CSW welcomes EU Special Envoy to London Office

23 May 2017

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) welcomed Ján Figeľ, the European Union (EU) Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU, to its London office on 22 May to discuss challenges to the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) worldwide.

Mr Figeľ discussed the FoRB situation in Syria, Sudan, and Pakistan, among other issues, while pointing out that “freedom of religion or belief is not so much about conflict; it’s about human dignity.”

The synergy between FoRB and international development and trade was discussed, as was the need to prevent mass atrocities, protect the victims and ensure that those responsible for these violations are punished in order to end impunity, which is a major driver of human rights violations.

Mr Figeľ lamented the fact that the international community remains weak on the fulfillment of human rights obligations: “We do not need another convention; we need to enforce and fulfil what we have agreed to.” He also spoke of how a nation’s diplomacy should follow through on decisions made by its legislature with regard to mass atrocities.

Following the meeting, Mr Figeľ said: "I sincerely commend tireless service of the CSW to help and save persecuted Christians and people in need in many difficult situations and regions of the world. It shows spirit of brotherhood which is so important for more humane times."

CSW’s Chief Executive Officer Mervyn Thomas said: “It was a privilege to welcome Mr Figeľ to our offices yesterday and to exchange views about how best to promote FoRB worldwide. We look forward to an ongoing dialogue about how best to promote this right and protect its victims.”

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