New York: Historic Meeting with the UN Secretary General
Mr. Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, accompanied by Dr. John Graz, Secretary General of IRLA and Dr. Ganoune Diop, official representative of IRLA to the United Nations, were received by His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UN remarkably resonate with the values IRLA promotes. IRLA focuses on freedom of religion of belief while being aware that all human rights are interrelated, interconnected and indivisible.
Mr. Wilson shares the fact that the religious organization entrusted to his leadership is committed to helping their brothers and sisters in humanity through health, education, humanitarian assistance, and through the promotion of human rights especially in the area of religious liberty. Other activities of the SDA church he mentioned to the Secretary General and his entourage, for the betterment of our world, includes women ministry, family ministry, youth ministry and children ministry.
Dr. Graz highlighted the various activities of IRLA, specifically the congresses, symposiums, and festivals to promote religious liberty. Dr. Graz, who over many years championed religious freedom, spoke of the need for religious freedom for world peace.
In his intervention, Dr. Ganoune Diop focused on the common values of human dignity and work for peace among people of different faiths and philosophical persuasions. He mentioned the symposium he just co-organized on the role of religion and faith based organizations in international affairs and his collaboration with the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
His Excellency Ambassador Reed Under UN Secretary General graciously worked on mediating with the office of the UN Secretary General. All the IRLA team expressed gratitude to him for offering IRLA representatives the opportunity to contribute through its multifaceted actions, varied events and programs to significantly work for the promotion and protection of religious freedom, for peaceful coexistence of the whole human family and for the healing of our world entangled in government restrictions and popular hostility towards people’s freedom of religion or belief.
Dr. Ganoune Diop, United Nations Liaison for IRLA