Final Declaration of the 32nd Abant International Forum “Freedom of Speech & Respect for the Sacred”


Date posted: March 13, 2014

Ethiopia

The 32nd Abant International Forum, in line with the recommendations of the 29th Forum with the theme “Africa: Between Experience and Inspiration” was convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 08-09 March 2014 to discuss the topic “Freedom of Speech and Respect for the Sacred”.

The Forum was jointly organized by the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission (DPA/AUC) and the Abant Platform of the Journalists and Writers Foundation of Turkey. The distinguished guests including the representative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as well as 155 participants from 15 countries from around the world have actively contributed to the discussions.

The Forum:

Recognizing the efforts of the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and other international and regional organizations to promote freedom of expression (FoE) and a better understanding of the FoE and respect for all religions;

Affirming that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 16/18, titled “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief”, provides a common ground for the international community to promote the FoE and respect for the sacred (RfS);

Reiterating the importance of the efforts of the international community in promoting FoE and intolerance for hate speech;

Expressing strong disapproval of any undue pressure on the FoE and freedom of speech (FoS) and also rejects anything that profanes the sacred which is defined in accordance with the UNCHR Resolution 16/18 (The Resolution);

Recognizing the FoE and the respect for the sacred (RfS) as interdependent elements of each other and indispensable for nonviolence and democracy;

Considering the social and legal aspects of FoE and RfS, emphasizing that FoE is not to destroy societies but to build them;

Noting that FoE and RfS complement one another the FoE should never be perceived as a freedom to offend the religious figures and values deemed sacred by the others;

Further notes that individual or collective acts of demonizing and/or desecrating the sacred contribute to spreading religious intolerance;

Recognizing that the search for a fine balance between FoE and RfS is a continuous endeavor by the international community should contribute to implementing universally acceptable norms with broader civic participation.

The Forum:

Calls upon the international and regional organizations to take policy measures in line with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 16/18;

Calls upon governments of the world to incorporate the Resolution into domestic legislation;

Calls upon the media to play a constructive role in promoting the right to FoE as well as utmost respect for the sacred as stipulated in the Resolution;

Callsuponall religious leaders and representatives of all faiths to respect the Resolution;

Calls upon the governmental organizations (GOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and all civil society organizations (CSOs) to advocate for FoE and RfS.

The Forum was concluded by the statements kindly delivered by His Grace Abbune Gabriel, and Chairperson of Interreligious Council of Ethiopia H.E. Aisha L. Abdullahi, Commissioner for DPA/AUC, H.E. Ato Demeke Mekonnen, Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

Source: Abant Platform , March 11, 2014


Related News

GYV: Hard-won democratic gains sacrificed for short-term interests

The move to seek the extradition of Fethullah Gülen using irrational justifications, the pressures on those businesspeople who sympathize with the Hizmet movement and the boycotts and sufferings that came in the wake of Erdoğan’s threat, “Do not given them [the Hizmet movement] even a single drop of water,” are the sort of developments unseen even during coup eras.

Two days in Kenya with Kimse Yok Mu

KYM Secretary General Savas Metin said this campus will function as a base in Malindi for the aid efforts to be done in the region. “We have brought drinking water for 1 million people, with the water wells we established in the drought-ridden Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. We will not only educate underprivileged students at Light Academy but provide medical aid.”

New Turkish School launched in Chad

A new school building has been launched under the umbrella of Chad-Turkish Educational Institutions active in the central African country Chad, saved from the brink of revolution in early May. In attendance of the grand opening of the school founded by the deceased philanthropist Ahmet Guner from Duzce (a province in Turkey) in the capital […]

22 businessmen sue PM Erdoğan over Hashishin remarks against Hizmet

Dr. Mahir Şahin, one of the plaintiffs, made a statement in front of the courthouse and argued that the people who follow the Hizmet movement, known as the “Cemaat” (community), are openly being targeted by publicly associating them with the corruption probe that broke out on Dec. 17.

Terrorism charges against Karaca do not make sense, CHP leader says

The leader of the main opposition party has implied that the recent arrest of Hidayet Karaca, the general manager of the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group (STV), on charges of heading a terrorist organization does not make sense as there is no solid evidence against the suspect.

Alevi problems deeper than they seem, opinion leaders agree

On the first day of the 30th Abant Platform meeting on Friday on the Alevis issue in Turkey, Alevi and Sunni intellectuals and opinion leaders agreed that the problems date back to centuries ago and are more complicated than they seem. The event, titled “Searching for peace and a future together,” brought together representatives of various Alevi communities as well as Alevi and Sunni pundits, journalists and academics in an effort to have a comprehensive debate on one of the lingering problems of Turkish society.

Latest News

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

Grondahl: Turkish community strong in wake of threats from back home

Turkish-Kyrgyz educator’s abduction shows Ankara’s ruthless disregard for law: HRW

In Case You Missed It

Bridge-building in ‘enemy country’ – Story of a Turkish asylum seeker in Greece

Islam-state-society relationship: the Turkish model

Planned prep school ban [in Turkey] disregards basic rights as in single-party era

Iqbal university to be set up in Lahore

Turkish PM Yıldırım names July 15 coup attempt as ‘project’ he did not like

Hate speech and respect for the sacred

Turkey to bid farewell to rule of law if president approves HSYK law

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News