«We all have within us a centre of stillness surrounded by silence. This house (United Nations), dedicated to work and debate in the service of peace, should have one room dedicated to silence in the outward sense and stillness in the inner sense. It has been the aim to create in this small room a place where the doors may open to the infinite lands of thought and prayer.»

Dag Hammerskjold Former United Nations Secretary General

Who we are

Current Secretary General of the Association

Liviu Olteanu, PhD is currently serving as the Secretary General of the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (IADRL/AIDLR).

He is an observer and representative at the United Nations in Geneva, New York and Vienna, a permanent representative at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and Brussels and representative at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and at the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (O.S.C.E.) in Warsaw, Poland.

He is regularly invited to lecture at universities and churches, parliaments and governments, and also at international and regional human rights organizations. He has organized several major events –international conferences and side-events – one of which took place in June 2014 at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, co-sponsored by the UN Permanent Missions of Spain, Canada, Norway, Uruguay and the Council of Europe. His expertize is focused on education for human rights, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and religious minorities. For him human rights are the special ‘religion’ of the 21st Century’, and religious liberty is a cornerstone of freedom. As an expert in human rights he participates at the events organized by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the O.S.C.E., and universities and churches; in the past few years alone he has been invited to participate in events organized by the Council of Europe and the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan; by universities and at parliaments in Canada, the United States, Sweden, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Romania, etc.

Liviu Olteanu has achieved the title of Doctor in Law “Summa Cum Laude” following his doctoral studies at the universities of Madrid and Oxford, on: “Origins and Horizon for the Fight of Religious Liberty. The United Nations and Diplomacy in Action for the Protection of Religious Liberty”.

He has also earned a Bachelor’s degree in law, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in theology, a Master’s degree in education, the title of Expert in human rights, a degree in diplomatic and international studies, and a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Law (DEA). He received a scholarship from Oxford University where he worked with Professor Joseph Raz. He is the author of articles, studies and books on education and culture, international law, human rights, diplomacy and geopolitics, religion, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

According to Dr. Bruno Vertallier, president of the AIDLR, Liviu Olteanu is “a suitable person to work in the field of international relations, especially with the United Nations, because of his personality, academic background, integrity, capacity and competency in public affairs and human rights“. Prior to his currently responsibility of Secretary General of the AIDLR, Liviu worked as a director of ethnic communities in the Kingdom of Spain and he was a lawyer at the Madrid Bar.

Born in Brasov, Romania in 1956, Liviu Olteanu is married to Reveica, a pharmacist, and they have three children.

For him every person should be an “Ambassador for Liberty, Hope and Peace”. He believes that high-level public affairs and dialogue, combined with continual vigilance is vital nowadays for religious freedom and freedom of conscience. He believes that in order to prevent and solve conflicts the coordination of all stakeholders is necessary, starting at the point of education - that is to train the trainers - government, parliaments, diplomats, religious representatives etc. He also believes that religious liberty is the cornerstone of freedom, to encourage a culture of respect for diversity and is essential for a good understanding between people, cultures and religions as every individual matters and is entitled to their dignity.