Events at the UN

MPV takes advantage of the UN’s capacity to bring many people together by organizing, sponsoring, and participating in events, such as panel discussions, meetings with UN Member States, debates, interactive dialogues, and the like. Through these events, MPV makes use of invaluable opportunities to showcase its best practices, and engage scholars, delegates, and progressive religious leaders and civil society leaders in formative discussions pertaining to work in human rights and sustainable development. These events are part of “MPV’s UN Lecture Series”.


Featured Events

These are some of our most recent events!

Ethics of Reciprocity

Ethics of Reciprocity Event Flyer.jpg

On 26 October 2017, MPV, in collaboration with several LGBTI and faith-based organizations, including International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), Global Interfaith Network for People of All Sexes, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (GIN-SSOGIE), SoulForce, and Political Research Associates, co-organized a powerful multifaith event at UNHQ in New York entitled the “Ethics of Reciprocity”. The event featured numerous LGBTI faith leaders and activists from Samoa to Tajikistan to Brazil, who each delivered moving testimonies detailing the violence and exclusion they have experienced because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, and how they have reclaimed religious narratives that are often weaponized against LGBTI people to justify such violence and exclusion. Representatives of UN Member States, Special Rapporteurs and other independent human rights experts, several civil society representatives, and even conservative religious right actors attended and engaged in dialogue regarding steps that can be taken to finally eliminate religious violence against LGBTI people across the world.

Side Event with Karima Bennoune 


Also on 26 October 2017, MPV in collaboration with the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), International Humanist and Ethical Union, International Fellowship of Reconciliation, and as a member of the UN Faith and Feminism Working Group, co-sponsored a compelling side event featuring Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights Dr. Karima Bennoune presenting main themes and key messages from her report delivered to the UN General Assembly earlier in October. Her report focused on the impact of fundamentalism and extremism on the cultural rights of women, and provides recommendations to states regarding how to broadly create and sustain cultures of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The panel featured cultural rights activists and women’s human rights defenders from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Poland, and the United States.



Commission on the Status of Women (csw)

MPV's work at a crucial UN process!

CSW61 - March 2017

Breaking Stereotypes

On March 20, 2017, during CSW61, MPV partnered with UN Women to host a side-event entitled "Breaking Stereotypes to Transform Social Norms on 'Woman and Work': Role of Men and Boys and Faith Actors in Achieving Sustainable Change for Gender Equality and Women's Economic Empowerment," along with Musawah, MenEngage Alliance, Church of Sweden, the Baha'i International Community, the World Council of Churches, the Tearfund, and the World YWCA. After opening remarks from Lopa Banerjee, executive director of UN Women, the event featured inspiring presentations detailing organizations' respective work and best practices in engaging men, boys, and faith actors in achieving gender equality and women's empowerment. These presentations were made by Marwa Sharafeldin (Musawah), Rev. Bafana Khumalo (Sonke Gender Justice), Rabia Waqar (Norwegian Church Aid Pakistan), Anthony Keedi (ABAAD MENA), Marchu Girma (Women for Refugee Women), Rósa Guðrún Erlingsdóttir (Velferðarráðuneytið), Lakshmi Puri (UN Women), and MPV President and Founder Ani Zonneveld. During the event, the audience was invited to reflect on these speakers' discussions during stirring and expressive performances by young musical and dance artists. You can access Part 1 (of 4) of MPV's FaceBook Live video of the event here.  


Faith and Feminism Strategy and Advocacy Roundtable

March 16 2017 Faith Fem Flyer.jpg

On March 16, 2017, the Faith and Feminism working group — of which MPV is a member — hosted a strategy and advocacy roundtable to facilitate sharing of effective advocacy strategies from participants at local and national levels, and discussion of the potential for the group to serve as a vehicle to bridge the gap between local activism and international
advocacy. This roundtable discussion featured MPV board member and UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights Dr. Karima Bennoune, and was led by MPV UN Representative Omair Paul. 


