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Press release detail

Defending religious freedoms around the world, and uniting in a commitment to prevent and combat the current wave of violence and intollerance against religious minorities, are the central focus of Minister Giulio Terzi’s work meeting today at the foreign ministry in Rome with representatives of over 30 Italian NGOs.

“This is Italy’s absolute priority in its international actions”, Terzi underscored during the meeting, recalling that “education is key to the global promotion of a culture of dialogue and tollerance”. In particular, the minister acknowledged the essential role that NGOs and associations can play “in the area of human rights education, which is an undeniable prerequisite for the effective defence of religious minorities, whose rights and survival itself are at risk in various parts of the world”.

In addition to Italy’s efforts within the European framework leading to approval of the EU’s guidelines and action plan, Terzi explained the content and objectives of the workshop “The civil society and human rights education as a tool to promote and disseminate religious tollerance”, which the foreign ministry is organizing for 27 September at the UN in New York with a view to outlining, with public and private collaboration, a common approach to raising awareness and fostering a culture of religious freedom. The event will coincide with the opening of the 67th UN General Assembly.

We are firmly convinced”, Minister Terzi asserted, “that governments must work in close coordination with civil societies to combat discrimination and anti-religious violence that is affecting the lives of millions of people. Human rights education and training provide a perfect vehicle for the widespread dissemination of the values of tollerance and peaceful co-existence to the members of different faiths”.

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