Speech by the Deputy Secretary General at the UN Summit on Religion, Peace and Security

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has pledged to do everything in its power to help build peaceful societies by advocating religious freedom and peace initiatives between religious communities.

Schirrmacher during his address (wide angle) © BQ/Warnecke

The occasion for the statement by the Associate Secretary General of the WEA, Thomas Schirrmacher, was his address at the Global Summit on Religion, Peace and Security at the UN Human Rights Council in the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The summit was jointly organized by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (IASRL, or Association internationale pour la défense de la liberté religieuse) and the European Union, together with several sponsors, including the International Institute for Religious Freedom, whose director is Thomas Schirrmacher.

To this end, top UN representatives, experts, leading representatives of large and small religions, and several high-ranking political representatives for religious freedom, such as the Special Envoy of the EU and the Senior Advisor of the OSCE, Kishan Manocha, were involved in the discussion.

Flags in front of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva © BQ/Warnecke

In a discussion with Adama Dieng, UN Deputy Secretary General for Genocide Prevention, Schirrmacher thanked United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect in the name of the WEA for their outstanding work. Without their efforts, there would certainly be more or worse genocides. Liviu Olteanu, Secretary General of IADRL, who had mainly initiated and organized the Summit, joined in the praise.

The WEA was represented by several staff members as two WEA departments intersected at the Summit. The area of religious freedom reports to Thomas Schirrmacher, while the area of public engagement, to which the UN team of the WEA belongs, and the Peacebuilding Department reports to the Deputy Secretary General Christine MacMillan.

Schirrmacher had previously participated in a small expert group working on a paper on the importance of religious freedom for the security of member countries at the Warsaw headquarters of the Human Rights Division of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

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