For the first time ever, the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Freedom is being held in a pre-dominantly Muslim state.
In its third session, the conference is expected to gather unprecedented numbers from national parliaments, organizations and individuals across the globe. With the participation of over 75 countries, attendants will meet in Marrakech, Morocco Nov. 28-Dec. 1 to address the human rights and freedom of religion situations in specific countries as a body.
While Christianity is present in Morocco, the dominating religion is Islam, which allows for greater contributions to the anticipated discussion topics this year.
"This year's session marks the first instance of an international parliamentary assembly on the topic of religious freedom ever held in a pre-dominantly Muslim state," said Joseph K. Grieboski, founder and secretary general of the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom. "The contributions of this session to global understanding of peace, freedom, and security will be tremendous."
As the international event identifies and confronts new and growing concerns through seminars, training courses and workshops and fellowships, the main focus is set on the question of the violation of human rights, particularly religious tolerance and the denial of rights and persecution of believers by a government.
Themes, which will be discussed by some of the world's leading experts, actors and policymakers, include Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation: Religion and Government Cooperatively Advancing Peace; Education: Preparing Our Children to be Global Actors; Religion, Law, and Terrorism; and Dialogue on International Poverty and Development.
The conference may adopt resolutions, decisions and statements on such matters with the guidance and measure of such international standards as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Vienna Concluding Documents.
The Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom is an international institution composed of members of national and supranational parliaments from around the globe. The unique nature of the Interparliamentary Conference allows legislators to meet and address the issues of human rights and freedom of religion with common understanding and background as legislators, while in dialogue with religious leaders, NGOs, academics, and others
The Second Session of the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom, which was held in Brussels in August 2004, covered such topics as domestic abuse, responses to Anti-Semitism, terrorism and religious freedom.
Registration is available on the IPC's recently launched website, www.interparliamentary.org.