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Lajčák Gives Address in Washington at Conference on Freedom of Religion

Lajčák Gives Address in Washington at Conference on Freedom of Religion

18.7.2019 | Aktivity ministra | Slovensko a OSN | Ľudské práva | Predsedníctvo Slovenska v OBSE

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák today (18 July 2019) gave an address at the second annual ministerial conference on religious freedom in Washington, where he arrived at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State. The identification of concrete steps to prevent persecution based on faith and to strengthen respect for religious belief is one of the new initiatives of the administration of US President Donald Trump. This has been the biggest ministerial event on this topic so far with more than a hundred delegations in attendance.

 

The ministers discussed global challenges on the agenda of religious freedom as well as the new commitments of the countries participating in the conference to protect them. In his address Minister Lajčák recalled the words of the former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt 80 years ago, who said that where freedom of religion had been attacked, the attack had come from sources opposed to democracy. These words resonate today when we commemorate the 30th anniversary of freedom in Central Europe. He also emphasized that it is necessary to support freedom of religion and religious tolerance with an emphasis on education, dialogue and the engagement of the entire society including religious leaders. Only this can prevent the misuse of religion as a political instrument and root out the causes of hatred, intolerance and extremism. “The Slovak Republic intensively concentrates on the issues of religious freedom in the context of our membership in the UN Human Rights Council,” stated the head of Slovak diplomacy in this regard. He also added that the agenda of religious freedom is at the center of our attention as the country chairing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “In February this year we organized a high-level conference focused on the fight against antisemitism in the OSCE region. Respecting the freedom of others, tolerance and the non-discrimination of religion are fundamental prerequisites for peaceful international coexistence, as well as preventative tools for preempting potential conflicts,” stated the Minister. He also emphasized that the support for freedom of religion and religious tolerance, including the fight against antisemitism, is one of the priorities of the Slovak Republic, both domestically and internationally.

The photographs can be downloaded at www.mzv.sk