Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s permanent mission to the United Nations in New York is holding a one-day conference on Friday on the role of religions and culture in creating and maintaining peace and security.
The event is being held at the UN Headquarters and co-hosted by the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.
Katalin Bogyai, the Hungarian Ambassador to the UN and board member of the Berlin Institute of Cultural Diplomacy, told MTI the event is being organised in honour of the approaching anniversary of Hungary’s Parliament in Torda, in Transylvania, where freedom of religion was first declared, and of the inauguration speech Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, gave on Tuesday.
When speaking of the importance of creating and maintaining peace and security in the world, Guterres highlighted the significance of dialogue between religions and cultures. He also declared 2017 the year of peace, or at least a year when all should contribute to a peaceful world.
Speaking on an “open day” event in the Security Council on the same day, Bogyai talked about the role of preventive diplomacy in maintaining peace and avoiding conflict. The ambassador aimed to draw attention to the message of Friday’s event, she told MTI.
“In our view, dialogue between religions and cultures is an essential part of preventive diplomacy”, she added. “We are committed to the protection of religions and minorities in everything we do.”
Cristina Gallach, UN under-secretary-general for communications and public information, Rev. Msgr. Tomasz Grysa, first counsellor of the Holy See at the UN, Nihal Saad, spokesperson for the High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOD), and Agha H. Jafri, spokesman of the Universal Muslim Association of America for promoting cooperation of North American Islamic communities, will be among those attending.
Convened in 1568, the Diet of Torda (now Turda in Romania) issued an edict also known as Patent of Toleration as an early attempt to guarantee religious freedom in Christian Europe. Seen as a brave move toward religious toleration and a direct renunciation of national establishment of a single religion, the Edict of Torda legally applied to Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists and Unitarians.