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Proclamation of Major Faiths on Dignity of Self Determination of Peoples

23. June 2006

Final Statement of the International Conference of World Religious Leaders

Held on 19.06.2006, at the VIENNA GRAND HOTEL
Kärntner Ring 9
1010 Vienna Austria

The great faiths of mankind teach us of the dignity of all God’s creatures. Each of us carries some small way the imprint of the One who made us.

Yet, human dignity is not only realized by individuals. By our nature we also exist in groups, each based upon history memory and identity of varied sorts.

Hence, in our falting attempts to protect the integrity of people we must also assert the concomitant continuity of peoples.

This is often a difficult task as many groups have long existed in conflict with others and each finds it a daunting project to forgive, and, ultimately to respect the other.

As believers we are convinced, however, that with the Almighty’s help, all things are possible.

The starting point is to approach the others in their Otherness, not subjecting them to our own pre conceived notions, rooted in our own limited cultural and historical existence.

The only transcendence of culture and history possible is G-d whose summons to justice and charity must pervade all human endeavor.

Thus, when we view the world we are summoned to forever respect people’s yearnings for self determination. This is particularly true today in the Middle east where the aspirations of the Palestinian people are regularly ignored. It is also true in the case of Iran which desires to exist with its dignity, faith and culture intact but finds itself confronted by a West insensitive to all the above especially to their obvious and indisputable Rights for a peaceful nuclear program as a state party to the Non Proliferation Treaty which is fully committed to the international obligations.

We condemn the application of force or any military solution and or sanctions in the case of Iran, The Dialogue among the parties concerned is the best possible option in this regard.

Of course, these peoples are also bound by the demands of morality, justice and compassion.

These are starting notes towards a world of reconciliation and respect under God. It is true that we may never realize these dreams on this side of some Messianic utopia but it is to their fulfilment that all good men are summoned.

Vienna, June 19, 2006
signed by all the religious leaders participating in this conference