?

There are two main supporting documentations for the Missing MDG petition. First is the Online Petition that outlines the proposal and is open for public to sign. Second is the Purpose Document that outlines the rationale and evidence in support of the petition. In addition, we have a blog page where related interfaith issues are discussed. We are also on facebook at “The MissingMillenniumDevelopment Goal,” twitter #missing mdg and can be reached by email.

About the author

Asmaa Elkabti

Asmaa lives in sunny Southern California and recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology-Chemistry. She plans to pursue a career in medicine and public health. She enjoys reading about Islamic history. Asmaa hopes to see an increase in the understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah amongst Muslim youth, as well as a stronger connection to the Arabic language and Islamic heritage. Asmaa can be reached at

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