The UN Alliance of Civilizations High Representative, Presidient Jorge Sampaio, announced that the World Interfaith Harmony Week will be held for the first time from 1 to 7 February, 2011.
On October 20, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously established the World Interfaith Harmony Week through the adoption of a Resolution upon an initial proposal by H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan. King Abdullah II proposed the idea to the General Assembly on 23rd September 2010: “It is … essential to resist forces of division that spread misunderstanding and mistrust, especially among peoples of different religions. The fact is, humanity everywhere is bound together, not only by mutual interests, but by shared commandments to love God and neighbour, to love the good and neighbour … What we are proposing is a special week during which the world’s people, in their own places of worship, could express the teachings of their own faith about tolerance, respect for the other and peace.”
The UNGA Resolution on “World Interfaith Harmony Week” reaffirmed that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of sustainable peace within and among societies and it proclaims the first week of February of every year the World Interfaith Harmony Week between all religions, faiths and beliefs. Welcoming the resolution, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations President Jorge Sampaio said, “The Alliance welcomes efforts by states, civil society, and other actors to build trust and respect among diverse communities – including among religions.” He further noted that the intent of the resolution is to be broad and inclusive, bringing together people of all religions, faiths, and beliefs.
Events are being organised around the world to mark this important event. More information and resources on the World Interfaith Harmony Week and the updated news on events around the world can be found on its website here.