Tony Blair supports faith communities standing up against global poverty
As the high-level United Nations (UNs) summit on the Millennium Development Goals opens this week, Tony Blair, founder and patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, issues a statement in support of Stand Up, the UN campaign which took place this weekend to raise awareness about the urgent need for accelerated progress on the Millennium Development Goals.
“The Millennium Development Goals are arguably the clearest expression of globally shared moral values since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While in government, I was privileged to be involved in drawing up these goals, but had no illusions about the challenge they posed.
We are two thirds of the way towards the Millennium Development Goals deadline of 2015. Although we have come a long way there is still far to go. Faith communities have an important role to play in ensuring that governments meet their targets and honour the commitments made in 2000.
My Faith Foundation encourages people of different faiths to work together to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This summer we chose to support the Stand Up “Make a Noise for the MDGs!” campaign.
I want to see Faiths Act together and direct the international community’s attention towards the poorest and most vulnerable. In doing so, we will also demonstrate faith as a force good in today’s world and build bridges of understanding and solidarity between people of different religions and backgrounds.” Tony Blair, Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Faiths Act programme inspires and mobilises people of faith to take action together towards the Millennium Development Goals. The values of respect, justice and compassion that the great religions share have never been more relevant or important to bring people together to build a better world.
This call to action comes at a time when religion is very much on the public agenda with the first Papal visit to the UK for 28 years, President Jimmy Carter recently issued a similar statement calling on faith communities to take action against global poverty and one of the holiest days of the year for the Jewish people, Yom Kippur.
This weekend many of the Foundation’s supporters held “Stand Up and Make a Noise” events. For example Faiths Act Fellow alumni 25 year old Danny Richmond, a Jew from Canada arranged an event where the entire congregation of Beth Tzedec synagogue in Toronto (2,800 people) stood up and made a lot of noise at the end of the Yom Kippur ceremony to highlight the plight of those suffering from disease and poverty and raised awareness about the role faith communities can play in ensuring the pledges made in the year 2000 are honoured and that the 2015 targets are met.