«Systematic discrimination against minorities are mostly indicative of a general disrespect for human rights which sooner or later will also negatively affect members of the majority.»

Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt Former Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Professor of Human Rights and Human Rights Politics, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg

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Keynote address introduced at the UN Headquarters in New York by Dr. Liviu Olteanu, Secretary General of the AIDLR on «Modernity and preventing incitement to violence which begins by acknowledging the rights, dignity and perspectives of everyone and treating others as one would like to be treated»

United Nations Headquarters, ECOSOC CHAMBER, New York, 14th July 2017

In his Keynote Address Dr. Liviu Olteanu congratulated Adama Dieng for his vision, energy and efforts as UN Under-Secretary-General on the Fez Plan of Action, and continued by saying: In the context of the world today what we need is to learn to know and to accept the other’s differences, culture and traditions, and to know how to join the efforts of all actors on understanding, respect and protection of our common values as life, freedom, human dignity, human rights, freedom of religion or belief and freedom of conscience. First of all, to religious leaders and other actors, I propose to advocate on: 1. Defending your identity, values and vision but being flexible as well. 2. Developing a consistent, holistic framework at various levels, institutions and elements of infrastructures to fit together. 3. Coordinating the dialogue and measures between different actors through education programs on human rights and starting by ‘training the trainers’: religious leaders, politicians, diplomats...

Second, to State actors, I propose to advocate on: 1. Respecting and protecting the identity of each religion/church/belief with special attention directed to religious minorities. 2. To keep neutrality on supporting a state religion, and equally, to protect, in all legitimate ways, the right of every man to worship as he chooses or to practice no religion at all. 3. Much attention should be paid to prevent the efforts to combat extremism, terrorism and genocide, and preserve security degenerating into a pretext and a form of political abuse against people, religious minorities and religious groups, and against peaceful Christians, Muslims and other religious communities.

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Photo: Dr. Liviu Olteanu before delivering a keynote address at the UN Headquarters New York, ECOSOC CHAMBER on 14 of July 2017