Leaders of 25 member organizations of Religions for Peace, European Interfaith Youth Network – Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Zoroastrian – met in Vienna in the end of November for 3 days of its annual summit and for training on humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. Young religious and interfaith leaders pledged multireligious cooperation for upcoming year 2014 in Europe in a spirit of “Welcoming the Other” – theme of Religions for Peace World Assembly, that took place in Vienna a few days before EIYN’s Summit.
EIYN’s summit is the key annual encounter for EIYN members, to re-affirm commitment to the mission and vision of the EIYN, plan future activities and network’s development and advance multi-religious cooperation for peace. EIYN’s Summit in Vienna took place right after Religions for Peace World Assembly, and 10 of EIYN’s delegates that took part also in the World Assembly brought the spirit and inspiration of Vienna’s gathering of 600 religious peacemakers, to our youth European EIYN Summit (read Religions for Peace World Assembly Vienna Declaration “Welcoming the Other—A Multi Religious Vision of Peace” here: Vienna Declaration
Apart from discussing EIYN’s future activities, electing new leadership group, accepting new members to the network, representatives of EIYN’s member organizations took part in training on “Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons“, led by trainer from ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) – Martin Hinrichs. In an interesting and interactive way, our trainer introduced us to the topic of nuclear weapons and the threat that those weapons pose to personal health, societies and the environment. We learned from Martin that ICAN believes that discussions about nuclear weapons must focus on humanitarian impact of those weapons, and not only on narrow concepts of national security and “deterrence”. Martin inspired us – young religious leaders – to join ICAN in campaining for banning nuclear weapons, banning it with a special international treaty, similar to treaties that banned landmines in 1997 and cluster munition in 2008. To learn more about global campaign to ban nuclear weapons click here: ICAN
At the end of the training, EIYN’s Core Group and Martin introduced our EIYN’s members to “Religions for Peace Resource Guide on Nuclear Disarmament”, resource guide for religious leaders and communities that was launched just a few days before our Summit in Vienna, during RfP World Assembly. We very much encourage to read and use this guide, as it is possible to download online, to download click here: RfP Resource Guide on Nuclear Disarmament
Vienna’s Summit of EIYN member organizations accepted two new members to the network – one is organization from Bosnia and Herzegovina – “Youth for Peace” and the other one is “Young Zoroastrians of UK”, which is youth wing of ZTFE (Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe). The Summit elected also new members of EIYN’s executive and leadership group – EIYN Core Group. Current Core Group has 7 members (2 more then previously) and consist of representatives of different religions and countries. This is a current composition of EIYN’s Core Group:
- Ms Jane Braden-Golay from Switzerland – Jewish
- Ms. Benafsha Engineer, from UK – Zoroastrian
- Mr. Daniel Eror, from Bosnia-Herzegovina – Christian (catholic)
- Mr Taoufik Hartit from Germany – Muslim (sufi)
- Ms Tania Porqueddu, from UK – Buddhist
- Mr Ilan Scialom, from France – Jewish
- Ms Zosia Kozlowska-Socha, from Poland – Christian (protestant)
Earlier in November, during Religions for Peace, Global Interfaith Youth Network’s Assembly, 3 of EIYN delegates were elected as members of Religions for Peace, International Youth Committee (IYC). International Youth Committee (IYC) leads The Global Interfaith Youth Network and is comprised of fifteen members representing the world’s faith traditions from six continents Those 3 people representing EIYN at IYC are now:Natalie Pylypiv , from Ukraine – Christian (greek catholic) Thomas Gillet –from France – Muslim Rupal Maru – from UK – Hindu
Congratulations to all members of EIYN Core Group and new European IYC members, for joining EIYN’s leadership group!
Vienna 2013 EIYN Summit took place in beautiful Am Spiegeln Seminar Center owing to a generous support of Focolare Movement. EIYN Summit was organized by RfP, EIYN, and Training on Nuclear Disarmament was organized by EIYN and ICAN. It was financed by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Religions for Peace, European Council of Religious Leaders, Religions for Peace International, Focolare Movement and The Gandhi Foundation. Thank you our supporters and donors!