2016 Religion and Diplomacy Conference

In 2013, the U.S. State Department established the Secretary's Office of Religion and Global Affairs (S/RGA). The office advises Secretary of State John Kerry on policy matters as they relate to religion, supports U.S. diplomatic missions overseas in assessing religious dynamics and engaging religious actors, and serves as the first point of entry for those seeking to engage the State Department on religion.
This year, the S/RGA, in partnership with the Secretary’s Open Forum, hosted the first Religion and Diplomacy Conference. The two-day event explored ways in which religion matters to foreign policy in various regions of the world and on a number of global, cross-cutting issues. A public component took place at Georgetown University on the second day, featuring two panel discussions. The first focused on the role of religious actors in communities in implementing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals; the second examined the two incongruent poles of global xenophobia and discrimination on one hand, and efforts to promote interreligious understanding, inclusion, respect, and cooperation on the other.

This event was co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the U.S. State Department.

SCHEDULE

1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. | Opening Remarks by Shaun Casey
U.S. Department of State

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. | The Role of Religious Actors in Achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
Azza Karam, United Nations Population Fund
David Hollenbach, Berkley Center
Katherine Marshall, Berkley Center
Ulrich Nitschke, International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development
Peter Mandaville, U.S. Department of State (moderator)

2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. |
A Tale of Two Trends: Between Xenophobia and Inclusion
Yvonne Haddad, Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
Paul Heck, Georgetown University
Yahya Hendi, Georgetown University
Zia Makhdoom, MakeSpace
Timothy Shah, Berkley Center (moderator)

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