Unification News for November 2002
IIFWP Convocation 2002 - Bringing the Vision to India and Pakistan
by Dr. V. Mohini Giri
We are living at a crucial period of history and any efforts that could be made to normalize situations anywhere in the world is of the utmost importance in the present day. We have to look with retrospect and examine the underlying causes of tension. Solutions have to be worked out. Needless to say, the United Nations is the most effective instrument to secure peace and prosperity in the global world. Our national interest should be the global interest.
This was the most outstanding factor that emerged strongly at the IIFWP Convocation 2002 – Governance and the Role of Religion in Peace and Security. It was very inspiring for the few of us who had the opportunity of interacting with Senator Bond and with John Hanford, the State Department Ambassador at Large for Religious Affairs and Religious Freedom.
These meetings were not only useful to show the current threat to world peace but also to give us an opportunity to interact with each other in our own delegation.
During this period of our togetherness in the train or at the hotel it gave me an opportunity to get an insight into the thinking of various religious leaders and also to discuss how we could all unite and raise our voice against terrorism. The interaction with the State Department and Senator was useful in bringing about a wide range of possibilities of how the United Nations could have a Religious Council.
Taking queue from Rev. Moon’s insight to adopt successful strategies for peace and address the root cause of conflicts, I took the initiative to organize a meeting with delegates. We all met at 5 p.m. on September 21st and had a successful meeting to discuss the Indo-Pak friendship strategies.
Imam Syyed Mohammed Musawi said that our voices should reach the Government and also penetrate into Mosques, Temples, and Churches etc. and that we will have to tackle the problem of conflicts right from the beginning. Syyed Mohammed Musawi was kind enough to offer his support for a meeting with religious heads of both the countries towards a coalition for peace.
Imam Muhammad Maqsood Ahmad Qadri, Grand Imam, Mosque Data Guns Baksh -- Government of Pakistan assured us that the political solutions are not possible hence the civil society will have to raise their voices. I agreed with them, that a collective mobilization of all our voices would make a difference. It was agreed that we would all meet once more to solve this problem with a meeting of religious leaders, political leaders and intellectuals from the civil society.
* Sharper focus on the various interreligious dimensions
* Need to communicate jointly on interfaith issues
* Vital need to have interfaith dialogue at all levels
* Need to establish a Religious Council at the United Nations that would help countries to reach out to the common role of peace.
Plan of Action
* Immediately to write to the Prime Minister and the leaders of our respective countries to have an Interreligious Council in our own governmental set up which would help in conflict prevention resolution and build up communal harmony.
* We would also request the government of India to call upon the Secretary General, United Nations to have an Interreligious Council at the United Nations.
* We will work among the civil society and other NGOs for advocacy and networking of the above ideas
Dr. Giri is Chair, Guild of Service, India
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