London, UK 12-13 July 2018

A consultation under the 2018 OSCE Chairmanship on ‘Interreligious Engagement and Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB)’.

Interreligious Engagement

This meeting was part of a multi-stakeholder consultation process led by the University of Sussex (FoRB&FPI) in partnership with the Italian MFA and the OSCE ODHIR under the 2018 Italian OSCE Chairmanship to produce innovative knowledge on interreligious engagement (dialogue and collaboration) as a policy tool to combat intolerance based on religion and to promote FoRB for all. The meeting brought together around 50 experts, diplomats, policy-makers, and civil society actors working in the area of religion, who built on the conclusions of the first meeting of the consultation ‘The role of interreligious dialogue and collaboration in combatting intolerance and discriminations. Mapping international initiatives and best practices’ hosted in Bologna.

The meeting consisted of the two following events:

Event 1: Policy Dialogue in the UK Parliament
Interreligious Engagement and FoRB: A New Policy Approach for the Mediterranean
12 July 2018 – The House of Commons, Palace of Westminster

This Policy Dialogue brought together a group of high-level policy-makers and relevant stakeholders to discuss the dominant policy approach adopted by governments and international organizations in response to the global crisis of FoRB and the adoption of effective interreligious engagement strategies. It also considered a number of examples and cases from the Mediterranean region. The meeting was co-hosted by the UK All‐Party Parliamentary Group on International FoRB and was part of the official programme of Italy’s 2018 OSCE chairmanship and the Towards Med meetings promoted by the Italian MFA and ISPI.

Event 2: Seminar to work towards the drafting of a policy report on ‘Interreligious Engagement and FoRB’
13 July 2018 – Lambeth Palace

The one-day seminar was the second meeting of the year-long consultation to produce a policy report that identifies interreligious engagement strategies as a policy tool to combat intolerance based on religion and advance FoRB for all. The aim was to work on a first draft of the report to be presented at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in September 2018 with a view to launch it in the context of the OSCE next Ministerial Council in Milan on 6-7 December 2018.