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The Baha’i International Community’s Principal Representative, Ms. Bani Dugal, has been elected as a co-president and member of the World Council of Religions for Peace—the world’s largest inter-religious coalition. She will now be part of the 51 member council of co-presidents. Religions for Peace works to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and is comprised of a world council of religious leaders and bodies from over 125 countries.
The Baha’i International Community is committed to working for the betterment of society and building communities that embody peace through the application of spiritual principles. The peace these communities aspire towards is not merely one that represents the absence of armed conflict and war, rather one that embraces a collective state of being that manifests cooperation, interconnection, and unity in diversity. We believe these foundations are essential in hastening the long-cherished fulfilment of the promise of world peace. Dr. Azza Karam, Professor of Religion and Development at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands and former senior advisor on culture at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was elected as the body’s new secretary general last month, becoming the first woman to hold the post. At UNFPA, she also served as chairperson of the UN task force on engagement with faith-based organizations. Taking place every five years, this most recent election was held last month in Lindau, Germany. Ms. Dugal was elected by over 700 voting delegates. “We look forward to serving alongside distinguished religious actors and leaders who are also members of the World Council of Religions for Peace, to promote the well being and oneness of humankind which will eventually lead to a lasting peace among nations,” said Ms. Dugal. “We also wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Azza Karam on being elected as its Secretary General. Religions for Peace is fortunate to have someone of her capacity and stature at this critical moment in history for inter-religious dialogue and collaboration.”
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