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Muslim World League chief leads religious diplomacy at Geneva summit

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GENEVA: The Secretary General of the Muslim World League took part in a summit of major international organizations to coordinate responses to accelerating global challenges.

The forum, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland, was launched under the title: “Cooperation between international organizations in humanitarian fields”.

It included — in addition to the MWL and the World Council of Churches — the World Health Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies. Rouge, the World Food Program and a group of distinguished international representatives. humanitarian leaders.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusdirector general of WHO

MWL Secretary General Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa gave the opening speech for the forum.

He expressed gratitude for the outstanding humanitarian efforts of WHO in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for other international governmental and non-governmental organizations carrying out pioneering humanitarian work.

However, he regretted that “humanitarian work has not reached the required level of solidarity and sympathy, and that the gap between rich and poor remains wide, despite the existence of an international system”.

Al-Issa added: “We do not oppose the existence of the rich and the poor, because it is the nature of life, but we call on the rich to relieve the suffering of the poor by supporting them, especially with the necessities of life. life such as food, medicine and education.

“It is painful, for example, to see the rich get vaccinated against COVID-19 while the poor do not receive it, or only receive it late, or only receive a few doses.

“There is also another reason that animates and even motivates humanitarian work, which is the religious aspect.”

The MWL leader described the religious motive “as one of the strongest, most vital and enduring motivators of humanitarian action”.

He emphasized that this is a heaven-bound motive of faith, “and all that concerns the Creator, glory to Him, has a strong cord that is unaffected by any emergency and cannot be cut.

“That is why we believe that voluntary work is one of the strongest pillars of the work of humanitarian organizations around the world, the most important of which is that which is based on a religious motive linked to the creator. Honest and abstract religious feelings heal wounds, quench thirst, feed the hungry, educate, train and sponsor orphans and widows.

Al-Issa said: “It should be noted that it is important that relevant international organizations have performance measures for countries in the field of humanitarian work, and that they must honor public and private institutions, and individuals who have outstanding efforts in humanitarian work. , whether in the area of ​​food, health, education, training or otherwise, including helping marginalized and abused people, and those subjected to forced labour, in particular crimes of trafficking in human beings.

He reviewed MWL’s efforts in humanitarian work around the world, emphasizing that its premise is “faith and humanity without any discrimination, religious or otherwise. He announced the MWL’s plan to launch an international award to promote the most significant efforts in the service of humanitarian work.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, called for support for medical workers to help them carry out their duties in saving the lives of refugees and displaced people.

He said: “I grew up in a war zone and the smell, sounds and scenes of war dominated my senses. I recall these painful memories every time I visit a combat zone, and I wish it would stop immediately.

UNHCR’s speech, delivered by Kelly Clements, stressed that peace is the “permanent remedy for the displacement crisis”, as well as the cure for many difficulties facing human beings today. Clements warned that the global displacement crisis is so huge that no single organization can handle it alone.

WCC general secretary Rev. Ioan Sauca said that despite the importance of the work of international humanitarian agencies, national and local faith-based organizations are the vanguard and long-term foundations of humanitarian assistance and development. development. He said church members do not do humanitarian work for evangelism or other programs, but to pursue their identity as Christians.

Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the IFRC, said the availability of local leaders for humanitarian work is a vital issue, “and we have seen how health closures and travel restrictions tied our hands in our hands. organizations, and the only bet was on the associations.”

He added that the challenges facing humanitarian work are not limited to wars and conflicts, but include climate change, economic collapse and discrimination in all its forms, in addition to the effects of COVID-19.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley has warned that rising food prices and inflation have pushed more than 48 countries around the world into situations of instability, political unrest, riots and protests .