The World Council of Churches Armenian Round Table Foundation, in cooperation with the United Nations Resident Coordinator, UNFPA and UNDP Armenia and the "Brot für die Welt" from February 4 to 5 hosted a conference titled "Sustainable Development Goals and the Church" in Tsakhkadzor Marriott Hotel complex.
The priority of the Conference was the discussion of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) declared by the UN and adopted by the Republic of Armenia and combining the Church's activities with them.
The aim of the event was also to equip the priests of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the employees of the social centers working in the dioceses with necessary knowledge about the SGDs and discuss how the church can participate in the SGD implementation in close cooperation with state agencies and civil society.
The participants included clergymen of the Armenian Apostolic Church Dioceses, Program Officers of the Armenia Round Table Foundation, employees of the ART-supported Centers, and representatives of partner organizations.
The participants of the conference summed up the objectives of the dioceses and social centers in the frakeworks of selected directions, and presented the suggestions for further improvement of the activities.
Taking into account the activities of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the ART, the following goals were selected as targets: Goal 1 (No Poverty), Goal 2 (Zero Hunger), Goal 4: Quality Education, Objective 5 (Gender Equality), Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth , Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities), Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 13: Climate Actions, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.
The first group, entitled "Livelihood and Dignity", discussed three of Sustainable Development Goals: No Poverty (Goal 1), No Hunger (Goal 2), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8).
The second group was called " Equity and collaboration ". It discussed the following objectives: Gender Equality (Goal 5), Reduced Inequalities (Goal 10), Partnerships for the Goals (Goal 17).
The third chapter was " Stewards and Co-creators of life." Participants were discussing Objective 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 13: Climate Actions.
Goal 4: Quality Education, and Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions were under the spotlight of the fourth group entitled "Peace and Education".
"The results of the group discussions will be summed up and will be presented to all stakeholders in nearest future. However, if participants of the group have new ideas, we will be glad to listen and discuss them, "said Dr. Karen Nazaryan, Executive Director of the Armenia Round Table.
The two-day conference "Sustainable Development Goals and the Church" was summed up in a Savior's Prayer, which was performed by Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, Primate of Tavush Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
The role of the Church is greatly appreciated in the implementation of sustainable goals, as its servants clearly know about the socio-economic situation in the communities, know the needs of their members of the congregations, and can have an invaluable role in practical steps for implementation Sustainable Development Goals.
The 17 objectives included in the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" have officially entered into force on 1 January 2016. They include poverty, hunger reduction, health promotion, quality education, equality of rights of women and men, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure development, elimination of inequalities, establishment of sustainable communities, responsible consumption, climate protection, life below water and on land, peace-building and co-operation in the sake of the reaching these goals.
Sustainable development goals were adopted by the world leaders in 2015, at the UN's historic summit in September. These goals call on all rich, poor and middle-income countries to take steps for promotion of prosperity and protection of the planet at the same time.