United Religions Initiative (URI) and the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect have signed a partnership agreement, enhancing their working partnership at the national, sub-regional and continental level in Africa, to promote a culture of peace and to prevent atrocities before they take place.

The agreement was signed at the United Nations headquarters in New York on September 20, 2018 by the Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr., Executive Director of URI, and H.E. Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

The partnership agreement offers an opportunity for the two organizations to collaborate at the local, national, sub-regional, regional, and international levels to maximize implementation of the United Nations’ “Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence,” which is specifically designed to enable religious leaders to prevent and counter the violent acts that spark atrocities.

“Religious leaders, faith-based, and interfaith organizations have a responsibility to contribute to the building of peaceful, inclusive, and cohesive societies that are resilient to conflict, violent extremism, and atrocity crimes,” said Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Global Envoy of URI and Representative at the African Union and UN Office in Africa, and Regional Director for URI-Africa.

The two organizations share a commitment, as stated by the objectives in their respective charters, to promote the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of dignity, respect and equal opportunity. Motivated by this shared commitment, the organizations agree to work together:

  • To collaborate on implementation of the “Plan of Action for Religious Leaders and Actors to Prevent Incitement to Violence”
  • To work together to counter hate speech and prevent instances of incitement to violence
  • To promote implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 16 (concerning building peaceful, inclusive, and just societies)

Through its 956 member organizations in 108 countries across the world, URI is cultivating peaceful coexistence among different religions and cultures by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the environment.




The United Religions Initiative is the largest grassroots interfaith network in the world. It cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities. We implement our mission through local and global initiatives that build the capacity of nearly 1,000 member groups and organizations, called Cooperation Circles, in 108 countries, to engage in community action such as conflict resolution and reconciliation, environmental sustainability, education, women’s and youth programs, and advocacy for human rights.

URI holds the prestigious distinction of being a non-governmental organization (NGO) with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and has long-standing partnerships with several other UN agencies, including the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI).

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Gaea Denker

URI Communications Manager

United Religions Initiative



Gaea Denker, URI Communications Manager
United Religions Initiative