August 23, 2012, 10:37 AM
The two agencies will also work together in promoting the celebration of International Tolerance Day, the International Day of Peace and Golden Rule Day. Ambassador Mussie Hailu (pictured above), URI’s Regional Director for Africa and board chairman of the Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative, joined Ethiopia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, H.E. Dawood Mohammed Ali, in signing a memorandum of understanding on Aug. 3, 2012.
“IPI and URI Africa are very much committed to promoting a culture of peace and building bridges of inter-religious and intercultural cooperation and understanding,” Ambassador Hailu said. “We are also committed to working closely with UNESCO, the African Union and others to make this happen. The [memorandum of understanding] will be a good example for other countries to enhance working partnerships between policy makers and civil societies on common issues and the betterment of the society at large.”
Ambassador Hailu added that cultural rights are an integral part of human rights, encompassing lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs in addition to art and literature. Both URI and IPI strongly believe that all persons have the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, particularly in their mother tongue, Mr. Haliu said. He added that all persons are entitled to a quality education and training that fully respects their cultural identity and that they have the right to participate in the cultural life of their choice, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
“I highly appreciate the exemplary work of IPI in promoting interfaith cooperation, a culture of peace, intercultural harmony, constructive dialogue and the building of understanding and trust among followers of different faiths through the teaching of the Golden Rule,” Minister Ali said. “The agreement will enhance the working cooperation of the two entities.”
The Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative CC is a registered non-governmental organization in Ethiopia that serves as a platform in which people of different religions can come together to promote interfaith cooperation, constructive dialogue, trust building, understanding and partnership, to make religion a healing force in the nation and to build bridges of lasting peace, respect and harmony through the teaching of the Golden Rule.