Last week saw a virtual press conference take place in Lindau, Germany, ahead of the upcoming First Assembly on Women, Faith & Diplomacy, which will now take place online. 

The First Assembly on “Women, Faith and Diplomacy: Keeping the Faith and Transforming Tomorrow”, will provide a unique platform to diverse stakeholders from media, diplomatic corps, civil society, academia, and international development sectors. The convening will equip faith inspired women and men, youth cohorts, and multi-religious communities, with knowledge and analysis, connectivity and narratives, linking religions to peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights.

An online press event on the 29th of October introduced the unique nature of the conference happening in Lindau next month. There was also a panel of leading faith experts and actors, who individually spoke about the upcoming conference, looking at the programme and why this is such a relevant and engaging topic for today’s world.

The panellists who attended and spoke at the press conference were:

  • Azza Karam, Secretary General of Religions for Peace International (who attended via live stream)
  • Dr. h.c. mult. Annette Schavan, Former Federal Minister of Education and Research, Board of Trustees Foundation Peace Dialogue of World Religions and Civil Society 
  • Dr. Claudia Alfons, Lord Mayor of Lindau 
  • Ulrich Schneider, Managing Director Ring for Peace 

Prof. Azza Karam, the Secretary General from Religions for Peace, was asked about the intentions of the Assembly. Karam spoke eloquently about the need for the upcoming global conference, stating it is a global consultation which will be the first of its kind, to link women with diplomacy. “We’re on the cusp of change, that’s why it’s important to look at this topic, of how women are leading, and how faiths are benefiting from this.”… “This Assembly is about women and men who are serving today, with a sensitivity to the role women play and the transformation they bring to the world, through their leadership. Where faith and diplomacy intersects.”

The other panelists shared their opinions as to why the Assembly is so vital for society today. Dr. h.c. mult. Annette Schavan stated that the conference will “be a good step forward in the dialogue between religions”. The Mayor of Lindau, Dr. Claudia Alfons, then went on to declare how “the values of openness and mutual respect are at the pinnacle of society, and it’s important to demonstrate at a conference like this.”

Ulrich Schneider, the Managing Director Ring for Peace explained how last year’s World Assembly is where this year’s theme derived from.  It was also made clear to attendees how at the Assembly, there will be workshops and coffee breaks available throughout, despite the entire conference now being an online event. It was also assured that the organisers of the conference are following the German government’s guidelines very closely, and they are confident the Assembly will run smoothly in terms of its content, hygiene and technology. 

We look forward to the First Assembly on Women, Faith and Diplomacy on November 10th-13th 2020. We hope to learn from the thoughts of esteemed faith leaders and actors on this year’s progressive theme. The program will feature regional spotlights, prominent faith, political and media leaders, interactive interviews, and audio-visual panels.