– On 7 March, the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director Ambassador Idriss Jazairy was invited by the Permanent Delegation of the African Union to an official meeting of all African Group Ambassadors in Geneva to present the rationale and purpose of the Geneva Centre’s forthcoming conference on “Celebration of diversity: beyond tolerance the path towards empathy.”
The latter will be held on 21 March 2019 – on the margins of the 40th regular session of the Human Rights Council, from 13:00 – 14:30 in room XXIII at the United Nations Office in Geneva. The conference will be organized by the Geneva Centre and the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to UN Geneva.
Ambassador Jazairy informed the African Group Ambassadors that the purpose of the conference will be to give new impetus to ongoing efforts to counter the rise of extremism and xenophobia in all its forms and to promote the harmonious and equitable integration of diversity in the context of equal citizenship rights.
This was recently and strongly reiterated – the Geneva Centre’s Executive Director said – 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, Ambassador Jazairy said that the conference will take stock of the convergence and complementarity of these two pronouncements that offer an inspiring ideal of world citizenship fostering unity in diversity and building bridges of respect for our common humanity.
In recognition of the inspiring role of African countries in building bridges of respect for our common humanity and to promote models of equal citizenship in the aftermath of the era of colonialism and Apartheid, Ambassador Jazairy invited all African Permanent Missions in Geneva to be present at the 21 March conference.
Ambassadors of the African Group expressed their strong commitment to support the work of the Geneva Centre and the endeavours of its Executive Director to promote a value-driven human rights system and to promote mutual understanding and cooperative relations between people.
The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic, HE Léopold Ismael Samba, and held in the presence of the Permanent Observer of the African Union HE Ajay Kumar Bramdeo.