By Sam Eyoboka & Olayinka Latona
General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye has called on the United Nations to fill the vacuum that exists in the international arena and establish a United Nations Alliance for the Culture of Peace.
Pastor Adeboye, who is determined to work with world religious leaders, academicians and parliamentarians to ensure the implementation of the UN resolutions on the culture of peace which he feels are cardinal to the enthronement of peace in the Middle East and serve as a model for conflict resolution worldwide.
The RCCG General Overseer hosted a summit meeting of religious leaders at the UN on June 20 to present an initiative that would give religions, academics and parliamentarians a voice in the UN. Sponsored by the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics and co-sponsored by the Mission of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the UN and the Christ Redeemers Friends Trust, CRFT, with the patronage of former Director General of UNESCO, Frederico Mayor who introduced the “culture of peace” at the UN, the summit brought together leaders in the Abraha-mic faith groups, to an international mini summit.
Keynote addresses were presented by the Grand Mufti of Bosnia Herzegovina, Dr. Mustafa Ceric, (the Grand Imam of all of Europe) and the Chief Rabbi of Geneva, Yitzhak Dayan, (representative of the Conference of European Rabbis to the UN) focused on the shared values of people of faith.
Pastor Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, introduced the initiative as a “Road Map to the Culture of Peace” and empha-sized; ”The goal of the meeting was to mobilize, create and empower for the first time, a global network of spiritual leaders, educators, governments and officials, UN representatives as a leading force for peace through the creation of a partnership to fight against intolerance, racism, terrorism and violence on all levels.
“It is our view as religious leaders, academicians and parliamentarians that the UN resolutions on a culture of peace must be an intrinsic part of any and all peace processes and implemented as a matter of global ethics by all member-states of the United Nations” Pastor Adeboye noted, “we have come together at the UN today on a historic mission to serve as a spearhead for this initiative.”
The presentations by the high level delegates were of significant importance. The delegates to the mini summit called upon the UN to assure the protection of religious sites of all faiths…and to adopt into practice the relevant global ethics specified in international declarations and UN resolutions on the culture of peace. Pastor Adeboye explained in the aftermath of the conference that the UN General Assembly has passed a series of resolutions over the past few years for the development of a Culture of Peace and Dialogue among civilizations. Unfortunately, the resolutions remain words on paper as they are not being implemented or incorporated in any way into efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East.
For the first time, the pastor has joined forces with the Inter Parliamentary Coalition for Global Ethics to bring together religious, academic and diplomatic lead-ers to the summit at the UN with the goal of agreeing to work together and individually to implement the UN resolutions developing a Culture of Peace through education, communications and legislation as a milestone to achieve peace in the region and as a global model. Among these resolutions he cites the following:
Promotion of Religious and Cultural Understanding, Harmony and Co-operation (58/128); Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance (59/199); the UN Millennium Declaration; the principles of the UN Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations (.53/22); the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, (A/Res/53/243); Global Agenda for Dialogue Among Civilizations (A/Res/56/6); the Declaration of Madrid (December 2000); the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) (A/RES/53/25); Protection of Religious Sites (2001) (A/RES/55/254); Promotion of Interreligious Dialogue and Co-operation for Peace (2005) (A/60/L.4); “Promotion of Interreligious Dialogue” (2004) A/RES/59/23; UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People 2007.
At the conference, Rabbi Elie Abadie, Chief Rabbi of the Ed-mond J. Safra Synagog-ue discussed the issue of the need for the UN as part of the Quartet, to recognize the rights of the Jewish people as indigenous to the land of Israel (including Jerusa-lem, Judea and Samaria which are the ancestral home of the Jewish people).
The rights of indigenous people are protected by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People which was endorsed by the General Assembly in 2007. In addition, outright support of the rights of the Jewish people to their land, based on his interpretation of the Koran was voiced by Dr. Oktar Babuna, a Turkish neurosurgeon, conference delegate, and Muslim who rep-resented the Turkish Foundation for National Values.
The high level religious leaders met privately with the acting president of the General Assembly and with senior UN officials to discuss the launching of the new initiative. The UN officials expressed appreciation and support for the issues raised at the mini summit. Pastor Adeboye plans to continue to promote the initiative along with his colleague’s world wide in order to fill the gap which he considers to be the real impediment to success in the peace processes in areas of conflict around the globe.