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.
Dr Bawa Jain, Secretary General of the World Council of Religious Leaders, emphasised the importance for the UN to work together with religious leaders and communities, with regard to policy-making and implementation. Dr Jain remarked that “If we can mobilise the people of faith, who understand these policies and implement them, I think the UN will have a great partner and the process will be successful.”
Dr Bawa Jain further explained that religious diplomacy, which represents the central focus of his organization born out of the Millennium Summit, was a critical area to engage in, as religious leaders constituted some of the foremost diplomats worldwide. He noted in this regard that “They deal with diplomacy business every day. They deal with the highest level of authority, then they come down to the community to resolve tensions, even between the families.”
Religious diplomacy, he added, was critical in addressing today’s issues of migration, as the foundation of all human rights came from religious values and scriptures. In his speech, Dr Jain also noted that during the last few years, he had been witnessing a vacuum of responsible leadership, especially in the United States. A responsible leader, according to him, must serve the community first and foremost, and if one was elected and was not serving the community, then he was failing at fulfilling his mandate.
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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