Saudi UN “Culture of Peace” Conference to Presage Rev. Moon’s UN Interfaith Council?

From (cough) Fox News:

Critics are blasting the United Nations for hosting a meeting to talk about religious and cultural tolerance sponsored by Saudi Arabia, a country in which the U.S. government has said religious freedom is non-existent.

Following up on an interfaith meeting they held in Madrid in July, the Saudis asked the United Nations to hold a meeting on the “Culture of Peace,” but some think it’s a move to lend support to the defamation of religions resolution that the world body will vote on this fall…

The July Madrid meeting included a call for a “UN Interfaith Council” to mediate religious conflicts, and presumably this “Culture of Peace” meeting is in some way strategizing towards that goal. But who gave the Saudis the idea for that? A July report in the Arab News (don’t say I’m not even-handed) gives some background:

The World Conference on Dialogue opened by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in Madrid on Wednesday gathered momentum yesterday with a call from the former speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives, Congressman Jose de Venecia Jr., for an interfaith dialogue council to be set up as a formal UN body.

He presented a draft resolution calling on the conference to petition King Abdullah, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to organize a joint Saudi-Spanish request to the UN for an Interfaith Council to promote and oversee “all global, regional and local interfaith dialogues among the great religions, civilizations, cultures, governments… to help resolve politico-religious, sectarian and ethnic conflicts and tensions in various parts of the world.”

And from where did Congressman Jose de Venecia get his inspiration? The answer is in a speech he made:

One of the great missions of Rev. Moon is to see how we can bring about a unification of the great religions of the world…and under the leadership of Rev. Moon – I had the privilege to present to the Security Council last year – a resolution for a dialogue among civilizations, among religions, among cultures, for an interfaith dialogue and I am happy to report to you that the following month, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved our resolution calling for an interfaith dialogue among the great religions of the world.

The UN meeting will be held on 11-13 November. According to the UAE National:

King Abdullah’s interfaith debate at UN headquarters will likely become the world’s most well-attended cross-religious parley to date, with as many as 30 heads of state set to talk including George W Bush, the US president, the Saudi monarch and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

And it’s already got off to a promising start, with a Saudi diplomat disavowing the “accusation” that Abdullah had invited Israel…

One Response

  1. […] Venecia has long-standing close links with the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), and in 2008 he cited Moon as the inspiration for his efforts in support of a proposed UN “Interfaith Council” (an […]

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