20 March 2017 (GENEVA) – The UAE Minister of State for Tolerance H.E. Sheikha Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi paid a visit to the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue’s office in Geneva (“The Geneva Centre”) ahead of the side-event on the topic of “Islam and Christianity, the Great Convergence: Working Jointly Towards Equal Citizenship Rights” held on 15 March at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The Chairman of the Geneva Centre Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, the Executive Director Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, and the Geneva Centre’s Board Members Michael Kouly and Trevor Mostyn greeted the Minister during her visit praising her commitments to religious diversity, tolerance and peace between religious groups.

The UAE Minister of State for Tolerance was invited by the Geneva Centre to participate as a panellist during the 15 March side-event that also included the following high-level speakers:

  • H.E. Ambassador Marie-Thérèse Pictet-Althann, Permanent Observer of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva.
  • H.E. Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, Permanent Observer of the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva:
  • Minister Lakhdar Brahimi, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria and a member of the Elders, a group of eminent global leaders:
  • Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary, World Council of Churches (WCC):
  • Dr. Tarek Mitri, former Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI):
  • Ambassador Mark D. Siljander, former U.S. Congressman, U.S. /U.N. Ambassador & author of “A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman's Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide”. President of Bridges to Common Ground:
  • Reverend Timothy Radcliffe, Dominican friar of the English Province, and former Master of the Order of Preachers (commonly known as the Dominicans):
  • Professor Carole Hillenbrand, Professor of Islamic History, University of St. Andrews.

A video statement was also delivered during the side-event by His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in which HRH underlined the importance of fostering religious tolerance and inter-faith harmony between religious groups (here is a transcription of the statement).

The Geneva Centre would like to thank the UAE Minister of State for Tolerance for participating at the 15 March side-event and for highlighting the need for inter-religious dialogue and intra-faith harmony during her deliberation. 

The press release that was issued in relation to the 15 March side-event and the observations made by the UAE Minister of State for Tolerance are available here.

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