Muscat – The sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, participated virtually in the opening ceremony of the Conference of the World Council of Religious Leaders on Faith and Diplomacy 2021 (Faith and Diplomacy: Generations in Dialogue), which is taking place in Lindau, Federal Republic of Germany, from October 4 -7.
The sultanate’s speech at the opening was delivered by Dr Muhammad bin Said bin Khalfan al Mamari, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs. Participants include government representatives, members of international organisations, civil society organisations including academic institutions and centres, members of youth and women networks, and various interfaith networks.
This year’s conference addresses three pivotal topics in its various sessions: Peace and security, environmental protection, and humanitarian action, with a focus on the importance of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The number of participants this year is about 1,000 from speakers and attendees in person and via virtual networks from more than 60 countries and 11 different religions.
Key speakers include Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, and Jeffrey Sachs, president of the United Nations Network for Sustainable Development Solutions.
Dr Mamari began his speech by thanking the organisers of this conference for the “global efforts to foster peace and stability, build bridges of love and harmony” in this world. He also spoke about the challenges facing the world today, represented by feelings of fear and suspicion, hate speech, and the lack of trust due to misinformation and rumours.
During his speech, he stressed the sultanate’s unremitting efforts and its permanent quest towards “creating a culture of inclusion and harmony, by involving individuals, groups and relevant centres in initiatives and dialogues to promote equality, prevent discrimination, counter rumours, refute misleading information, and spreading messages that promote trust in individuals and between societies, messages that revive hope in souls and dispels fears”.
Dr Mamari affirmed that the sultanate, under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik “constantly emphasises, in its internal and external approach, on the importance of interdependence and cooperation among all and strives to remind people of the importance of synergy, kindness, respect and appreciation of diversity, and above all rejection of all forms of discrimination, fanaticism and terrorism”.
In the working paper he explained the circle of “Knowledge, Acquaintance, and Acknowledgement”, as a diplomatic approach that achieves for all humanity stability, development, security, and prosperity that they seek, and help us all “move towards the future with means that protect future generations and preserve civilisational achievements of every nation, while focusing on the security of our planet and the people who live on it, alike”.