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World Conference on Religion and Peace
Weltkonferenz der Religionen für den Frieden
"Religion and Globalisation: Perspectives for the New Millenium" in Lisbon
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Peace Education Standing Commission c/o Prof. (em.) Dr. Johannes Lähnemann, Lehrstuhl Evangelische Religionspädagogik der Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Regensburger Str. 160
DE-90478 Nürnberg

 
2001 Conference of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe on "Religion and Globalisation: Perspectives for the New Millenium" in Lisbon

(HjB) About 80 representatives of eleven faiths gathered on 1 and 2 April in Lisbon for a conference on  "Religions and globalisation: perspectives for the New Millennium". The focus of the seminar at the Universidade Lusiada was the link between Religion and key issues such as human rights, conflict resolution, social exclusion, integration of migrants and fight against racism and xenophobia. The Peace Education Standing Commission and the World Conference on Religion and Peace were represented by Prof Dr Johannes Laehnemann and Dr Hansjoerg Biener. 
After the presentation of respective working documents (including a paper of Dr Hansjoerg Biener) a panel discussion addressed "Religion and politics", "Religion, social exclusion and development" as well as examples of best practices in "Religious and Inter-religious Eduaction" (Prof Dr Johannes Laehnemann). 
Already in 1987, a major conference, grouping representatives of ten Religions, had taken place in Strasbourg, France. The conference lead to the adoption of a Declaration which would inspire common actions to build peace. In the wake of the North-South Campaign, the European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity was set up in Lisbon in 1990. Its mandate is to raise public awareness in Europe of the themes of global interdependence and the need to sustain policies of solidarity in conformity with the values and principles of the Council of Europe.

Final Declaration
Dr. Giovanni Battista Celiento of the organizing North South Center summarized the general atmosphere of the conference into this statement:

We, the Participants from eleven Religions, of the academic world, of the media and civil society, Meeting in Lisbon on 1-2 April 2001

Recalling
- the principles of the Declaration "A commitment to Global Peace" adopted at the "Millennium Peace Summit" (New York, 2000) and the Final Appeal of the "XIII International Meeting of Peoples and Religions" (Lisbon, 2000);
- the opportunities, but also the risks inherent in Globalisation if religious considerations play no role in its development;
- the role Religions can play in promoting such values as mutual understanding and tolerance as well as in helping people live with dignity and peacefully

Concerned About
- the widening gaps between rich and poor countries, and between haves and have-nots within nations;
- the general crisis of religious values, which are essential to knowledge and progress;
- the fact that not all basic human rights (political, civil, social, cultural and economic) are guaranteed for everyone everywhere

Reiterate
- the importance for Religions in general to spread messages of peace, brotherhood and justice for all Humanity as based in their own faiths and traditions;
- the commitment to make our experience and expertise readily available to all public institutions, civil society and economic partners to seek synergies and secure the "human dimension" to the dynamics of globalisation;
- the need to strengthen education in global citizenship and ethics - of which inter-faith education is an essential component - for the XXI century;
- the necessity to incorporate knowledge about Religions in teachers' training

Express
- our interest to constitute an "Inter-faith Contact Group" involved in creating synergies between all the partners and strengthening global citizenship, dialogue and communication with a view to adding religious perspectives to future contribution to the "Barcelona process" and the work of the Council of Europe as a whole.

prepared by Dr. Hansjörg Biener
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