Rabbi AbittanMankind is not reduced to citizenship. A superior power prevails over men’s power. Human rights are untouchable and more important to singular identities In front of a unique God that mankind can be one, and greater than each man in his family. Mankind remains forever under God’s supervision, even if some people forget it. This idea, which is above man, is a permanent refuge for people in sorrow. The unique God looks upon each man in his singularity. The universal mankind cannot be changed into an oppressive machine for people, nor be monopolized by a totalitarian power.

Carolyn HandschinMrs. Carolyn Handschin, who started by citing the courage of the Mirabal sisters, four Dominican political dissidents who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. On November 25, 1960, three of the sisters were assassinated. In 1999, the sisters received recognition by the United Nations General Assembly, who designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honour.

Jura NanukMr. Jura Nanuk, founder and president of the Central-European Religious Freedom Institute (CERFI) based in Budapest, Hungary, spoke on the topic of “Religious Freedom in Hungary and the New Law on Minority Faiths”. Mr. Nanuk said he was inspired to start his institute by an anonymous quote, “Sometimes I want to ask Godwhy He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, but I’m afraid He may ask me the same question.”

Willy FautréIs there a distinction to be made between “cults” or “sects” and religions? Should religious freedom be only accessible to so-called historical religions and their members? Should other minority religious or spiritual movements called “sects” or “cults” be denied the enjoyment of the provisions of international declarations and covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief?

Dr Aaron RhodesI would like to use these brief remarks to offer some perspectives on the notion of “multiculturalism,” and to share my concerns, as a human rights advocate, about threats to fundamental human rights in Europe posed by some interpretations of multiculturalism.

I am not sure why the word “multiculturalism” even exists as a descriptive term, because all societies are in fact multicultural.  Even the most isolated groups, which have not been influenced by global diversity, whose members share a common religion, a common language and ethnic heritage, common symbols and customs—even such societies are in fact multicultural.

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