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GNRC Third Forum Organizing Committee Launched by the Arigatou Foundation

Work has begun to plan, prepare and organize for the GNRC Third Forum that will take place in Hiroshima City in Japan  from 24 – 28 May 2008. The Organizing Committee for the Third Forum discussed substantive issues with regard to the coming Forum which will mark 8 years since the establishment of the GNRC Network.
The GNRC Third Forum organizing Committee was launched in Tokyo, Japan on 17 March 2007 to begin the process of organizing, planning and preparing for the GNRC Third Forum.

The organizing Committee serves as a consultative panel to the Representative of the Arigatou Foundation, Rev. Keishi Miyamoto.
 
In its first meeting held from 17 – 19 March 2007, the Committee began the task of deliberating on the overall themes, sub-themes and scenarios for the plenary and group sessions.

Guidelines for selecting participants, plenary speakers, children and other guests were also deliberated on. 

The Committee has also begun discussions on how regional processes building up to the Third Forum will be carried out.
 
Speaking during the first meeting of the Forum’s Organizing Committee, Rev. Keishi Miyamoto underlined the roles of religious leaders in initiating meaningful changes that will benefit children of the world.

Rev. Miyamoto called on the Organizing Committee to focus on rampant poverty and developmental issues. He suggested that the Third Forum be held in the
Hiroshima City in Japan.
 
Chaired by Mr. Samuel Koo, the South Korea’s Ambassador for Cultural cooperation, the Organizing Committee consists of GNRC Coordinators for the Regions and two co-opted members.

The
GNRC Coordinators for the Regions are Rev. Prof. Qais Sadiq (GNRC Arab States), Ms. Marta Palma (GNRC Europe), Dr. Mustafa Ali, (GNRC Africa).

Other Coordinators are Ms. Razia Ismail Abbasi (GNRC
Central Asia and Caucasus), Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne (GNRC South Asia), Ms. Mercedes Roman, (GNRC Latin America and the Caribbean) and Ms. Dorit Shippin (GNRC Israel).


Also serving in the Organizing Committee for the Third Forum are Ms. Meg
Gardinier from the USA  and Prof. Rebecca Rios-Kohn from Uruguay.


At the Secretariat for the Organizing Committee are GNRC Secretary General Mr. Atsushi Iwasaki and the Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children Secretary General and the Director of the Arigatou Foundation office in Geneva, Ms. Agneta Ucko. 

The UNICEF Director for
Japan and the Republic of South Korea Mr. Dan Rohrmann and UNICEF’s Programme Officer Ms. Hai Kyung Jun also attended part of the meeting.

The Arigatou Foundation led by Mr. Shozo Fujita, and staff Mr. Peter Billings, Ms. Mayumi Nakatsutsumi and others were also present at the meeting. 

Since its inception in May 2000, GNRC has held two Forums – the first one in
Tokyo, Japan in 2000 and the second one in Geneva, Switzerland in 2004.

The Forums have been successful in creating platforms for religious leaders and other persons working with and for the children to exchange ideas and discuss ways to strengthen the Network.