11 April 2019, GENEVA – Further to the invitation of the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Geneva Centre will be organizing a conference on the interplay between faiths and equal citizenship rights during the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue to be held in Baku from 2-3 May.

The conference entitled “Greater Spiritual Convergence for Equal Citizenship Rights“ will be held on 3 May, from 11:30 – 13:30, at the Baku Congress Center in Azerbaijan.

The purpose of the conference will be to give new impetus to ongoing efforts to harness the collective energy of religions, creeds and value systems in the pursuit of a world living in peace and harmony as well as to eliminate any form of practice that impedes the realization of equal citizenship rights in societies worldwide.

This was recently and strongly reiterated in the Outcome Declaration “Moving Towards Greater Spiritual Convergence Worldwide In Support of Equal Citizenship Rights” adopted by the World Conference on “Religions, Creeds and Value-Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights” held on 25 June 2018 at Palais des Nations by the Geneva Centre under the Patronage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

In relation to the historic visit to the UAE, by His Holiness Pope Francis and the Great Imam of Al-Azhar His Eminence Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyib, a Joint Document entitled “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” was adopted on 4 February 2019 by these Eminent Dignitaries reiterating the importance of harnessing the collective energy of religions and faiths to uphold equal citizenship rights and promote tolerant and inclusive societies.

In this connection, the conference to be held in Baku will contribute to exploring the policy prescriptions required to ascertain the effective enjoyment of citizenship rights celebrating diversity and multiculturalism while consolidating national unity as set forth in the 2018 World Conference Outcome Declaration, the 2019 Joint Document on Human Fraternity and the 2008 Baku Declaration. 

The panel debate of 3 May 2019 will be opened and moderated by the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre Ambassador Idriss Jazairy.

The conference will benefit from the participation of the following high-level panellists:

  • (1) Mr Gunduz Ismayilov, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Religious Associations of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
  • (2) Ambassador Nabil Al Sharif, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation;
  • (3) Professor Syed Munir Khasru, Chairman of the Institute for Policy, Advocacy and Governance;
  • (4) Dr Azza Karam, Coordinator UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development, Senior Advisor UN Population Fund;
  • (5) Reverend Dr Peniel Rajkumar, Programme Executive for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, World Council of Churches.



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