Late in October, 2018 participants in both the XIV International Conference on a New Concept of Human Security and the 6th Youth Forum of the European Center Peace and Development (ECPD), mandated University of Peace, United Nations, Belgrade, unanimously resolved to join forces in support of the extraordinary efforts of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, a think tank in Geneva holding special consultative status with the United Nations and contributing to safeguarding human rights and the dignity of human beings in accordance with established international standards as well as to promoting related awareness in the public at large and between countries in the Arab region and Western European Groups. It has also drawn attention to the cultural and religious heritage of societies under threat in the Middle East and North Africa, notwithstanding that humanity has a long multi-cultural history and our world has been enriched by it. From the heart of the Balkans, we the participants from several continents, representing many professions, bridging color, religion and the age span of man, at the outset, state as a preamble that the current trends we clearly witness are unsettling for ours and our children’s future.
In the support of these extraordinary efforts of the Geneva Centre we have chosen to add our support to the Outcome Declaration: Moving towards greater spiritual convergence worldwide in support of equal citizenship rights - an outcome document that emanated from the 25 June 2018 World Conference held under the Patronage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan – at the United Nations Office in Geneva – on the theme of: Religions, Creeds and Value Systems : Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights –ECR [25/6/2018] as presented in Belgrade, by Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre.
We do so
• In recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family and as the only reasonable foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world;
• Within a framework of the wisdom inherent in philosophy, of the concepts of global citizenship and the golden mean that spread light and emphasize equal citizenship rights as a gateway to world peace;
• In the shared belief that security cannot be achieved by prolonging the arms race, that cultures should be celebrated and that life and hope must be added to all future generations and;
• In the hope that in continuum the aforementioned World Conference, will help bring about a convergence of aspirations of all major creeds in the name of peace and harmony.
Furthermore, we condemn all misrepresentations and misuse of world religions, creeds and value systems, denounce all violence and bigotry, discrimination and marginalization towards any group in their name and add our support to all suggested follow-up actions including the periodic holding of a World Summit and the setting up of an Equal Citizenship Rights (ECR) International Task Force with related statements to be made in the Universal Periodic Review and other human rights treaty mechanisms.
We must add that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says humanity faces two simultaneous existential threats relating to the stockpiling of nuclear weapons and climate change that place its future in extraordinary danger, a danger that we have differently framed as an unfolding outcome of two dark and overwhelming processes driving our world; ongoing biological annihilation and the awful emergence of social dementia in earth societies. We say this, fearing that Homo sapiens is on a fast track to extinction, while simultaneously calling for a well managed reversal.
We note that the Geneva Centre has condemned the growing instability witnessed in the MENA region as well as in the Sahel region of Africa, a result of violence and rising extremism and the adverse impact of climate change and environmental degradation that fuel insecurity. All these processes should be viewed as a gathering storm for which the international community has not yet demonstrated sufficient competence to hold them in check.
In parallel, the ECPD is spearheading Balkan development as it cultivates a unique set of competences covering public health, health diplomacy and human security. Among its upcoming events in 2019, will be a detailed examination of the, UN Agenda 2030: transforming the world and a new reaching out to youth, through the 7th Global ECPD Youth Forum, which will be held in Novi Sad the European Youth Capital 2019 (26th and 27th October).
Donev, D., Laaser, U., Levett, J., Skopje Declaration on Public Health, Peace & Human Rights Dec 2001 Croat Med J. 2002; 43(2): 105–6 Adopted by World Federation of Public Health Associations, 2003
Jeffrey Levett. Defective Democracy, Weak Governance. Proceedings of Peace and Democratic Multilateralism, Belgrade, 2017