ASEAN Women Interfaith Dialogue: Promoting Understanding for an Inclusive and Peaceful Society
ASEAN WOMEN INTERFAITH DIALOGUE:?PROMOTING UNDERSTANDING FOR AN INCLUSIVE AND PEACEFUL SOCIETY
12-13 November 2019
The ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and with the support from the Government of Australia, the Asia Foundation and the Government of New Zealand, convened an ASEAN Women Interfaith Dialogue in Jakarta on the 12 -13 November 2019, taking on the theme of Promoting Understanding for an Inclusive and Peaceful Society. This is the first ever interfaith dialogue of women of ASEAN with more than 50 participants from across the region.
This? event is a follow up of last years launch of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR) in the Philippines, and pursuant to the 2017 ASEAN Leaders Joint Statement on Women, Peace and Security. The holding of the Dialogue therefore is timely, considering women that constitute half of the population of every community and possess an enormous potential to promote culture of peace as well as conflict resolution, are still not recognizable in many peace processes in the region and beyond.
In her Welcome Remarks, H.E. Artauli Tobing,Representative of Indonesia to the ASEAN-IPR Governing Council, as the convenor of the Dialogue? stressed that it is a must for interfaith dialogue programs to be continuously evaluated and perfected, so it would be a more meaningful platform for people of different faiths and believes to work together for peaceful goals and answer the challenge of today and future.
H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN underscored that the role of women as promoters of peace and interfaith cooperation are increasingly acknowledged and espoused. He stressed that it is evident that women have become a fervent force in bringing about peace, inclusiveness and tranquillity in our societies.
In her video message, H.E. Retno L. P. Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia warmly welcomed the initiative and underlined that interfaith dialogue is an instrumental tool in promoting tolerance, harmony and peace in diverse communities. She further encouraged participatnts to lend their support to this platform as it opens opportunities for women voice and roles to be heard and recognized.
The participants also heard Prof. Dr. Musdah Halim, Chairman of International Conference on Religion and Peace, who talked about Indonesias experiences and best practices in managing a highly diverse and pluralistic society, along with its challenges.
The two-day Dialogue brought together participants coming from the diplomatic corps (namely ASEAN Member States, ASEAN partners and stakeholders), academia, civil societies and the media. Women and men experts on various issues, especially interfaith relations, tackled on issues such as women empowerment, involvement and inclusion in ASEAN; challenges affecting societal cohesiveness through communities initiatives; diversity and inclusivity as potential non-traditional threats; as well as the effects of the media and community discourse. Breakout Sessions on ways forward were also organised to address some of the above-mentioned issues.
The ASEAN Women Interfaith Dialogue marks the final activity of the ASEAN-IPR for 2019. The ASEAN-IPR holds the task? among others to undertake studies with a view to promote gender mainstreaming in peace processes, create pool expertise in support of ASEAN bodies, as well as promote the voice of moderation and advance work in the area of interfaith dialogue. The Institute is looking to several new research projects in the pipeline for 2020, as well as the convening of the 2nd Leg of its Mainstreaming Peace and Reconciliation in ASEAN Training Series, which shall be convened in Myanmar.