October 2003 Report to Constituent Members
International Religious Liberty Association
Legal Meeting, October 13, 2003
Report of the Secretary-General
Happy 110th Birthday, IRLA!
1893 - 2003
The year 2003 was a great year for the IRLA. We were involved in many important events which are becoming customary and have the potential to bring recognition and visibility to our association. This year the United Nations recognized the IRLA as an NGO with Consultative Status in the Economic and Social Council. This recognition gives us an international authority. It will open doors to many governments. Other good news includes the increasing number of international congresses held and the resulting number of new IRLA national chapters established. We also published a very timely new issue of Fides et Libertas on the theme of Religious Freedom and Security. And we were invited by several secular universities to give lectures on religious freedom.
Activities we have been involved in over the past 12 months:
October 10th 20 political and academic representatives from 13 European countries visited our headquarters, including a former member of the French Constitutional Council, Professor Jacques Robert.
November 12th The Ambassador of Romania visited our headquarters.
November 12-17th 4th IRLA Meeting of Experts was held in Washington, D.C. The theme was Religion and Security.
November 26-27th 10th Anniversary of the Euro-Asia Chapter in Moscow.
December 12th 3rd Meeting of the Washington Coalition held in our headquarters. In attendance was the new director of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
February 6th IRLA was invited to the National Prayer Breakfast with President G. W. Bush and the First Lady.
April 2nd The 1st Annual Religious Liberty Awards Dinner was held in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, with 6 ambassadors in attendance. Ambassador John Hanford was the keynote speaker.
April 30th 4th Meeting of the Washington Coalition was held in our world headquarters.
May 2nd The Ambassador of Morocco visited our headquarters.
May 14th 1st International Congress was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It was organized in conjunction with the Oslo Coalition.
June 3rd C. J. Chen from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative visited our World Headquarters.
June 9-11th 5th IRLA Meeting of Experts hosted by the Institute of Cannonical Law of the University of Leuven.
June 24th Azerbaijan dignitaries visited the world headquarters.
June 25th 25 civil and government leaders from Russia visited the world headquarters.
July 8th The Ambassador of Bulgaria visited the world headquarters.
July 22nd IRLA was represented at the conference of the OSCE in Vienna on religious freedom where 55 governments from Europe, Central Asia, and the USA were in attendance.
August 26-27th 1st IRLA International Congress in Santiago de Chile.
September 30th The Ambassador of Serbia visited the world headquarters.
IRLA New Chapters
Euro-Asia: Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine
South Pacific: Tahiti
South America: Chile and Brazil
Projects for 2003 -2004
November 6, 2003 Washington Coalition in Washington D.C.
June 16-18, 2004 Meeting of Experts in Strasbourg, France. We have been invited by the Geothe Foundation.
May 26-28, 2004 Kiev, Ukraine
August 25-26, 2004 Taiwan
August 25-26, 2004 Trinidad
September 8-9, 2004 Sao Paulo
Projects for 2005 - 2007
Plans are underway for more projects in South America and Africa.
I would like to thank the National Chapters (and Divisions and Unions) for their great support and their encouragement.
Ilgar Allahverdiyev with Dr. Denton Lotz, IRLA President
Victor Krushenitsky at the 10th Anniversary of the IRLA in Moscow.
Ambassador John Hanford
John Graz, Representative C.J. Chen, Eugene Hsu, Michael Tsai
John Graz, Chile Senate President Andrés Saldivar; and Guido Quinteros, president of the Adventist Church in Chile.
The International Religious Liberty Association team developing a good network among world leaders:
Dr. Bert B. Beach with U.N. Human Rights Committe President A. Amor in Manila.
IRLA Deputy Secretary General Dr. J. Gallagher with Ambassador Strohal in Vienna.
IRLA Legislative Affairs James Standish with Senator Hillary Clinton in Washington.
IRLA Group of Experts in Washington D.C.
IRLA delegation from the Congress in Santiago in the Palace of the Moneda with Minister Huenchumilla.
IRLA Secretary General Dr. John Graz with Minister Francisco Huenchumilla, Secretary General of the Presidency in Chile.