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Sunday, February 25, 2018
GENEVA, Nov 15 2017 (WAM) - The Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, Dr. Hanif Al Qassim, has deplored the rise of xenophobia, bigotry and marginalisation targeting refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons that is taking effect in many regions of the world.
In his statement issued in relation to the observation of the 2017 International Day for Tolerance, which falls on 16th November, he remarked that people in conflict zones or in areas affected by climate change are left with no other option than to flee their home and societies owing to the rise of violent extremism and the adverse impact of armed conflict.
“Meanwhile, populist movements and right-wing parties seek to legitimise their political ideologies through hate rhetoric, bigotry and stereotyping of migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons,” he added.
“We need to intensify dialogue between and within societies, civilisations and cultures. We need to learn more about one another and break down the walls of ignorance and prejudice that have insulated societies,” Dr. Al. Qassim highlighted.
Against this background, he added that the Geneva Centre is in the process of arranging a World Conference entitled “Religions, Creeds and/or Other Value Systems: Joining Forces to Enhance Equal Citizenship Rights.” This event, Dr. Al Qassim noted, will be convened at the United Nations Office in Geneva in June 2018.
“The ambition of this conference is to chart a more inclusive understanding and forward-looking discussion in addressing religious intolerance and in the pursuit of equal citizenship rights. This will obviate the need for diverse segments of a native population to fall back on sub-identities heretofore referred to as ‘minorities.’ “The World Conference will become an opportunity to harness the collective energy of religious and lay leaders to capitalise on the convergence between religious faiths, beliefs and value systems to respond with a unified voice to the sweeping rise of intolerance affecting the world.
“In moments where the fear of the stranger has become the norm in many societies, rejoicing in the Other and celebrating diversity are needed more than ever to address the root-causes of intolerance worldwide,” Dr. Al Qassim said in conclusion.
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