After gaining Special Consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2016, Woodenfish continues to extend its cooperative relationships with other organizations through UN channels. With the recommendation of Azza Karam—a senior advisor United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)—Woodenfish Foundation was invited to join the recently established International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD). We look forward to cooperating with a panel of international partners to further our mission of “offering opportunities for scholastic inquiry and collaboration, and contemplative and cross-cultural peace training” to the greatest extent.
Established in February 2016 at the Berlin conference “Partners for Change—Religions and the 2030 Agenda,” PaRD strives to “bring together members and partners from all over the world in order to harness the positive impact of Religion and values in sustainable development and humanitarian assistance.” PaRD membership and partnership consist of various governmental entities, UN Development Programme, UN Women, UN Children’s Fund, the World Bank, the World Food Programme, and a number of religious and value-driven organizations.
The responsibilities of PaRD organizations focus on world peace and safety, gender equality and empowerment of women, and public health. During its March 2017 meeting in New York, PaRD endorsed Woodenfish Foundation to assist its development and participation in Asia. Venerable Yifa agreed to help synthesize principles in Buddhist scriptures that promote respect for women, and she also recommended PaRD to initiate a collaborative project to gather scriptures in different religions that emphasize respect and protection for women and children. As Ven. Yifa said, it is such a blessing that Woodenfish has been granted various opportunities to promote its missions and educate the public on Buddhist principles through international platforms. “我们作的弘法事业都是冥冥中受到加持！”(Ven. Yifa)