The August 28-31 summit will draw more than 1,000 religious leaders from around the world to New York to discuss paths toward peace. Every major faith tradition in the world will be represented.
The summit will also see the birth of the International Advisory Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, a United Nations advisory panel that will work toward peace in troubled regions around the world.
Some religious conservatives, who have long questioned the global nature of the United Nations, say the conference is a "wolf in sheep's clothing" of "leftist" and "anti-life, anti-family politics in the robes of religion."
Robert Maginnis, vice president for foreign policy for the Washington-based Family Research Council, said the summit's agenda will include "the promotion of birth control methods, environmental extremism and 'New Age' ideals of globalized religion."
Maginnis also criticized the summit for not inviting the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Tibetan Buddhists. A host of critics have said summit organizers bowed to Chinese pressure to exclude the Nobel Peace Prize-winning spiritual leader.
"The political agenda of the summit sponsors, combined with [U.N.] Secretary-General [Kofi] Anan's deference to the communist government of China, are proof positive that the Millennium Summit will do little to strengthen the cause of religious freedom around the world and will more likely offend the values of the pro-life and pro-family faithful," Maginnis said.
Maginnis also said the country's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, would not be officially represented at the conference because organizers did not extend invitations to evangelicals.
But one prominent Southern Baptist, Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, was invited and will be attending the conference, according to her spokeswoman, Nancy Guthrie.