DECLARATION AND ACTION PLAN
Religious dignitaries, Imams and Rabbis, together with Christians and other religious experts from around the world met at the Third World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace to determine ways to defend the sacred character of peace, together, and to commit themselves, as of now, to implementing all possible measures, within a religious context, to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Congress was held in Paris from 15 to 17 December 2008, under the patronage of UNESCO and with the support of His Excellency Maitre Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal and Chairman of the 11th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference.
First and foremost, the Imams and Rabbis, joined by the Christians, hereby reiterate their commitment to denouncing and condemning henceforth, ceaselessly and publicly, all forms of violence, terror, and individual and collective injustice committed
in the name of God and/or their respective religions or holy scriptures.
They also reiterate their determination to be active custodians of the Sacredness of Peace.
The Third World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace has decided:
1. to expand the dialogue to include Christians.
2. to include women and young people in their discussions and decision-making.
Following extensive discussion, a road map was established setting out tangible commitments by the religious leaders for peace.
The moderators pledged to go deeper into the themes considered in their respective workshops. They will compile and summarise all relevant suggestions and proposals for actions transmitted by the Congress members.
The Congress decided to set up a permanent multi-religious group comprised provisionally of 14 members, to:
1. compile initiatives and proposals for peace submitted by religious leaders for onward distribution and adoption;
2. organise and guarantee the systematic involvement of women and young people in designing and implementing educational programmes on peace;
3. support, coordinate and expand forthcoming meetings and activities organised by the Hommes de Parole Foundation under its "Imams, Rabbis and Christians for Peace" programme;
4. expand the network of partners and participants on the basis of the UNESCO interreligious programme and the "Imams, Rabbis and Christians for Peace" programme;
5. adopt a common stand in the event of crises or conflicts stemming from the ethical and peace values of the three monotheisms (Defense of the sacredness of peace and life);
6. draft a charter of ethics on religions that will be a veritable manual on "living together" to be disseminated using all modern means of transmission and will highlight the golden rules and common values of religions;
7. to form, without delay, a “representative” committee of Imams, Rabbis and Christians who will speak to the political authorities on behalf of all of the members of the “World Congress of Imams, Rabbis and Christians for Peace”, as well as everyone else who chooses to join this movement. This committee will present the “collective demands of the Congress” directly to politicians. These demands are meant to facilitate a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This work group will begin its activities today. Its first update meeting will be held on 15 March 2009 in Jerusalem.
Third World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace Paris, UNESCO, Wednesday 17 December 2008.
Composition of the work group
Mr Doudou Diene – United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (France)
Mr Leonid Kishkovsky – Moderator of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) and International Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations in the Orthodox Church in America (United States)
Mr Patrice Brodeur – Titular of a Canada Research Chair: Islam, Pluralism and Globalization (Canada)
Imam Yahya Hendi – Secretary General of Clergy Beyond Borders, President of Imams for Universe, Dignity, Human Rights and Dialogue, Muslim Chaplain and professor at Georgetown University (United States)
Rabbi Claude Sultan – Director of the Rabbinic Institute Rachi of Troyes, and professor in the French Rabbinic seminary (France)
Imam Abduljalil Sajid – Chairman of the Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK (MCRRH); European Representative of World Council of Muslims Inter-faith Relations (WCMIR); (United Kingdom)
Rabbi Ari Smadja – Rabbi of Ramat Shlomo (Israel)
Dr Ghassan Manasra – Director of the Center for Islamic Culture (Nazareth)
Rabbi Marc Raphael Guedj – Former Chief Rabbi of Geneva Traditional Jewish Congregation and President of the Inter-Religious Roots and Sources Foundation (Switzerland)
Imam Yahya Pallavicini – Vice-President of the Islamic Religious Community CO.RE.IS, (Italy)
Personalities joining the work group
Mr Alain Michel – Director general of Hommes de Parole Foundation (Switzerland/France)
Ms Rosa Guerreiro – Programme Specialist - Projects related to intercultural dialogue, in particular interreligious dialogue - Pluralism and Intercultural Dialogue Section, UNESCO (Paris, France)
Cheikh Raed Bder – Director of the Adam Center for Interreligious Dialogue in Qfar Qasem
Rabbi Tsion Cohen – Rabbi of Shaar-Hanegav (Israel)
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