Religions for Peace will conduct the 9th World Assembly in Vienna, Australia, on 20 – 22 November 2013. The General Secretary, Dr William Vendley, gives account of the arrangements.
On behalf of our World Council’s International Executive Committee, it is my great pleasure to update you on preparations for our Religions for Peace (RfP) 9th World Assembly.
Time, Venue and Theme: The Assembly will be held from 20-22 November 2013 in Vienna, Austria, under the theme, “Welcoming the Other: Action for Human Dignity, Citizenship and Shared Well-being.”
Assignment of Delegates by the Assembly Credentials Committee: An Assembly Credentials Committee has been established by the International Executive Committee. It is tasked with making the final decision on delegate allocations for all RfP affiliates.
Due to the size limit of the Assembly venue hall, the total number of delegates, partners and observers cannot exceed 700 persons. The great majority of this total number (85%) will be religious delegates. Due to the fact that we have over 90 national affiliates, national affiliate delegations will range in size from 1, and in exceptional cases, to 5. The additional 15% of the 700 persons is composed of organizational partners, such as UNICEF. A small number of self-paying observers that have made significant financial contributions to the World Assembly will also attend.
Each national affiliate will be assigned from 1-and in exceptional cases-to 5 voting delegates, based upon long-established principles. Special provision will be made for 60 women of faith and 60 youth voting delegates who will also attend one-day youth and women’s pre-assemblies on 19 November.
Subsidies: A healthy spirit of sharing remains a hallmark of Religions for Peace. All can contribute in a variety of ways towards advancing the Assembly, and there will be an opportunity to apply for a subsidy in the registration process.
Partner: The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) has partnered with RfP to hold the Assembly. KAICIID is a new international organization founded to create opportunities for the world’s religions and cultures to work together. It was established by the governments of Austria, Spain and Saudi Arabia, with the Holy See serving as a founding observer. KAICIID also has a distinguished Board of religious leaders with excellent connections to RfP. KAICIID will convene its own Global Forum just prior to our Assembly, entitled “The Image of the Other”. Our partnership will provide an excellent opportunity to expand the implementation of the findings from that conference among our network of religious leaders. A limited number of RfP Assembly delegates will be invited by KAICIID to join their Forum. Following the KAICIID Global Forum, RfP will convene and conduct its Assembly in accord with its own principles. RfP is grateful for KAICIID’s generous partnership.
Staffing: In addition to the wonderful support being received from KAICIID, I am pleased to report that the Regional Secretaries General, as well as the Presidents of Religions for Peace Europe and Austria, are working together with the International Secretariat in a spirit of generosity to help facilitate the active engagement of the entire RfP global movement as we prepare for the Assembly.
Next Steps: The leadership of our national and regional affiliates, as well as our global structures-World Council, Women of Faith and Interfaith Youth Networks-can anticipate that we shall soon provide additional information on the preparatory process. They, in turn, will help us to remain in contact with all of the delegates.
Let us all work together for a brilliant Assembly that will strengthen our service to the wonderful mission of Religions for Peace.
With appreciation, I remain
Yours in Partnership,
Dr. William F. Vendley
RELIGIONS FOR PEACE—the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition—advances common action among the world’s religious communities for peace. Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth. The global Religions for Peace network comprises a World Council of senior religious leaders from all regions of the world; six regional inter-religious bodies and more than eighty national ones; and the Global Women of Faith Network and Global Interfaith Youth Network.
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