5 June 2018, GENEVA – The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue and the World Council of Churches (WCC) announced today the programme of the World Conference on “Religions, Creeds and Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights” at a press conference organized at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.
The Geneva Centre’s Executive Director Ambassador Idriss Jazairy and WCC’s programme executive for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation Reverend Dr Peniel Rajkumar presented the World Conference programme agenda to journalists, human rights experts and other non-governmental stakeholders in Geneva.
The debate was moderated by WCC’s Director of Communication Mrs. Marianne Ejdersten.
The World Conference will be held on 25 June 2018 at the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) Switzerland (room XVI), under the patronage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It will be addressed by more than 25 world-renowned religious, political and lay leaders from the major regions of the world joining forces to find a common international consensus on the way forward with sustained strategies and practical actions. The Geneva Centre, the WCC, the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), the World Council of Religious Leaders, Bridges to Common Ground and the European Centre for Peace and Development will collaborate for the 25 June conference.
In his statement, Ambassador Jazairy stated that “90% of religions, creeds and value systems converge on the basic values of society worldwide. Unfortunately, people have tended to concentrate on the 10% where they differ. The purpose is to bring out the common space of religions, creeds and value systems and not just for the purpose of ecumenical world approach or syncretism.
“We want to demonstrate that we have enough power to harness these religions, creeds and value systems to create a movement to enhance equal citizenship rights whereby individuals will not have to fall back on a sub-identity to defend their interests within a nation, but that they will feel that they are given recognition by virtue of being citizens,” remarked the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director.
Reverend Dr Rajkumar added that the “current global context of the unprecedented spiralling of xenophobia, racism and intolerance. All of which are more often than not fuelled by the distortion of faith, calls on all people on religions, creeds and value systems to act quickly and together. It is in this context that the World Council is happy to partner with the Geneva Centre and other partners to organize the World Conference.
“The WCC firmly beliefs that the quest for equal citizenship rights has in it the potential and the promise to build a just and inclusive communities in which even the most marginalized and vulnerable have a sense of belonging,” Dr. Rajkumar underlined in his statement.
The outcome Declaration of the World Conference – to be adopted during the 25 June conference - will be offered as a milestone in the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The press conference was followed by an interactive debate with journalists and representatives of non-governmental organizations in Geneva.
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About the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue:
The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, an organization with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is a think tank dedicated to the promotion of human rights through cross-cultural, religious and civilizational dialogue between the Global North and Global South, and through training of the upcoming generations of stakeholders in the Arab region. Its aim is to act as a platform for dialogue between a variety of stakeholders involved in the promotion and protection of human rights.
Dr. Astrid Stuckelberger
Senior expert on inter-religious affairs
Phone number: +41 (0) 76 616 14 41
Junior project and communications officer
Phone number: +41 (0) 22 748 27 95
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