G20 Interfaith Summit to be held on Gold Coast

Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson, will be among the speakers at the G20 Interfaith Summit.
Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson, will be among the speakers at the G20 Interfaith Summit.

How protecting religious freedom could boost the economy will be an unusual but central theme of a three-day conference to be hosted by Griffith University in the immediate wake of the G20 Leaders Summit.

The G20 Interfaith Summit will be held on the Gold Coast from November 16-18, with international dialogue around economic development, religious freedom and social cohesion at its core.

Leading religious commentators from Australia and overseas will attend the forum, which is supported by the Queensland Government, and the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies.

Among the delegates confirmed are Dr Brian Grim, a world-respected expert on religious freedom and business. Others include Dr W Cole Durham, managing editor of the Harvard Law Journal, RMIT’s Professor Des Cahill, renowned advocate for multiculturalism and the promotion of respect between religious communities, and the Australian Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson.

Other notable speakers will include Dr Rachael Kohn, ABC Radio National, and Dr Ram Cnaan, a world-renowned expert in the study of faith-based social services.

A specially-convened interfaith panel from the United Arab Emirates will consider the extent and impact of religious freedom in the Middle East.

The Director of Griffith’s Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue, Dr Brian Adams, believes the Interfaith Summit will provide context for many issues raised at the G20 Leaders Summit.

“Religion is often misunderstood or overlooked as a factor around world events but it has a major role to play from medical ethics to cross-border conflicts to macroeconomics,” he said.

“We anticipate that some of the delegates at the G20 Leaders Summit will also attend the Interfaith Summit on the Gold Coast, where some of the issues raised on Saturday and Sunday can be debated and developed on Monday and Tuesday.

“Our aim is to improve the understanding of faith-based perspectives and how they impact on communities, ultimately in relation to macroeconomic, transnational decisions made by world leaders.”

The G20 Interfaith Summit, to be held at Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise, will bring together scholars, lawyers, commentators, political leaders and interfaith leaders from around the world.

“We expect the event to make a productive contribution to economic debate in the immediate wake of the G20 summit.”

For further information or to register, click here. Early bird prices finish at the end of September.