World Interfaith Harmony Week

“This age of globalization needs enlightened people in each faith who can examine their sacred writings and traditions and identify the aspects that can benefit all humanity as well as those that preserve each religion's identity. UPF and its network of Ambassadors for Peace celebrate this week each year, in a way that encourages understanding, respect, and cooperation among people of all faiths for the well-being of our communities and peace in the world”


Supported by UNODC, the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), UNCAV, the Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations, Youth and Students for Peace, and the Women’s Federation for World Peace organized an event commemorating the World Interfaith Harmony Week on February 3rd 2023 in the VIC (UN building) in Vienna. 200 guests attended the conference on the theme “Why Religions and Cultures in Dialogue matter for achieving the UN SDGs“.





1st Session: Why Religions and Cultures in Dialogue matter

Welcoming remarks: Peter Haider, President of UPF Austria

Moderator: Dr. Afsar Rathor, former UN diplomat and president of LIOS-SOIL

Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC Director, Policy Analysis and Public Affairs

H.E. Dr. Haitham Abu Alfoul, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Austria

H.E. Dr. Eglantina GjermeniAmbassador of Albania to the International Organizations in Vienna

Prof. Dr. Paul M. Zulehner, Theologian and Professor, Sociology of Religion

Dr. Elmar Kuhn, President, Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations

Dr. Katsumi Otsuka, Co-Chair Universal Peace Federation Europe and Middle East


 2nd Session: Interfaith and the United Nations SDGs

Moderator: Dr. Farida Valiullina, UPF liaison UN Vienna office

Ms. Tatjana Christelbauer M.A., Agency for Cultural Diplomacy Austria (Orange Feather Dance meditation 4 peaceand Ms. Ursula Wagner (Tai-chi)

H.E. Aftab Ahmad Khokher, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Austria

Prof. Dr. Ille GebeshuberInstitute of Applied Physics, Tech. University Vienna

Dr. Joshua Sinclair, American writer, filmmaker, actor and directormedical doctor

Dr. Rahela Kaveer, Chairwoman of World Hazara Council

 World Interfaith Harmony Week
First proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by H.M. King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Just under a month later it was unanimously adopted by the UN and henceforth the first week of February is observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week. World Interfaith Harmony Week conferences were organized in the UN in Vienna in 202020192017201620152014 und 2013.



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