The following is based on a presentation by Dr. Aaron Rhodes at the UPF Seminar, “Challenges and Opportunities of Our Time,” held in the Parliament of the Czech Republic on 25 November 2016, under the sponsorship of MP Nina Nováková.
The global agendas for the 21st century are marked by an enhanced focus on the human being, on the citizen and on societies in addition to the traditional addressing of issues related to governments and states. Peace is not any more the achievement of governmental armament, defended borders and related policies but, as the title of our meeting indicates, the result of value structures of societal cultures carried by the human being and by societies.
Is there a distinction to be made between “cults” or “sects” and religions? Should religious freedom be only accessible to so-called historical religions and their members? Should other minority religious or spiritual movements called “sects” or “cults” be denied the enjoyment of the provisions of international declarations and covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief?
The European Union is often criticized by people like me for a wide range of alleged policy and administrative failures regarding human rights. Today, however, I would like to use this opportunity to attest to the importance of Europe’s role in promoting and protecting human rights, which I can do on the basis of my own experience and reflection.
Distinguished guests, Ambassadors for Peace, Ladies & Gentlemen! As Chair of Universal Peace Federation in Europe, it is truly an honour and a privilege to be able to extend a warm welcome to you all to the European Economic and Social Committee here in Brussels and to our European Leadership Conference on the theme “What more can Europe do to improve Human Rights?”
Remarks by Dr. Aaron Rhodes, Conference on Interreligious Cooperation and The Prevention of Incitement to National, Racial and Religious Hatred, United Nations Office Geneva • Room XXIV (24) • 14:00 - 16:30, Geneva, 25 March 2011.
Statement by Prof. em. Dr. Christian Brünner, University of Graz, Institute for Austrian, European and Comparative Public Law, Political Sciences and Public Administration at the European Leadership Conference, Geneva, 24.-26.3.2011.