Csw59 - March 2015

Muslim with Progressive Values has launched a flagship initiative entitled #ImamsForShe, which seeks to engage Muslim faith leaders in earnest dialogue and advocacy for gender equality and women’s empowerment
— Statement submitted by Family Educational Services Foundation, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council

MPV Launches #imamsforshe

In March 2015, MPV launched its initiative #ImamsForShe with a Thunderclap campaign, reaching over 115,401 people worldwide via social media and at its parallel event "#ImamsForShe: Sharia as a Source of Women's Rights" to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of women in New York. Watch the video of the event and watch the Q&A Session. To learn more about the #ImamsForShe Initiative, click here.


CSW59 - March 2015


ImamsForShe: Sharia as a Source of Women's Rights

This event entitled "ImamsForShe: Sharia as a Source of Women's Rights" took place on March 10, 2015 as a parallel event to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Church Centre in New York. The event was moderated by MPV's President and Founder Ani Zonneveld. See event flyer here.


CSW58 - March 2014


MPV Advocates on Human Rights and WOmen

MPV advocated for gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment at a panel titled “Human Rights and Women” organized by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in New York.

Human rights council 

MPV's work in Geneva!


Facing the Global Avalanche of Hate

On 3 March 2017, during the Human Rights Council March session, MPV co-sponsored a side event hosted by UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, Karima Bennoune, along with the Center for the Study of Human rights of the London School of Economics, the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), the Fonds pour les femmes en Méditerranée, and Freemuse. During the event, entitled "Facing up to the Global Avalanche of Hate: The Impact of Fundamentalism and Extremism on Cultural Rights," the Special Rapporteur gave a compelling discussion on her recent report detailing a human rights approach to preserving cultural rights from extremism. This discussion was buttressed by the insights of several panelists, including those of: Mr Magnus Ag (Freemuse), Ms Samia Allalou (Fond pour les femmes en Méditerranée), Professor Cheran Bhatt (LSE), Ms Alejandra Sarda-Chandiramani (AWID), and MPV Founder and President Ani Zonneveld, who served as moderator. There is a video of the event available below. There is also a copy of the Special Rapporteur's report available on her website.



MPV takes on Freedom of Religion and Belief and Sexuality 

Attendees of the Freedom of Religion and Belief and Sexuality Conference, Geneva, June 2016

On 8-10 June 2016, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, in partnership with Muslims for Progressive Values, held a three-day private conference and public event on freedom of religion and belief and sexuality. This report summarizes the panel discussions and presentations that took place during the private segment of the conference as well as the public event, which featured civil society actors and UN experts examining issues at the intersection of freedom of religion and belief and sexuality.





MPV Brings together Human Rights and Progressive Islam

MPV’s Ani Zonneveld spoke on a side panel to the United Nations Human Rights Council Session 26 on the topic of Human Rights and Progressive Islam: its theological application on countering “blasphemy laws”, the support for separation of religion and state, gender equality and LGBTQI rights. Watch the video.


MPV Goes to Geneva for Global Advocacy Tour

As part of MPV’s global advocacy tour, when MPV returned to Geneva, Switzerland for meetings with civil society leaders, diplomats and United Nations’ officials countering radicalism and human rights abuses in the name of Islam as well as addressing discriminatory practices toward Muslims in Europe with solutions. MPV also met with progressive Muslim civil society and UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of and from Religion and Belief in Berlin, Germany.

Sustainable development

MPV's work on Agenda 2030!

Negotiations - 2015

Moving toward an inclusive post-2015

In February 2015, MPV hosted a side event titled "Towards Inclusive Post-2015 Development: Defying Discriminatory Laws and Deconstructing Cultural Norms", fleshing out a comprehensive discourse to contextualize human rights within the Post-2015 Development Agenda, with particular emphasis on striking correlations between discriminatory laws, policies, and social practices on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and detriment to economic development, especially in culturally and/or religiously conservative states. See event flyer here