The United Nation's Agenda 2030, which outlines 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), represents an ambitious, normative agenda for sustainable development. The agenda aims at 'leaving no one behind', thus bringing humanitarian needs into the discourse on sustainable development. It calls for new, global partnerships for sustainable development (SDG 17), recognizing the significance of including private and public, secular and religious actors. Actors who have earlier been skeptical of universalist agendas (such as human rights), including Islamic development organizations, have endorsed Agenda 2030. The SDGs thus appear to have broader acceptance than did earlier global agendas. There is increased recognition of the untapped potential in Muslim philanthropy and Islamic social finance among international development actors. The UN is calling for innovative ways and new partnerships to utilize Islamic financial resources to achieve the SDGs. Islamic aid organizations and Muslim humanitarian actors are developing policies, and seek new partnerships, to leverage the potential in Islamic finance and Muslim philanthropy for development and humanitarian aid. This can be seen in the embrace of the SDGs by actors such as the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and by diverse Muslim NGOs and philanthropic initiatives.In this roundtable we invite for an exchange of ideas on these developments, asking:

  • Who and what is driving these changes? What is the role of the OIC organizations, and the IsDB? Or of individual states, and non-governmental organizations?In what ways has the adoption of the SDGs changed ways of working?
  • How are policy translated into new practices on the ground?Does the Agenda 2030 live up its ambition of creating new and innovative partnership across previous divides?
  • Is there more acceptance for the SDGs than previous global agendas, and does it lead to better integrated aid policy and practice?
  • To what extend does a global SDG agenda align with local agendas where Muslim actors operate; are there any specific areas of difference or tensions?

Hosted by: Ghasan Ghassan Elkahlout Director of the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies/Associate Professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate

Introduction by:

Dr. Kaja Borchgrevink, Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway

Dr. Gina Lende, MF - Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Norway

Dr. Arne Strand, Ch. Michelsen's Institute (CMI), Norway

More information about the HUMA-project

'The Power of Ideas: Muslim Humanitarian Actors and the Sustainable Development Goals' (HUMA) is an international collaboration between the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), the Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society (MF), the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), the University of Peshawar (Pakistan), the Bayero University (Nigeria) and the Social Trust Fund (Indonesia).