News

Conscience and Liberty Event in Geneva - part 2

Conscience and Liberty Event in Geneva - part 2

The Panel (photo: Corrado Cozzi)

Bern, Switzerland [CD EUDNews; Liviu Olteanu; A. Mazza]. The side-event hosted in Geneva at the 26th Session of the United Nations Human Right Council in June 2014, was organized by the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (AIDLR

June 20, 2014 | CD EUDNews; Liviu Olteanu; A. Mazza

Bern, Switzerland [CD EUDNews; Liviu Olteanu; A. Mazza]. The side-event hosted in Geneva at the 26th Session of the United Nations Human Right Council in June 2014, was organized by the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (AIDLR) and co-sponsored by five delegations: the permanent delegation to the UN of the Council of Europe, of Uruguay, Canada, Spain and Norway.

John Graz, Secretary General of IRLA, highlighted: "It was the first meeting we have ever organized at the the UN Geneva. It was excellent!”.

"The big miracle is that we could organize our event at a UN level, in the most important place of the world regarding human rights: the 26th session of the Human Rights Council. We praise the Lord for it and for the participation of so many UN delegations, which joined us in Geneva. This is quiet an unusual fact," so Liviu Olteanu, Secretary General of AIDLR. "Many other UN delegations joined our event, countries representing different ideologies, from western countries (US, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Holy See, Spain, Serbia, Malta, Hungary, Austria), to eastern countries like Russia, from islamic countries like Algeria to many others."

Other interesting details

Different religions or churches have been represented at the event: Christianity (the catholics through the Holy See, protestants and orthodox churches). There were representatives also of the Islamic Faith. Many other organizations and NGOs participated too.

"One of the biggest results are the international visibility of AIDLR and a growing UN interest for religious liberty and religious minorities", so Liviu Olteanu.

Here the contribution of Ban-Ki Moon, current UN secretary-General, to the Conscience and Liberty Book of AIDLR:

"In communities where symbols of religious minorities are seen as something to oppose or fear, we need continued engagement. In places where people are screened out of opportunity because of race, faith or even their name, we have more work to do.

Peace and reconciliation have to be planted by people and nurtured by communities.

I can seen on the the horizon a world that understands that, together, we are better. I can hear shouting replaced with listening. I can feel a force committed to making it happen. Governments, civil society, the private sector, the faith community, young people, You - and all this Alliance represents. A global social movement, an alliance of Humanity.

Regardless of religious tradition, we have a common faith; a faith in our shared future. Let us harness our common humanity and make a better world."

pictures: 1.The participants; 2. Dr. Bruno Vertallier, AIDLR President; 3. Ban-Ki Moon, current UN Secretary General (credits: Corrado Cozzi, Wikipedia)

Back to list