2020: The Paradigm of Cooperation

New Year message from Ms Audrey E. Kitagawa, Chair, Parliament of the World’s Religions

We welcome in 2020 with gratitude for your participation that made the tremendous growth in the global interfaith movement possible. Numerous faith traditions, leading guiding institutions, and civic organizations are increasingly acknowledging the importance of working with communities of faith to address global challenges. This paradigm of cooperative engagement accelerates our ability to achieve our common goals for the betterment of humanity.


Full message click here - 2020 New Year message from Chair, Parliament of the World's Religions

Summary of highlights for 2020 include:

World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIFHW) - February 1-7.

Earth Day 2020 (April 22nd), will celebrate its 50th Anniversary and is seeking to enlist more than one billion people and create a new generation of climate activists. The Parliament’s Climate Action Task Force will announce important initiatives as a run up to Earth Day 2020, and will continue the development of its ground breaking Climate Commitments Project.

August 6, and 9, 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The Parliament will continue its work for the abolition of nuclear weapons throughout 2020, and beyond.

September 25, 2020 will mark the 5th Anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDG).

The Parliament will support the UN Strategy and Plan of Action Against Hate Speech

The Parliament will also support the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites



8 February 2020 - Feast of St Josephine Bakhita

Each year on 8th February, the feast of St Josephine Bakhita, we celebrate the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action against Human Trafficking. Born in 1869 in Sudan, Josephine was 7 years old when taken by slave traders. She was bought and sold many times in the following decade. Taken to Italy by a family, who ‘owned’ her, she met the Canossian Daughters of Charity, became a Catholic and joined the Canossian congregation. She died in 1947 and was canonised in 2000.

As we celebrate the life of St Josephine Bakhita, let us reflect on the role we can play to bring about an end to human trafficking and slavery in our time. You may find the resources prepared by ACRATH, CARITAS Australia and Talitha Kum helpful. Click here.







Good Shepherd Sister receives humanitarian award

Global Sisters Report, A Project of National Catholic Reporter, November 25 2019 

Sr. Catherine Mutindi, founder of Bon Pasteur in Congo, has received the 16th annual Opus Prize, which comes with $1 million for her humanitarian work.

St. Louis University and the Opus Prize Foundation bestowed the award on the Good Shepherd sister Nov. 21 at the Jesuit-run university's Center for Global Citizenship.

"Sister Catherine is working to address modern-day slavery, in children as young as 4 and 5, working in highly toxic cobalt mines, to earn enough to feed their families that day," said Don Neureuther, director of the Opus Prize Foundation.

"In a relatively short period, she has transformed the lives of 3,000 children and countless adults, and literally restored their humanity," he said in a statement. "She gives them hope."


Read more

Click here -


10 December 2018 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

Launch of year long campaign International Day for Human Rights

Today we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This milestone document proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being -- regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

While its promise is yet to be fully realized, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.

The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.  


  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.

  • Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.

  • Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.

  • Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.

  • Whenever and wherever humanity's values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.

  • We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.




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Some other key dates to save in your calendars

February 8 - Feast of St Josephine Bakhita

February 20 - World Day of Social Justice

March 8 - International Women's Day (IWD)

March 22 - World Water Day

April 22 - International Mother Earth Day

April 24 - Feastday of St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

May 26 - June 24 - Ramadan (varies)

June 5 - World Environment Day

June 14 - 20 - Refugee Week

June 20 - World Refugee Day

June 24 - Good Shepherd Day (Australia)

July 22 - Good Shepherd Day (Aotearoa/New Zealand) 

July 30 - World Day against Trafficking in Persons

August 9 - International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

August 19 - Feastday of St John Eudes

September 1 - World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation

September 21 - International Day of Peace

October 6 - World Habitat Day

October 11 - International Day of the Girl Child

October 16 - World Food Day

October 17 - International Day for the Elimination of Poverty

November 2 - All Souls Day

November 11 - Diwali festival

November 18 - World Day of the Poor

November 25 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

November 25 - 10 Dec - 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

December 2 - International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

December 5 - International Volunteer Day

December 10 - Human Rights Day