A Manifesto for Peace from Vicirota | September 16, 2009

The Vienna International Christian-Islamic Round Table, which is referred to for brevity by the name VICIRoTa, has met five times since 2000. It counts 15 members who are academics and/or religious leaders from both the Christian and Islamic communities.

At its 5th Plenary Meeting in October 2008 VICITRoTa came out with a manifesto expressing what the group sees as conditions for creating a peaceful world in the context of the globalization reality that we have to face. In the preamble to its manifesto it said that one of the ways for addressing “ the pressing problems of our world [is] … by establishing intercultural and interreligious dialogue initiatives for a better world.” Silsilah is of the same conviction about the role of dialogue and it is for this reason that the VICIRoTa Manifesto is printed here to share it with a wider audience in the Philippines and other places reached by Silsilah.

Points of ConcernPoints of Concern There can be:
1. No peace without justice – and justice without peace.2. No peace in a world where social justice, extreme poverty, an hunger persist;3. No peace without the determined rejection of violence, especially violence in the name of religion, and no peace without careful investigation into the reasons for it and resolute steps to eradicate the roots of this evil;4. No peace without the recognition of the inherent equal dignity of all members of the human family, and no peace without legal systems that safeguard and monitor compliance with human rights;5. No peace without pluralistic social structures that guarantee freedom of thought, conscience,  and religion;6. No peace without the cultivation of joint responsibility, based on dialogue, in view of the crucial problems of humanity on its way into the future;7. No peace without the readiness for peaceful conflict resolution, reconciliation, and conflict prevention;8. No peace without equal access to education founded on true human and religious values;9. No peace if women do not share responsibility in all spheres of life, on the basis of equality and partnership;10. No peace without the due recognition of minority rights and a careful consideration of the interests of future generations.

Over its 25-year existence Silsilah has been guided by the same principles articulated in the VICIRoTa  Manifesto even if not all of these are explicitly expressed in the same way in Silsilah’s own statements and proclamations. To cite just a two examples which have become almost a mantra for Silsilah are the following:Over its 25-year existence Silsilah has been guided by the same principles articulated in the VICIRoTa  Manifesto even if not all of these are explicitly expressed in the same way in Silsilah’s own statements and proclamations. To cite just a two examples which have become almost a mantra for Silsilah are the following:

•  Recognition of the inherent equal dignity of all members of the human family

•  Careful consideration of the interests of future generations.

The second one is particularly apropos to the advocacy Silsilah has given to the issue of the Ayala Watershed. The well being of future generations will be at risk  if Zamboanga City does not “protect, conserve and preserve” the Ayala Watershed.

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