Imams and rabbis from Israel and the Palestinian Territories as well as many other countries will meet at UNESCO from 15 to 17 December to launch new initiatives to help build peace in the Middle East.
The meeting, the Third World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace, is organized by the Swiss Foundation Hommes de Parole and placed under the patronage of UNESCO. The press is invited to the opening session (Room IV, 3.30 p.m.), but the meetings that will take place on 16 December and on the following morning will be private, to encourage free exchange.
The following speakers are expected to address the opening session: Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO; Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal and Chairman of the Eleventh Session of the Islamic Summit Conference; Alain Michel, Founder and Director-General of the Hommes de Parole Foundation and co-founder of the World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace; and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Director of the International Association for Human Values (India).
Eighty-five participants, including 45 Palestinian imams, Israeli rabbis and Christians will take part in the conference. They will be assisted by experts and religious leaders from about 20 countries. A final declaration will be adopted at the end of the meeting. It will be presented to the media in a press conference at UNESCO Headquarters at midday on 17 December.
The Congress is planning to create a joint monitoring group to support, develop and propagate initiatives that encourage peaceful coexistence and dialogue.
The information above has been provided by the organizers; it does not come from UNESCO