RTCYPP News 14.12.2018

RTCYPP/ODIHR 2-day Training on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Press release by OSCE/ODIHR https://www.osce.org/odihr/406541

Twenty-three leaders and representatives of religious communities in Cyprus came together for a training event on freedom of religion or belief in Nicosia, on 11 and 12 December 2018. The event was organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in co-operation with the Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden (RTCYPP).

The training event, held in the Home for Cooperation in the United Nations Buffer Zone, focused on the nature and scope of the right to freedom of religion or belief as set out in international standards and OSCE commitments. The participants (13 men and 10 women) explored the interrelationship between the freedom of religion or belief and the freedom of expression, and the role of religious leaders and actors in creating and sustaining a culture of respect for everyone's freedom of religion or belief and other human rights.
"It is very encouraging to see the commitment of these religious leaders in Cyprus to standing up for the rights of all religious and belief communities on the island," said Kishan Manocha, ODIHR Senior Adviser on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
"Freedom of religion or belief is one of the victims of the Cyprus conflict," said Salpy Eskidjian, Executive Director of the Office of the RTCYPP. "We cannot build lasting peace without ensuring the right of everyone to freely practice their religion or belief. We therefore warmly welcome the opportunity to work with ODIHR to provide training on this very important human right to the leaders and members of the religious communities in Cyprus."