23 June 2017, DUBAI – The Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue (“The Geneva Centre”) Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim has been nominated as a member of the International Institute for Tolerance’s Board of Trustees. A decree was issued on 21 June 2017 by the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the establishment of the International Institute for Tolerance and the Board of Trustees.
The Board will be led by The Minister of State of Tolerance of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikha Lubna Khalid al Qasimi. In addition to Dr. Al Qassim, members of the Board of Trustees will include Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Dr. Hamad Al Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Mr. Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Mr. Turki bin Abdullah Aldakhil, Mr. Mazen Jubran Hayek, Mr. Gerald Francis Lawless, Mr. Ahmed Ismail Al Abbas, Mr. Sunny Varkey, and Mr. Avishesha Bhojani. The Institute will be headquartered in Dubai.
The objectives of the International Institute for Tolerance are to among others “instil the value of tolerance and openness in young Arab leaders” and to “consolidate the UAE’s role as a model for tolerance and cultural and religious pluralism.” The functions of the Institute will also include proposing policies and legislation “aimed at entrenching the values of tolerance and moderation in the society.”
Dr. Al Qassim praised the decision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to establish the International Institute for Tolerance. The Institute, he said, will play an essential role “in building bridges between different cultures, religions and civilizations worldwide. I am honoured to be nominated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to take up this important assignment.”
The Chairman of the Geneva Centre has launched numerous initiatives to promote tolerance, inter-faith understanding and diversity worldwide. On 15 March 2017, Dr. Al Qassim co-chaired a panel debate at the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) on the subject of “Islam and Christianity, the Great Convergence: Working Jointly Towards Equal Citizenship Rights.” Keynote speakers included inter alia renowned experts from the Arab region such as the UAE Minister of State for Tolerance Sheikha Lubna Khalid al Qasimi, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria Minister Lakhdar Brahimi and the former Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon Dr. Tarek Mitri. The panel debate was moderated by the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director Ambassador Idriss Jazairy.
The Geneva Centre is currently in the process of arranging a World Conference on the subject of “Religions and Beliefs: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights” that will be held in the course of 2018.