• Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy








    Warsaw, 3 October 2019

    Hotel Four Points by Sheraton Warsaw Mokotów (7b Suwak Street)








    Wednesday, 2 October 2019



    18.00 - 20.00

     Official Dinner (by invitation only)


    Thursday, 3 October 2019


    8.30 - 9.00

    Registration of Participants

    9.00 - 9.10


    Mr. Jerzy Baurski, Director of the Department of the United Nations and Human Rights, Ministry
    of Foreign Affairs of Poland

    9.10 -  10.00

    Opening High-Level Addresses

    Mr. Jacek Czaputowicz, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland

    Ms. Souraya Bechealany, Secretary General of Middle East Council of Churches (Lebanon)

    Prof. Monica Lugato, LUMSA University (Italy)

    Mr. Jan Figel, Special Envoy for FORB, European Union (Slovakia)

    10.00 - 10.10

    Family photo

    10.10 - 10.30

    Coffee break

    10.30 - 12.00

    Session 1: OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights:

    ‘Freedom of religion or belief and the state’

     The session will serve as a platform for experts and practitioners to have an open conversation about the opportunities and challenges presented by the universal right to freedom of religion or belief as one of the main pillars of democracy, sustainable peace and security, with the focus on identifying and sharing best practices that could stimulate further reflection and action.


    The panelists will also explore important issues such as the state’s duty to provide an open, inclusive space which ensures the non-discriminatory implementation of the right to freedom or belief for all. In this regard, they will discuss the importance of adopting laws, practices and policies that are fully in line with international standards on freedom of religion or belief.  Further, the specific roles and responsibilities of civil society, religious or belief communities, the corporate sector, the media, and the academy in contributing to a culture of respect for everyone’s freedom of religion or belief will also be addressed.


    Another significant theme that will be discussed in this session is the work of defending freedom of religion or belief for all in countries where this human right is constantly violated. Representatives of civil society organizations and human rights defenders will share their work experience  which they often gain under extreme conditions, for example in countries where those advocating for freedom of religion or belief face threats to their lives and livelihoods.


    Dr. Kishan Manocha, Senior Adviser on Freedom of Religion or Belief, OSCE/ODIHR


    Prof. Silvio Ferrari, Professor of Law and Religion, University of Milan and Catholic University of Leuven (Italy)

    Ms. Isabella Sargsyan, Director of Programs at the Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Yerevan (Armenia)

    Mr. John Kinahan, Assistant Editor of the Forum 18 News Service (Ireland)

    Ms. Mine Yildirim, Director of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s Freedom of Belief Project in Turkey (Turkey)

    12.00 - 12.45


    12.45 - 14.15

    Session 2: Polish Institute of International Affairs:

    ‘Interreligious and intercultural dialogue’


    What all the great religions of the world have in common is their moral values.  Recalling them now is more timely and necessary than ever to a world in which various fanaticisms and extreme nationalisms are being constantly reborn. They manipulate on human religious feelings.


    The world we live in is increasingly under "technical and economic pressure". It is also necessary to remind the truth about a man; who is a man, what is his true dignity and calling. It is an inalienable mission of the great religions of our planet.


    The panelists and audience will focus on finding responses to the following questions: which forms of dialogue are most effective? What are the ways to facilitate intra- and interreligious dialogue? What are the final goals of the process? What skills should be developed in the representatives of particular religious and cultural groups? They may also consider the role of ecumenism and summarize previous achievements in this field. The experts will deliberate on how interreligious and intercultural dialogue can counter extremism in the globalized world and pave a way to a more peaceful world.


    The experts will weigh in on the subject of religion as a tool for creating lasting peace, not constant wars. They will reflect on the causes of sectarian violence and the methods to oppose it. The panelists will try to find means to begin or expand dialogue between various religious groups and they will discuss how to encourage leaders of these groups to take part in such process.  Another crucial topic to be discussed will be prevention of creating new divisions within socio-religious structures of societies.


    Participants will try to find such solutions, bearing in mind the fact, that young people are the cornerstone of sustainable development and lasting peace since they are the agents of innovation, development and change.


    Dr Patrycja Sasnal, Polish Institute of International Affairs (Poland)


    Prof. Stanisław Krajewski, Council of Christians and Jews (Poland)

    Dr Yasemin El Meouar, Bertelsmann Stiftung (Germany) TBC

    Dr Georges Fahmi, European University Institute, (Egypt),

    Ms. Catriona Robertson, Convenor, London Boroughs Faith Network (United Kingdom) TBC

    14.15 - 14.30

    Coffee break

    14.30 - 16.00

    Session 3: European Endowment for Democracy:

    ‘Building tolerance and understanding’


    In a world where democratic values are increasingly under threat,  lack of tolerance and dialogue often leads to armed conflicts or the growth of violent political movements, be that in the former Soviet republics, the Middle East, North Africa, or in the Balkans. The process of reconciliation is an important factor enabling democratic development. This session aims to explore how civil society, as well as religious and community leaders can contribute to building tolerance among current and former enemies. How can societies become truly inclusive, restoring a spirit of cooperation and trust among all parties?


    Peacebuilding and democratization conducted in countries that witnessed sectarian hostilities is a very fragile process. How can the international community best contribute to it respecting first and foremost the “do not harm” principle?


    Quality education is a cornerstone of peace, tolerance and interreligious understanding. What are the best ways to educate people for peace, dialogue and tolerance? Can new technology make this education more efficient or maybe just the opposite – does the social media “echo chamber” effect contribute to the worsening of the situation?


    Today many people in the world are still suffering from religious freedom deficits. What are the recent trends? What can we expect from the future?  


    Mr. Jerzy Pomianowski, Director of European Endowment for Democracy


    Ms. Olga Skrypnik, Head of the Crimean Human Rights Group (Ukraine) TBC

    Dr Jørgen Nielsen, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

    Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) TBC

    Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict TBC


    16.00 - 16.30

    Summary session

    Mr. Thomas E. Garrett, Secretary General of the Community of Democracies (USA)




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