Get in touch: +41(0) 22 748 27 80|


The Geneva Centre participates in 53rd Human Rights Council Session Side Event on Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue

2023, July 7th|INVOLVEMENT, NEWS|

Geneva – 7 July 2023

“Religions and belief systems are in essence a call for action. They are a collective inducement for solidarity that resonates deeply across regions, social classes, and age groups.”

On 6 July 2023, Geneva Centre’s Project Officer, Ms. Catia Trevisani, joined the discussion panel convened by Interfaith International on “Promoting Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation”

This event took place at the United Nations Office in Geneva on the sidelines of the 53rd Human Rights Council session, hosting prestigious panellists H.E. Mr. Sultan Chouzour, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Union of the Comoros to the United Nations in Geneva; Mr. Yertay Khabiyev, First Secretary of the Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations in Geneva; M. Hafid Ouardiri, Director of the Fondation de l’Entre- Connaissance and Co-Chairman of the Geneva Spiritual Appeal; Dr. Charles Graves, Founding President of Forum Inter-religious and Inter- cultural Dialogue. The debate was moderated by Mr. Biro Diawara.

The discussion addressed the current tensions surrounding acts of religious and cultural intolerance in Europe and around the world. Yet, panellists extolled and remained confident in the power of interfaith dialogue to promote peace and restore social dialogue in times of political unrest. Traditional mediation based on religious practices are noted to be historically effective in their local contexts. At the same time, innovation and shifts in perspectives were deemed needed to tackle the ever more violent and complex conflicts involving religious and cultural identity. International consultations among governments and civil society on this front were hailed as indispensable engines of change.

Ms. Trevisani explained her view that “interfaith dialogue creates spaces for promoting human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in diverse and multicultural environments, because when those dialogues take place in an inclusive manner, we are essentially engaging religious and faith communities in a civic exercise.”

The discussion prompted many reactions among the audience. The call for actual, effective, inclusive interfaith and intercultural dialogue that is promoted and supported by the UN system resonated within the Palais des Nations; and hopefully far beyond, in places where these needed dialogues have been interrupted or hindered.

During this session of the Human Rights Council, an urgent debate “to discuss the alarming rise in premeditated and public acts of religious hatred as manifested by recurrent desecration of the Holy Quran in some European and other countries” was called for by Pakistan on behalf of countries members of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, following a wave of outrage across the Muslim world and beyond. This new development in the United Nation’s first human rights body illustrates the urgency of a dialogue that was long thought to be avoidable. The Council will seize the matter on 11 July.

The Geneva Centre is honored to have been represented among prominent voices for peace and dialogue and remains committed to promote greater understanding and tolerance among people and societies. Learn more about our latest events on interfaith dialogue here.

Share this post!

Go to Top