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Événement parallèle aux Nations Unies de Genève sur la tolérance religieuse et le soutien aux Chrétiens

Date de publication: 07.03.2017

Les intervenants principaux étaient:

Le métropolite Hilarion, président du département des relations extérieures de l'Eglise orthodoxe russe;

Archevêque Ivan Jurkovic, Nonce apostolique, représentant permanent du Saint-Siège auprès des Nations Unies;

Peter Szijjártó, ministre des affaires étrangères de la Hongrie;

Davor Ivo Stier, ministre des affaires étrangères de la République de Croatie.

Pour une vidéo de l'événement (en anglais) cliquez ici.

Pour une vidéo de l'intervention de John Laughland (en anglais), cliquez ici.

Pour une vidéo de l'intervention du Métropolite Hilarion (en russe), cliquez ici.

Pour une vidéo de l'intervention de la présidente de l'IDC, Natalia Narotchnitskaïa, cliquez ici.

Pour une vidéo de l'intervention de Peter Szijjarto, Ministre des Affaires Etrangères de la Hongrie, cliquez ici.

Pour une vidéo de l'intervention par Davor Ivo Stier, Ministre des Affaires Etrangères de la Croatie, cliquez ici.

Communiqué de Radio Vatican ici.

Communiqué du département des relations extérieures de l'église orthodoxe russe ici.

Communiqué du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères de la République de Croatie ici.

Photos de l'événement ici.

Pour une vidéo de l'intervention de Naralia Narotchnitskaïa, cliquez ici.


Le directeur des Etudes a ouvert les débats avec l'allocution suivante (en anglais):

Opening remarks by John Laughland, moderator of the Side Event held at the United Nations in Geneva on 7 March 2017



Ladies and Gentlemen,

This Side Event is organised by the Russian Federation, the Holy See, Armenia and Lebanon.  It is co-sponsored by Brazil, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and Spain.

The title of the meeting is "Mutual Respect and Peaceful Coexistence as a Condition of Interreligious Peace and Stability: Supporting Christians and Other Communities."

The goal of the meeting is to discuss how best to react to the phenomenon of religious intolerance and extremism.  Religion can be abused to incite hatred and conflict; conflicts in one region of the world can have an impact in others.  raditional religious communities are persecuted, and established national models for maintaining the inter-religious and inter-ethnic balance and harmony have been destroyed by attempts to implant foreign civilisational models on societies.

Today's event follows on the high-level conference in support of Christians and other communities, particularly, in the Middle East, which was held here, in this very room, two years ago during the 28th session of the Council on Human Rights.  On that occasion, we had the honour of hearing the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Armenia and Lebanon, as well as other panellists.  That meeting was followed by a joint statement issued by the Holy See, Russia and Lebanon on the same subject, which was supported by more than sixty states.

Our meeting today also occurs one year, almost exactly to the day, since the meeting in Cuba between Pope Francis and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. This was the first meeting in history between a Roman Pope and the leader of the largest Orthodox church.  We are honoured to have here on the panel one of the men who made that meeting possible, Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church. 

Today too we are bringing together Catholics and Orthodoxs, and representatives of other religions, who will share with us their ideas for best practice.  But the meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch merits consideration because no one should underestimate the immense difficulties which had to be overcome to make it happen.  The differences between Catholics and Orthodox are not only a thousand years old; they are also, unfortunately, very much alive today.  Those differences, and differences between different Orthodox churches, have been exploited in armed conflict in living memory, for instance in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s and more recently in Ukraine. 

So the meeting in Cuba was not a folkloric event.  It was not even just as a milestone in the two thousand year history of Christianity.  It was also a public act by two religious leaders acting in real time, in the real world, seeking a response to specific problems faced by all humans today.  The Cuba meeting therefor should encourage us to ask what is the role of religious leaders in promoting the common good, including peace and stability.  How can we put aside differences, however real and however open the wounds, to reach common positions?  What are the best practices?  What social models can be imitated?  Failure to do this, or even to try, will have negative consequences not only for Christians but for all human beings.

The Pope and the Patriarch mentioned both aggressive secularism and religious extremism as twin dangers.  The implication is that some societies are creating a spiritual void which creates space for fanaticism.  The catastrophe of the Russian revolution, whose 100th anniversary falls this year, is a warning to us all.  As Pope Benedict XVI said in 2006, a true dialogue of cultures and religions will come not from banishing the divine from the public realm, but instead by integrating it fully into our understanding of the richness of humanity and of human reason.

