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Speaker Advocate Jacob Mudenda attends IPU interfaith dialogue in Morocco

The Speaker of Parliament, Hon Advocate J.F.N Mudenda, a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Executive Committee, is in Marrakech, Morroco, leading a Parliamentary delegation attending the Parliamentary Conference on Interfaith Dialogue running from 13th to 15th June 2023.

The rest of the delegation comprises, Hon. Ability Musavaya Gandawa, Hon. Mathias Tongofa, Hon. Ellina Shirichena and Hon. Tawanda Karikoga.

The Conference is jointly organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco in cooperation with Religions for Peace, with the support of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the Mohammadia League of Religious Scholars.

The Interfaith Dialogue being held under the overarching theme “Parliaments and Religious Leaders: Promoting Dialogue, Working together for our Common Future” has drawn participation from global Speakers of Parliament, Members of Parliament, religious leaders, representatives from the civil society and other scholastic experts to promote tolerance and placement of religion at the core of the co-existence of humanity.

Additionally, the conference is expected to tackle issues of inclusion and coexistence as crucial antecedents to global peace and security.

Recommendations thereof are expected to feed into the IPU’s mandate to promote peace and global understanding through political dialogue, cooperation and parliamentary action.

In officially opening the conference on 13th June 2023, His Majesty, King Mohammed V1, in a message read on his behalf by His Excellency Rachid Talbi El Aami, President of the House of Representatives, applauded the topical theme of the historic Conference whose participants were drawn from a special segment of the citizenry.

He acknowledged the current daunting global challenges which included socio-economic, political, security and climate change which call for collective action at the regional and international fora.

In this context, he called on the Conference to candidly examine the theme of the Conference and proffer practical, constructive solutions and mechanisms to make interfaith dialogue a common goal across the globe where religious diversity is respected.

He underscored the need for harmony, peaceful co-existence, tolerance mutual respect within communities in the world.

In augmenting the foregoing, the President of the IPU, Mr. Duarte Pacheco welcomed the message from the King, particularly the call for peace and tolerance which captures the essence of the Conference theme.

President Pacheco observed that as the world grappled with the devastating COVID – 19 pandemic, this should have been a turning point in global relations yet there are still conflicts between nations.

In this regard, the IPU President called for co-existence and the respect for teach other’s religious beliefs.

That is the IPU has proudly held conversations on issues of inclusivity and co-existence over the years, namely, the 127th Assembly in Quebec City (Canada), 137th Assembly in St Petersburg (Russia) and more recently the 146th Assembly in Manama City (in the Kingdom of Bahrain), he opined.

Mr. Pacheco announced that the 2nd Parliamentary Conference on Interfaith Dialogue would be held in Rome in 2025.

In his remarks, Mr. Martin Chungong, the Secretary General of the IPU, hailed the venue of the Conference given its historical context of co-existence of religions and the rights granted to each citizen regardless of their religion by the Charter of Medina.

He concurred with the IPU President on the IPU’s commitment towards the promotion of co-existence, diversity and inclusion.

To that an extent, he shared some of the findings and positive practices of the IPU’s report on religion and belief.

In his intervention during the high level panel discussions on the rule of law whose sub-theme is: ‘Working together for the promotion of the rule of law: Good practices and challenges’, Advocate Jacob Mudenda made incisive remarks on the centrality of religious leaders in promoting the rule of law.

Advocate Mudenda exhorted religious leaders and legislators to ensure that congregants and citizens alike, respect the rule of law as it is quintessential for peace and stability.

He also made a presentation this morning, 14th June 2023, during General Debate on the main theme of the Conference, namely, ”Parliaments and religious leaders: Promoting dialogue, working together for a common future”.

In an erudite presentation which was well received, articulating on the fundamentals between church and legislation as key variables in development, Honourable Mudenda extoled some countries in the mould of Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Uganda, Morocco and Zimbabwe for promoting interface dialogue through various constitutional and legal provisions.

Advocate Mudenda highlighted the immense progress that Zimbabwe has made in safeguarding freedom of religion through promulgation of Constitutional Amendment No 20 of 2013, wherein the sacrosanct nature of religion is encapsulated in the fundamental right of the freedom of conscience.

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