THE SUMMIT TOOK PLACE AT THE UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS IN GENEVA, SWITZERLAND.
May 02, 2019 | Geneva, Switzerland. | Andreas Mazza, EUD NEWS.
From April 29 to May 1, the Global Summit on Religion, Peace and Security took place at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Summit was organized by the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (AIDLR), spearheaded by the Secretary-General, Dr. Liviu Olteanu, and his staff.
The motto: BUILDING BRIDGES, FOSTERING INCLUSIVITY AND COUNTERING HATE SPEECH TO ENHANCE THE PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES, REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS
Against the splendid backdrop of the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room (formerly Room XX), several presentations took place, with speakers including various experts, diplomats, professors, and world-renowned scholars.
In his opening speech, the Under-Secretary-General for the United Nations, as well as President of the AIDLR Honorary Committee, Adama Dieng, affirmed, “We have to build bridges, work for inclusivity. Polarized societies need building bridges. Nationalism is a profound threat. The UN is taking measures to promote shared values. Silence is not acceptable.” ç
Liviu Olteanu, Secretary-General for the AIDLR, added, “The key is education, growing dialogue and consciousness.”
Also present was the Director-General for the United Nations in Switzerland, Michael Möller, who underlined that: Migration is a major issue. We need to find the right language and means to address this important issue.
H.E. Ammo Aziza BAROUD, Ambassador of Chad to the EU, UK and Benelux, stated, “Human dignity is the center of the debate. If we deny human dignity, we are denying [humanity].”
Ms. Katarzyna GARDAPKHADZE, First Deputy Director of the Office of Security and Cooperation (OSCE), Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), added, “Crisis of leadership is the biggest crisis. In a polarized world, we have to support messages of hope, despite messages of hate. Let’s find and promote responsible leaders.
Dr. Abdulaziz ALMUZINI, Director of the UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office, assured all that: UNESCO is ready to support. Nobody has to be left behind. We have to integrate refugees and migrants. We have to address the humanitarian crisis. Open dialogue and inclusive communication are needed.
H.E. Faisal Bin Abdulrahman Bin MUAAMMAR, Secretary-General of the KAICIID Dialogue Center said, “Facing religious extremism and the extremist rhetoric is a priority. We need to work together to set up a global strategy to protect human dignity. Let us fight messages of hate. Religions have to protect each other, also through social media, by creating positive role models. We have to move from inactivity to action. Religions should be the solution, not the problem.”
Dr. Fernand DE VARENNES, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Minorities Issues, added, “Minorities are targeted. Bigotry, hatred and scapegoating have to be addressed and defeated. We have to fight intolerance and block hate speech and xenophobia. Fear, hate and ignorance are major issues to be faced.”
The Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty of the General Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Dr. Ganoune DIOP, stated, “It is a matter of dignity and integrity. Starting from the universal declaration of human life and rights, we can build a better future. We need the humanization of the world. We have to delegitimize violence. Many think ‘The more brutal, the more efficient’. We have to keep in mind that people are sacred, human beings are sacred. Let us start with this. Humans are more important than places. Minorities are not subcategories. The strangers and the poor are the test of our humanity. We cannot afford to be inhumane.”
Dr. Azza KARAM, Senior Adviser on Culture, UNFPA, suggested that: Religious actors have a unique role. The sacred is not sacred anymore. We have to rebuild something we are losing. We are losing what we have built. The UN is representing 190 governments. Altogether, we have an opportunity to be able to protect migrants and minorities by protecting institutions.
The President of Latter-Day Saints Charities, Ms. Sharon EUBANK,contributed, “Mormons have been persecuted…we have been and still are a minority. We are all interdependent. Governments should acknowledge that protecting minorities protects society. The best answer to extremist Islam is authentic Islam. Authentic religion is the best answer to extremist religion. Protecting minorities means protecting society.”
Judge Dr. Harald MUELLER of the Hannover Court, Germany, explained that: Nowadays, people who do not fit in a certain scheme are marginalized. Religion is used to create a new nationalism. Safeguarding religious minorities is a duty not only of politicians but also of religious leaders. We have to do a better job of prevention work for the youth.
The first day of the Global Summit ended with the AIDLR AWARD CEREMONY: The AWARD OF EXCELLENCE AMBASSADOR FOR LIBERTY AND PEACE – JEAN NUSSBAUM & ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
Mr. Mario BRITO, President of the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (AIDLR), Mr. Adama DIENG, Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide, and President of the Honorary Committee of the AIDLR and Dr. Liviu OLTEANU, Secretary-General of the AIDLR, awarded the following: Ms. Katarzyna GARDAPKHADZE, First Deputy Director of the Office of Security and Cooperation (OSCE), Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR); Dr. Kishan MANOCHA, Senior Adviser on Freedom of Religion and Belief (OSCE/ODIHR); Prof. Li Guadong, Chairman of UCT International Culture Development Inc.; Dr. Ganoune DIOP, Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty of the General Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church; Mr. Michael MØLLER, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva; H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin BAYYAH, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies; and Rabbi Michael MELCHIOR, Chairman of the Mosaica Center for Religious Conflict Transformation in the Middle East.