The gathering brought together leaders and representatives of different religions in the United Kingdom (UK), as well as UK government officials and members of the Filipino community with an interest in cooperation and understanding among faiths.
In his remarks, Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique A. Manalo traced the Philippines’ long history and leading role in the promotion of interfaith cooperation within the international community, and recalled the country’s own direct interests and experiences in religious dialogue.
“The Philippine Government views inter-religious dialogue as a vital component of the comprehensive effort to achieve a global culture of peace – peace that is essential for security, growth and development,” said Ambassador Manalo.
On January 31, Ambassador Manalo discussed a similarly vital subject through a Human Rights Forum held at the Embassy. The forum served as a follow-up to National Human Rights Week and as a means to update the public on recent developments in the Philippines concerning human rights.
Among the matters discussed were key provisions of the “Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012” and the “Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013” passed by the Philippine Congress. The new types of writs issued by the Supreme Court for the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights were likewise reviewed, as were the Government’s comprehensive programs promoting economic, social and cultural rights.
World Interfaith Harmony Week has been celebrated around the world on the first week of February since 2010, through a resolution unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
National Human Rights Consciousness Week is commemorated in the Philippines in December each year pursuant to Republic Act 9201. (DFA)