We have fifteen speakers from a dozen different countries; three Christian confessions and a Muslim speaker; and two foreign ministers.  We will divide the speakers into three panels of five speakers each and we start with Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the department of external relations of the Russian Orthodox Church.






Ci-dessous une présentation  de l'événement en anglais.


34th Session of the Human Rights Council
High-Level Side-Event

Mutual Respect and Peaceful Coexistence as a Condition of Interreligious Peace and Stability: Supporting Christians and Other Communities


Organised by the Permanent Missions of Armenia, the Holy See, Lebanon and the Russian Federation.  


Sponsored by Brazil, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Serbia and Spain


Date and Venue: Palais des Nations, room XIX, 7 March (Tuesday), 10.00-13.00



The discussion will follow up to the high-level conference in support of Christians and other communities, particularly in the Middle East, with the participation of Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Lebanon and the Russian Federation, which took place on the margins of 28th Human Rights Council’s session two years ago. It will also build upon the joint statement on the same issue made on behalf of the Holy See, Lebanon and the Russian Federation and co-sponsored by more than sixty States.


Issues for discussion


Growing religious intolerance as a threat to peace and stability in multiconfessional and multi-ethnic societies: a contemporary challenge


Today the world witnesses growth of religious intolerance, including towards traditional religions. The misuse of religion for inciting hate and hostility, distortion of religious dogma for attaining political goals have become an alarming trend not only for particular countries but for many regions. Discrimination and persecution on the ground of religion are on the rise, not just religious minorities but also the majority is often targeted. Attempts to break established interreligious and interethnic balance, to implant foreign civilizational models pose a danger to the stability of societies and threat religious minorities.


It is indeed a challenge that needs to be identified, including its causes, consequences and manifestations for all religions, in particular for Christians. The participants will be asked to elaborate on it.



Supporting Christians and other religious communities in armed conflicts


Religious intolerance provides fertile soil for the growth of religious extremism. Besides, religion is actively used by radical political, extremist and terrorist organizations to disguise their objectives and attract supporters.


In some cases religious communities are alienated and persecuted just because of their affiliation, the worst scenarios lead to the threat of their extinction.


Among others, the plight of Christians, in particular in conflict-affected regions of the MENA is dire.


Is it possible to stop “religious cleansing” perpetrated by terrorists? How to prevent provoking interreligious clashes and violence? What should be done to prevent  abuses by State institutions or authorities?


Tolerance and multiculturalism or mutual respect and peaceful coexistence: how to better guarantee stability in multiconfessional societies? Lessons learnt and positive experience


It is necessary to consider different models and approaches to ensure interethnic and interreligious peace and stability. Are modern ways of promoting tolerance and nurturing multicultural society always conducive to protecting rights of religious majority and religious minorities, as well as ensuring non-discrimination? How the experience of peaceful coexistence of different religions and confessions on the basis of mutual respect can be used ? Which instruments and mechanisms can be applied for preventing religious extremism ? Which examples of preserving stable multiconfessional and plurinational society should be promoted as a best practice?



-       Metropolitan Hilarion, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations, Russian Orthodox Church

-       H.E. Mr. Davor Ivo Stier, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia;

-       H.E. Most Reverend Ivan Jurkovič, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to United Nations in Geneva;

-      Peter Szijjarto, Foreign Minister of Hungary;

-       Ms. Elena Agapova, Vice-President of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society

-       Ms. Natalia Narochnitskaya, President of the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation (Paris)

-       Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, Secretary General of the World Council of Churches

-       Monsignor Maroun Nasser Gemayel, Eparch of Notre-Dame de Paris (Maronite/Lebanon)

-       His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland

-       Very Reverend Archimandrite Ignatios D. Sotiriadis, Secretary of the Committee for Inter-Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece

-       Right Reverend Andrej, His Grace Bishop of Serbian Orthodox Church for Austria and Switzerland

-       His Grace Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis, Director of the Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union

-       Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, Superior of the Monastery of St James the Mutilated, member of Musalaha Committee for national reconciliation (Syria)

-       Right Reverend Michael, Archbishop of Geneva and Western Europe in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

-       Mr. Kamil Samigullin, Chairman of the Muslim Spiritual Board of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation


Chairman: Mr. John Laughland, British journalist, scholar, publicist



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