5th International Conference on Youth & Interfaith Dialogue held in Nigeria

20 November 2013

From 25th -26th October, 2013, 156 delegates from three continents gathered at the Treasures Inn & Suites, Jos, Nigeria for the 5th annual Conference on Youth and Interfaith Dialogue in Jos, Nigeria. This year’s them was “The Role of Free and Responsible Media Toward a Peaceful Society Imbued with Dignity and Mutual Respect”. The conference is produced annually by  New Era Educational and Support Foundation and this year included the additional partnership of the United Religions Initiative who had previously been involved in 2011.

The format of this conference includes a round table discussion which brings an interfaith group of youth together from Europe, North America and Africa to engage in a dialogue with political, social and faith leaders on a variety of topics from the media’s role in creating and promoting a peaceful society, what role can young people take in promoting world peace and Christian/Islam peace building efforts in Nigeria.

By the end of the two-day event, participants resolved to do the following:

1. Establish the Golden Rule Chapter in Nigeria to serve as a platform for the entrenchment of mutual respect, tolerance and upholding of human dignity. A National Steering Committee was constituted to that effect and the first meeting was conducted. The Committee will meet again on 7th December to marshal the way forward and plan towards the celebration of the Golden Rule Day on April 5th, 2014.

2. The citizenry and mass media should have an attitudinal and behavioral change on the taste of content.
3. The mass media and people working in the area of peace should give voice to younger people and involved them in peace building activities
4. The mass media and people working in the area of peace should create an inclusive and divergent platform
5. The media should promote responsible citizenship so as to cultivate the culture of non violence through reports that promote human dignity and patriotism.
6. We should all be committed to peace building process and not leave it in the hands of few individuals or groups.
7. All citizens must show practical commitments to peace building in their respective communities by encouraging and getting involved in activities that promote peace
8. Create and promote an ideal vision of a peaceful society irrespective of our diversity in ethnicity, religion, and abilities and otherwise.
9. Translation of the golden rule in various Nigerian languages and working with teachers and schools to enshrine it in school curriculum
10. The Golden Rule and the URI Talking Back to Hate Campaign should be introduced as a community development service (CDS) group in the NYSC Scheme and in schools in Colleges.
11. Wherever there is violence of any nature, we should come out openly to challenge and condemn it, because it is not culturally, religiously or otherwise accepted.
12. Irrespective of our religious affiliations, we ought to teach young religious leaders to teach the truth and the right thing and to avoid inflammatory sermons that could incite the citizens.
13. We should all work towards ensuring a strong and fair judicial system.