The Baha'i International Community views the purpose of development as contributing to the foundation of a new social and international order in which all peoples can advance morally, culturally, and intellectually. This kind of development involves profound changes in our values and behaviors as well as the deliberate and systematic re-creation of social structures. Throughout its 60 years at the United Nations, our Office has participated in conferences, debates, and consultations regarding social and sustainable development – often focusing on the implementation of ethical and moral considerations in development initiatives and their assessment. Today, our Representatives bring the experience of over 180 national affiliates to bear on questions of sustainable development, racism and racial discrimination, indigenous issues, freedom of religion, the eradication of poverty, governance, collective security, and UN reform.

Recent Activities

  • Viewpoint: The Black Box of Empowerment: 26 March 2014 (New York):

    Although the priority theme of the 52nd Commission for Social Development revolved around “promoting empowerment,” there was remarkably little discussion of how people actually come to be empowered.

    Given that empowerment means many things to many people, I should perhaps

  • Austerity and its impact on the post-2015 development agenda: 28 February 2014 (New York):

    Can the world effectively more forward with a post 2015 development agenda if most countries are mired in policies of economic austerity?

    And what is the relation between domestic cut-backs in social programs and the rising tide of protests around the world?

    These were among

  • Social development workshop seeks to model empowerment through participation: 19 February 2014 (New York):

    The seating layout was more like a restaurant or wedding reception than your typical NGO side-event. Rather than in rows opposite a podium, the chairs were set up around four tables, so that participants were facing each other for intimate conversation.

    The idea was to foster exactly

  • New UN report examines inequalities in the world social situation: 14 February 2014 (UNITED NATIONS):

    Inequalities of wealth, whether at the national or international level, are largely the result of social, economic, and political policies – and they can therefore be undone through policy measures, according to a new report from the United Nations.

    “The experience of some

  • Peace and security are seen as essential to new development goals: 17 December 2013 (New York):

    The impact of violence and conflict on development needs to be considered in any new post-2015 development goals, said speakers at a monthly breakfast dialogue at the offices of the Baha’i International Community.

    “We can’t eradicate poverty without eradicating violence,” said Andrew