The World Forum for Culture of Peace
LEADERSHIP FOR JUST PEACE
MALTA MEETING 3-4 MARCH, 2022
BAN THE POLITICAL USE OF RELIGION
Your Excellency President Vella, Your Excellency Mr Adbulaziz Al-Babtain,
Your Excellencies, Presidents, Ministers, Lawmakers, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is my great honour to have been invited to address this outstanding forum. Against the tragic background of a new war, we need your leadership for just peace and this remarkable effort to promote the culture of peace. This is the perfect stage to tell you about a new global initiative to introduce an international treaty to ban the political use of religion.
The mission captures the spirit of this forum. It is a natural part of the incredible effort of President Vella, Mr Al-Babtain and all those who aspire for just peace.
Everyone knows that one of the main messages of all religions is to be kind to each other, but unfortunately, religion has very often been used as a weapon. When we look at the world today and in the last few decades, we see that the abusive mixing of religion and politics has been the main root cause of the worst conflicts.
There have been thousands of attempts to solve this problem. But very often they end up doing more damage than good by giving ammunition to the extremists. I believe we have now the ultimate solution to set global rules to disarm religious extremism, an initiative led by the London based NGO - BPUR International.
Unlike all previous attempts, this historic mission comes from the utmost respect for all religions with a unique understanding of all sensitivities surrounding this minefield and how to build a global and respectful consensus.
The proposed treaty represents a new approach to introduce clear, simple and indisputable international rules to ban all political uses of religion that undermine human equality; all religious discrimination in rights and duties; all religious exclusion; and all restrictions to freedom of religion and belief.
These simple terms would apply to all violations without any clashes with religious beliefs. One of the central points of this initiative is the fact that we cannot single out any specific religion or specific country.
There is no solution for this problem on any national stage. We need fair global rules for a global problem.
This is not separating religion and politics! On the contrary, we believe such a separation is not only irrelevant, but also impossible, even in most of the western nations, let alone other parts of the world. We only need to stop the political abuse of religion and all religious discrimination.
This initiative is building phenomenal support worldwide. Why? Because it is indisputable! No responsible government or person can refuse such fundamental fair rules! No-one can say: No! I want to use religion to discriminate between people!
We believe that this non-confrontational approach is the only way to build global consensus and help the international community eliminate the root causes of religious extremism and deal with most of the current and future conflicts.
The evidence is here; the support for this initiative is accelerating rapidly among distinguished leaders, officials, lawmakers, philanthropists, influential people, royalty, UN officials, religious leaders from all over the world and international organisations.
The roadmap of this historic mission is to secure governmental adoption to table the proposed treaty at the UN General Assembly and we are very close to securing that objective. Malta, Kuwait and all your countries can certainly make history by leading this mission to eliminate the political abuse of religion.
We have advanced engagements with many governments. Large groups of parliamentarians have already asked their governments to adopt this initiative, especially in Morocco, Italy, Bangladesh, Austria, Pakistan and most recently - the United Kingdom, where 27 cross-party parliamentarians have asked the Prime Minister to adopt the initiative. How and why would he say no?
That is only the tip of the iceberg as we have different levels of support in more than 60 other countries, including many of your countries. In May we are organising an international conference in Morocco with 7 Moroccan NGOs and the National Human Rights Council. More than one hundred lawmakers, officials and religious leaders will meet to coordinate the international efforts to enact this significant UN treaty.
Your Excellencies, we are getting very close to a new era, where all mankind agrees to stop all political abuses of religion and I believe it is a great opportunity for your countries to take leading positions in this historic mission.
It is very easy for any government to say yes to adopting this initiative because it is unthinkable to say no! It would be very rewarding for any government to lead the world to a better future.
The proposed treaty would certainly make a massive difference to the lives of billions and serve all international humanitarian objectives by eliminating the root causes of many intractable conflicts and a long list of violations of human rights. It would subsequently enhance stability and open the doors for sustainable development.
Many of the conflicts in the world today can be solved if we all speak with one voice. Every corner of the world will benefit from this treaty. Not only the countries which are imprisoned in the cycle of religious violence.
How did we miss such a simple solution for so long? If we had had this treaty 70 or 50 or even 20 years ago, we could have prevented the destruction of so many countries and saved millions of lives and livelihoods. This treaty would also reflect on every aspect of life by creating functioning and responsible societies worldwide.
Your Excellency President Vella, Your Excellency Mr Al-Babtain, Your Excellencies, Presidents, Ministers and Lawmakers; this initiative is an interpretation of your admirable effort and a natural part of your remarkable leadership for just peace.
This is your initiative! Because your leadership would make a crucial difference to this effort to enact a significant UN treaty that would certainly make the world more tolerant, more fair and more peaceful.
Thank you for your time and consideration,