Religions for Peace Thailand Awarded First Official Foreign Development Assistance
(6 September 2012 | Bangkok, Thailand) Religions for Peace Interreligious Council of Thailand was awarded the Japanese government’s official development assistance grant for its conflict transformation work in southern Thailand. This is the first such award by the government of Japan to an inter-religious organization for its conflict transformation work. During the 6 September signing ceremony at the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, Ambassador Seiji Kojima of Japan presented the award to Dr. Ismail Lutfi Japakiya, Co-Chair of Religions for Peace Interreligious Council, Dr. Parichart Suwanabubba, Secretary to the Council, and Dr. Gothom Arya, Senior Adviser to the Council.
The “Advancing Human Security through Inter-religious Cooperation in Thailand” project will engage civil society, government, religious leaders and actors, including women and youth, in addressing the misuse of religious identities to fuel conflict in the south of Thailand. The project will provide intensive training for religious leaders and actors on practical approaches to advancing human security, facilitating inter-religious dialogue and engaging in inter-religious cooperation. Approximately 100 youth leaders from the southern-most provinces will be given action-oriented training on conflict prevention; how to build trust between communities; and how to work together to combat poverty and drug addiction. Those youth leaders will implement interreligious actions in their respective communities and regions.
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, commended the Religions for Peace Interreligious Council of Thailand for its important initiative to engage diverse Thai religious communities to help transform conflict and build peace in southern Thailand. He also stated that “the Japanese government’s support for Religions for Peace Thailand is a fine example of a principled “government-multireligious partnership” that can support Thailand’s diverse religious communities in their desires to work together for a peaceful society.”
Ms. Valerie Nash
Religions for Peace, 777 United Nations, Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: +1212-687-2163 | Fax: +1 212-983-0098 | www.religionsforpeace.org