Mr Razek Siriani, Director of the MECC Unit on Education & Renewal represented the MECC in in the VIIIth Assembly of the World Conference of Religions for Peace in Kyoto, Japan, August 25-29, 2006. The Assembly, the largest multi-religious gathering of senior religious leaders, has for theme: "Confronting Violence & Advancing Shared Security" and plans to articulate a new vision of "shared security" based on common experiences of the world's religious communities confronting violence.
The Youth Assembly preceding the big event took place from August 21-24 in Hiroshima. Around 150 youth leaders and young people from different religions and parts of the world, came together to develop an action plan with regard to the role of youth in conflict transformation, peace building and sustainable development.
The formal opening ceremony on August 21, was marked by a special session on the Middle East. Two young women from the Focolari movement in Lebanon talked about their painful experience during the July 2006 war and a young Iraqi leader spoke about the situation in Iraq.
In his turn, Razek Siriani reflected on violence, conflict and peace. He mentioned hat "violence is a permanent reality in the Middle East. The accumulation of the many and unsolved conflicts have resulted in increased armed violence. Wars and their aftermath of death, destruction, poverty, unemployment and human displacement, have contributed to the aggravation of violence.
Razek underlined that the political priority in the Middle East is the just resolution of current conflicts, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict being at the core of all conflicts. He concluded by saying: "violence will continue to find its way in this world when justice cannot find its own. Violence will ultimately lead to counter-violence". For more information kindly contact Mr. Razek Siriani at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Assembly: www.wcrp.org <http://www.wcrp.org/
Middle East Council of Churches Office of International Ecumenical Relations P.O. Box 5376, Beirut, Lebanon
Guirgis Ibrahim Saleh, General Secretary
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org