«I am keen to address emerging and existing concerns that fall within the scope of the mandate, and to focus on the implementation of international norms and standards, engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders in an open and inclusive manner.»

Dr. Ahmed Shaheed Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on Freedom of Religion or Belief

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

The Honorable Mr. EMMANUEL MACRON, the French President, met and talked in Strasbourg with Dr. Liviu Olteanu, the AIDLR Secretary-General, on the AIDLR’ initiatives and proposals regarding worldwide challenges and threats

Strasbourg, 28th January 2020

At the 70th Anniversary of the Council of Europe, held in Strasbourg, France on 1 of October 2019, The Honorable Emmanuel Macron, the French President was invited as the keynote speaker to deliver a speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. During his speech President Macron underlined: “This is why the times [in which] we live, where the cracks are starting to show, call for a certain strength of soul, of lucidity and courage. A space for freedoms and rights in our world as it is, with questions that seem simple, but are precisely the questions that we need to address: “how do we protect our fellow citizens from terrorism yet at the same time preserve their individual rights and freedoms? How do we defend freedom of expression while hate speech is spreading? How do we respond to the increasing violence in our societies while making our democracies stronger?. Afterwards, Dr. Olteanu, the Secretary-General of the AIDLR, talked with President Macron on the subject of some international challenges that affect Europe, religious liberty and security, and offering President Macron three books belonging to the ‘Conscience and Liberty’ collection, such as: “Agents and Ambassadors for Peace. Protecting Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Expression Against Violence in the Name of Religion”, “Religious Freedom’s Influence on Peace and Security”, “Diplomacy and Education for Religious Freedom. The role of preventive diplomacy and education on changing mindsets and fostering sustainable development goals (SDGs)”, and, the AIDLR’s 70th Anniversary Journal (1946-2016) “Ambassadors for Liberty, Hope and Peace”. Emmanuel Macron appreciated the gifts received and congratulated the AIDLR for its work in favor of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and specially on the defense of ‘religious liberty’ for all people, as a solution for peace and security.