29 June 2018, GENEVA: On 25 June 2018, the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue organized a World Conference on the theme of “Religions, Creeds and Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights” at the United Nations Office at Geneva in collaboration with the International Catholic Migration Commission, the World Council of Churches, the Arab Thought Forum, the World Council of Religious Leaders, Bridges to Common Ground and the European Centre for Peace and Development.
The World Conference - held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - was addressed by more than 35 world-renowned religious, political and lay leaders from the major regions of the world.
HE Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann, Permanent Observer of the Sovereign Order of Malta emphasized the necessity to create a new paradigm for citizenship, based on one’s contribution to society rather than on one’s origins; ; and, in parallel, based on achieving equal citizenship rights and addressing the lack of citizenship rights.
She explained that more and more people were becoming stateless due to the process of globalization that increased the transborder flows of people, making displacements of longer duration. Moreover, she noted that one of the most powerful instruments of exclusion was the barrier to attaining citizenship. According to the speaker, permanent resettlement, complemented by the possibility of granting citizenship, represented a durable solution in response to today’s global displacement flows: “Faced with these different situations and flows, States create varying layers and stages of citizenship with more or less rights”, remarked Ambassador Pictet-Althann.
The speaker also added that the successful integration of migrant communities within host countries was conditioned upon a successful cooperation between civil society on the one hand, and national and local authorities on the other, and that the achievement of equal citizenship rights was necessary for the well-functioning of society and the full enjoyment of human rights by all. She further stated that the lack of citizenship rights “undermines human dignity and human development potential, which is why we must join forces to call on States to respect their obligations under international law.”
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.
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