The 22nd Annual Dialogues on Nonviolence, Religion, and Peace


Location: Virtual Event

Azza Karam Web Photo: Christian Flemming

Multi-Faith Actions: The Tipping Point for 'Peace'


Azza Karam

Secretary General, Religions for Peace International; Professor of Religion and Development, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Moderator: Ebrahim Moosa

Mirza Family Professor of Islamic Thought and Muslim Societies, Keough School of Global Affairs, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Department of History

Watch the full conversation: 

This presentation will seek to address four key questions/areas: What do we mean when we speak of “religions” in the nexus of peace, human rights and security? How has the United Nations (as the multilateral entity representing and involving 193 governments), engaged ‘religions’ in its own peace efforts in the last decade? What are some of the key lessons learned from the UN and from religious actors’ perspectives? What are the implications of this on the work of the UN of religious institutions—Religions for Peace—in contemporary contexts and beyond? 

As an engaged scholar-activist with two decades of experience inside the UN itself, I will reflect on what may need to be seen and done differently by diverse actors: governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental (including academia).

Azza Karam is an experienced scholar and practitioner of peacebuilding, religion, and international politics. As Secretary General of Religions for Peace, she helps lead the largest multi-religious leadership platform with 90 national and six regional Interreligious Councils. She has published widely and in several languages on international political dynamics, including democratization, human rights, peace and security, gender, religious engagement, and sustainable development. 

Previously Karam served as Senior Advisor on Culture at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and as Coordinator/Chair of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development where she coordinated engagement with members of a Global Interfaith Network for Population and Development with over 600 faith-based organizations from all regions of the world, representing all religions and interreligious affiliation. 

She is the Lead Facilitator for the United Nations’ Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, Development and Diplomacy, building on a legacy of serving as a trainer and facilitator of inter-cultural leadership and management in the Arab region as well as Europe and Central Asia.

She was born in Egypt and now lives in the United States.

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The Dialogues on Nonviolence, Religion, and Peace, which began in 1999, were established through a gift to the Kroc Institute from Mrs. Anne Marie Yoder and her family. Each year, the Kroc Institute invites a leading thinker, writer, scholar, and/or peace advocate to deliver a lecture related to nonviolence, religion, and peace. Following the lecture, audience members join in informal dialogue and discussion with the speaker and with each other.