Interreligious dialogue: The missing item in the millennium development goals agenda
Isidore U Nwanaju
More than a decade ago, the world - under the umbrella of the United Nations – unanimously agreed to promote measures to ensure the development of the human race. Eight solid goals were enlisted in the programme of action made available to the world in New York in September 2000. Fifteen years were ear-marked for the attainment of those noble goals to the applause of so many countries, about 189 of them officially represented. An item was taken for granted – religious dialogue – and how to incorporate it into the developmental goals of the United Nations. In fact, no one suspected that interreligious discourse was going to become a major point of reference in world history for so many years to come. This reality was made very clear through the surprising package delivered one year after the declaration – the Al Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers of New York on September 11, 2001. This paper wishes to state that the incident changed the Millennium Development Goals so drastically that the events of the ensuing years have challenged us to examine the reason for the seeming neglect accorded interreligious dialogue at that crucial declaration, while recommendations are made in order to highlight the importance of such a dialogue in world history, especially in the 21st Century.