From the Worldwide Faith News archives

World Council of Religious Leaders to Address Conflict, Poverty and

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Wed, 12 Jun 2002 17:43:25 -0700



For Immediate Release

Millicent White
Ruder Finn Global Issues Communications
Bangkok (June 6-14)
Tel. (662) 261-9300 Room 1231
Fax. (662) 261-9530-4
Mobile 01-250-0469
New York
Tel:	212-593-6353


Sense of urgency pervades leaders who will attend the World Council of
Religious Leaders launching, which is being organized to mobilize religious
leaders to work with the United Nations

Bangkok!X[June 12, 2002]-Over 100 pre-eminent religious leaders representing
the major faith traditions and all regions of the world will gather in
Bangkok, June 12-14, to establish an unprecedented World Council of
Religious Leaders, specifically created to become an active partner with the
United Nations in reducing conflict, poverty and environmental degradation.
The first priority of the Council will be to determine concrete ways that
religious leaders can reduce tensions in current areas of conflict including
Asia and the Middle East.

This initiative is a direct result of the successful Millennium World Peace
Summit which brought over 2000 religious leaders to the United Nations in
August 2000 to explore ways that leaders could support UN initiatives.  The
need to form a Council that would actively intervene in conflict areas of
the world was recommended by the participants of the Millennium World Peace
Summit.  This first meeting of the Council in Bangkok will begin to
formulate the plan.  The Crown Prince of Thailand, His Royal Highness Maha
Vajiralongkorn, will preside over the opening session of the meeting which
will be held at Buddhamonthon on June 12.  His Excellency, Mr. Kim Hak-Su,
Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP will address the opening plenary on June 13
at the United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand.

!'There is a sense of somber urgency among the leaders who will participate
in the conference,!( notes Bawa Jain, Secretary General of the Millennium
World Peace Summit.  !'The use of religion to promote divisiveness and
violence must be countered by religious leaders from all traditions willing
to become actively engaged in peace building.  It is our hope that the
conference will lead to specific recommendations for religious leadership
involvement in the crises confronting the world today.!(

Among the participants planning to attend the conference are:
H.H. Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, Vice-Supreme Patriarch of the Kingdom of
Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel
H.E. Ayatollah Mahmoud Mohammadi Araghi, President of the Islamic Culture
and Relationship Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran

H.E. Kamel AL-Sharif, Secretary General, International Islamic Council For
Daw!&a and Relief

Reverend Joan Brown Campbell, Director, Department of Religion Chautauqua

H.H. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Chairman, All India Movement for Seva

Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Founder and President, Appeal of Conscience

Most Venerable Master Sheng Yen, Founder, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist

Venerable Phra Thepsophon, Rector, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University

Right Reverend T.J. Tshawane, Moderator of Protestant Churches, South Africa

His Excellency Vincent Concessao, Archbishop of New Delhi

The meeting was organized by the Millennium World Peace Summit and is hosted
by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University with the active support of
UNESCAP of Bangkok.


The Millennium World Peace Summit took place August 28-31, 2000 at the
United Nations. It was the first time in history, religious and spiritual
leaders of the world!&s diverse faith traditions came together on such a
large scale!Xmore than 1,000 leaders attended. The Summit opened at the UN
General Assembly Hall with Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressing the
leaders. The goal of the Summit was to identify ways that the worldwide
religious and spiritual communities can work together as an interfaith ally
with the United Nations on specific peace, poverty and environmental
initiatives.   In addition to the signing of The Commitment to Global Peace,
another outcome of the World Peace Summit is the formation of a World
Council of Religious Leaders, which will be available as a resource to the
United Nations and governments in conflict prevention and resolution


June 12	Buddhamonthon
	A media van will leave The Imperial Queen!&s Park Hotel at 7:30 a.m.
	199 Sukhumvit Soi 22

June 13	Foreign Correspondent!&s Club of Thailand
	7:30 p.m. Informal Briefing
	Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building, 518/5 Ploenchit Road, adjacent to BTS
Skytrain, Chidlom Station Tel: 652-0580-1

June 14	United Nations ESCAP
	12:15 p.m. Press Conference
	United Nations Conference Center, Theater
	UN Building
	Rajdamnern Nok Avenue

June 14	Foreign Correspondent!&s Club of Thailand
	2:00 p.m. Press Conference


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