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By Dr Liviu Olteanu, Secretary General of the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty

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The G-20 Interfaith Forum, Tokyo Japan

Dr. Liviu Olteanu, AIDLR Secretary-General intervenes as keynote speaker at the G-20 Interfaith Forum, Tokyo Japan

June 6 to 10, 2019

The G-20 Interfaith-Forum, Tokyo Japan, was held from June 6 to 10, 2019, the organizers, Prof. Cole Durham, Chair G-20 Interfaith Association and Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of Worldwide Support for Development, have invited distinguished political, religious leaders, scholars and international humanitarian activists as David Cameron - former Prime Minister of UK, Enda Kenny - Former Prime Minister of Ireland, Sir John Key - Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Graça Machel- Stateswoman, First Education Minister of Mozambique and Deputy Chair, The Elders, Azza Karam- Senior Advisor, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Lord Carey of Clifton-103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, Gunnar Stålsett- Bishop Emeritus of Oslo, Ganoune Diop- General Conference of the SDA Director Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Brian Adams -Director, Centre for Interfaith and Cultural Dialogue, Griffith University, Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaammar -Founding Secretary General, KAICIID, Ambassador Alvaro Albacete- Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Figel - Special Envoy of the EU on FoRB, Jonathan Duffy - President of ADRA International, etc. At this international event the AIDLR Secretary-General Liviu Olteanu has been invited to speak in the Peace Working Session “From Vile to Violence: Freedom of Religion and Belief and Peacebuilding”. Paper delivered by Dr. Liviu Olteanu was: From Vile to Violence: Freedom of Religion and Belief and Peacebuilding: Addressing root causes of violence linked to religious identities by fostering the protection of the fundamental freedoms based on human dignity.

The aim of the G20 Interfaith Forum 2019, Tokyo Program on “Peace, People, Planet: Pathways Forward” was to bring new ideas to the contemporary debate on human rights and religious freedom, human dignity in the twenty-first century. This requires an analysis of the philosophical principles and historical events that have contributed to shaping current visions on issues such as human dignity. Liviu Olteanu began his speech by saying: I grew up and lived and work in one side of Europe – (Romania) but in the other too (Spain, UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, US). I learned and saw how historical events can influence and shape people's understanding and create new approaches, even new public policies more than ever. We can observe in Europe and all over the world the growth of populism against refugees, immigrants and religious minorities. Europe and our world are increasingly attacked and influenced by manipulation, fundamentalism, populism and terrorism that affect the global order, legislation and the practical lives of people in all countries and continents. Is not easy to talk on «fostering the protection of fundamental freedoms based on human dignity» without taking care first of all on «global challenges and risks» that exist today. Indeed, concepts such as democracy, human rights, and international law are so widely interpreted that the parties to the conflict regularly invoke them against each other as war cries. One of the great challenges today is to reconcile cultural identity and respect for differences in a society where beliefs and cultures coexist. Our goal of achieving a more just and fraternal society involves a change in our mental attitudes and behaviors.


Photo Credit


Liviu Olteanu, AIDLR Secretary-General with Katherine Marshall, Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, Georgetown University; Executive Director, World Faiths Development & and Dr Haruhisa Handa Forum Patron, Chairman, Worldwide Support for Development, Trustee World Faiths Development Dialogue & Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, Georgetown University; Executive Director, World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) Photo: ©AIDLR/2019.
AIDLR Secretary-General with Her Excellency Graça Machel Stateswoman, First Education Minister of Mozambique; International advocate for women’s rights and child welfare. Photo ©AIDLR/2019.
AIDLR Secretary-General with Enda Kenny TD Prime Minister of Ireland Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
AIDLR Secretary-General with Mohamad Abou Zeid Senior Judge, Family Court of Saida [Sidon] in Lebanon. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
Liviu Olteanu AIDLR Secretary-General with Brian Adams Director, Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue, Griffith University. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
From Left: Liviu Olteanu, AIDLR Secretary-General, Nobuhiko Katayama, Executive Advisor, World Vision Japan, Rabbi Diana Gerson Associate Executive Vice President, New York Board of Rabbis, Mohamed Elsanousi, Executive Director of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, Mohamad Abou Zeid Senior Judge, Family Court of Saida [Sidon] in Lebanon. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
From left: Ganoune Diop Director Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Seventh-day Adventist Church; General Secretary, International Religious Liberty Association, Gunnar Stålsett Bishop Emeritus of Oslo, Church of Norway, Liviu Olteanu Secretary-General of the AIDLR and Jonathan Duffy, President, Adventist Development and Relief Association (ADRA). Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
From left: Jonathan Duffy, President, Adventist Development and Relief Association (ADRA), Dr Liviu Olteanu Secretary-General of the AIDLR, Dr Haruhisa Handa G20 Forum Patron, Chairman, Worldwide Support for Development, Trustee World Faiths Development Dialogue, Katherine Marshall Senior Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, Georgetown University; Executive Director, World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD) Ganoune Diop Director Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Seventh-day Adventist Church; General Secretary, International Religious Liberty Association. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
Liviu Olteanu, AIDLR Secretary-General with Ambassador Álvaro Albacete Deputy Secretary General, KAICIID. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
Liviu Olteanu Secretary-General of the AIDLR with Faisal bin Muaammar Founding Secretary General, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
Liviu Olteanu AIDLR Secretary-General with Jan Figel Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
AIDLR Secretary-General with Jan Figel Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU and part of the G-20 Interfaith Forum staff. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
Liviu Olteanu AIDLR Secretary-General with Sharon Eubank President, Latter-day Saint Charities. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
AIDLR Secretary-General with Faisal bin Muaammar, Founding Secretary General, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) and Mohamed Elsanousi, Executive Director of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
Secretary-General of the AIDLR with some of the Interfaith Forum participants. Photo: ©AIDLR/2019
From left: Brian Adams Director, Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue, Griffith University, Hisae Nakanishi Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University Japan, Liviu Olteanu & Elizabeta Kitanovic Executive Secretary Conference of European Churches. Photo: AIDLR/2019