From October 30 to November 1, 2017, Financial investors and leaders of more than 30 different faiths from eight religions representing over 500 faith investment groups and trillions of dollars in assets, along with senior United Nations figures and leading impact investment funds, attended the Faith in Finance meeting in Zug, Switzerland. Qiu Zhonghui, General-Secretary of the Amity Foundation also joined the talk on "how can major new alliance of religious investment funds create a better and fairer world."
At the Faith in Finance meeting, Elliott Harris, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UN Environment Program, stressed in his keynote speech that investment in the field of sustainable development and environment protection from faith-based organizations will play an important role in the 2030 Agenda of the UN on the achievement of the sustainable objective.
The United Nations estimates that religious institutional funds make up around US$10 trillion of the world's invested funds, making them at least the fourth largest investment groups in the world. Around a further US$30 trillion is owned by members of the major faiths as individuals or family foundations.
At Zug, eight major faiths set out their own Guidelines on what they will invest for the first time. For ethical reasons, they won't invest in (for example, tobacco, weapons, etc.) They also made a statement that a good proportion of the money should where possible be invested in environmental and sustainable development. The possibility of setting up a specific international cooperative organization was discussed among the delegates, where people agreed to a platform for cooperation and investment service under the sustainable framework of the Agenda 2030.
From Nov 2 to 3, General-Secretary Qiu attended the European Network of Amity Partners meeting at Amity's International Liaison Office at Geneva, where he met Ms. Isabel Phiri, assistant general-secretary of WCC, and Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, newly anointed secretary-general of ACT Alliance.
Ms. Isabel Phiri spoke highly of the Amity's effort in engaging and leading grassroots churches, social service organizations, and many religious groups in participating social service. She also stressed that 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the World Council of Churches and WCC's focus is set in Asia in the year of 2019. Together it sparks more anticipation working with the Amity in the coming year.
Qiu emphasized the Amity's participation in WCC's global initiatives in AIDS prevention and anti-discrimination and would continue to actively work in safe food and drinking water, and other programs. He also proposed further cooperation with WCC in church-related social service.
-Translated by Grace Hubl